July 1st 2008
Letter: Reflecting on roadkill
Some years ago (Island wildlife carer) Jenny Mulcahy sought and achieved a grant, together with the Townsville City Council, to put roadside posts with special reflectors to deter wildlife from crossing at night when a vehicle was coming. A key spot to receive these was Gifford Street in Horseshoe Bay.
Rock Wallabies, and now other macropods, come down to the lowlands to find food and water, especially during the dry (season) and especially at night. In Horseshoe Bay this means that a lot of them cross Gifford Street and Swensen Street. The reflectors, referred to above, were installed and remained for a few years, showing a noticeable difference in the road kill for passing vehicles.
Then in 2006, large sections of the land were subdivided and storm water drains and sewerage pipes were laid beside the road way in Gifford Street. The reflectors were removed by the developer/ contractor, never to be replaced. The Townsville City Council said it was the developer's responsibility to replace them, but, apparently, took no action to ensure that this was done. Local residents are horrified by the number of road kill each day/week in Gifford Street.
Horseshoe Bay needs the reflectors to be replaced immediately and to be installed in other hot spots. We also need some local residents and taxis to stop treating Gifford Street like a speedway.
We need the speed limit to be reduced to the recommended 50 kph for suburban areas. Swensen Street is really only a track with bitumen. Why is it now graded as 60 kph? Why is Gifford Street 60 kph? There is no good reason.
On the rare occasions that buses come down Gifford Street, they lumber along. It's only the taxis and some residents who drive even at 50 kph.
We need signs all over the island, which say "Slow Down and Save our Wildlife".
In Gifford Street we need the speed track nature of the long stretch to be reduced - speed bumps, police patrols.
(New Townsville City Councillor, Vern Veitch, has recently provided Magnetic Times with roadkill information as supplied by NTCC's Waste Services. The figures show that from July 07 to April 08, 253 small and medium sized animals were copllected from the Island's roads. The figures did not however appear to include birds such as curlews. Ed)
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