Pittwater Life April 2018 Issue

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Safety First: Reducing risk on Mona Vale Rd. We Will Remember: ANZAC Day. Tina Harrod: Island Life. 40 Years' Courtship: Careel Bay Tennis Club

Bridge pic: Marita Macrae

AT LONG LAST: Pittwater Natural

Heritage Association’s Jacqui

Marlow, Marita Macrae and David

Palmer celebrate their win (far

left) which will see fauna bridges

and underpasses built as part of

the Mona Vale Road upgrade. The

vegetated crossing will be similar

to this one in Brisbane (above)

and the underpass will feature

‘fauna furniture’ (top right).

she said. “It soon became

apparent that a consequence

of ongoing native fauna deaths

on roads would be a decline in

local populations, leading to

eventual local extinction.”

The Committee set about

lobbying RMS for action to

reduce roadkill – indeed, over a

period of six years the number

of roadkills on Mona Vale Rd

recorded by NBRPC became so

concerning that RMS commissioned

its own report into options

for reducing roadkill on

the Northern Beaches, including

Mona Vale Rd.

“Its recommendations

included construction of exclusion

fencing and fauna crossing

structures,” Ms Marlow noted.

“So as soon as the Mona Vale

Rd upgrade announcement was

made in 2011, PNHA started

campaigning for fauna crossings.”

Mr Palmer said fauna crossings

were a good example of the

science of road ecology, which

was relatively new but growing

in importance and recognition.

“The effects of roads on the

landscape and its fauna are

well documented and research

is proving that a range of

structures can be designed into

roads to mitigate the damage

they cause to fauna populations,”

Mr Palmer said.

“Research has shown that

when properly designed, underpasses

will be used by a range

of animals including frogs,

mammals such as wallabies,

possums and echidnas, reptiles

such as lizards and snakes and

many species of invertebrates.”

He added the effectiveness of

underpasses could be improved

by the addition of “fauna

furniture” such as structures to

encourage climbing and use.

“However, the optimal

type of fauna crossing is the

vegetated overpass, which will

be used by all the animals

listed previously as well as bats,

arboreal mammals, small birds

and ground dwelling birds – in

other words, almost all native

animal species,” he said.

One of the first major

vegetated fauna overpasses in

Australia was built on Compton

Road in the southern suburbs

of Brisbane in 2005; research

since then had clearly demonstrated

its effectiveness.

However, a major concern

for the PNHA campaigners was

that while early in the planning

process RMS included a major

fauna overpass in the design of

Mona Vale Road West, there was

inadequate provision for fauna

crossings on Mona Vale Road

East, so this became a major

focus for the PNHA team.

Ms Marlow said: “We have

found the current project manager

for the Mona Vale Road upgrade

to be very sympathetic to

our cause – as soon as he came

on board he visited the site with

us, listened to our arguments

and immediately took positive

action.”

Local MP Rob Stokes had also

been very helpful in arranging

meetings and making representations

on behalf of the

association.

Mr Stokes announced tenders

to construct the Mona Vale

Road East project would remain

open until April 30.

“An enormous amount of

preliminary work has been

completed over recent years

to reach this point,” Mr Stokes

said. “All local motorists understand

the challenges associated

with the eastern section of

Mona Vale Rd – especially the

inability to overtake slow moving

heavy vehicles uphill.

“The project will include

building additional lanes for

climbing and descending to

improve travel times, as well

as wider shoulders, median

separation and a heavy vehicle

arrester bed to enhance safety.”

He added a three-metre-wide

shared path would be built between

Lane Cove Road East and

Foley Street to improve safety

for pedestrians and cyclists.

– Nigel Wall

News

The Local Voice Since 1991

APRIL 2018 17

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