By Danielle Kutchel
When a truck took out a power pole next to her house last week, the sound was so loud that Paraskevi Petridis thought a bomb had gone off.
The accident left the street without power for some time, in an incident that she and her neighbour Angela Kallianis said the truck driver denied.
But it’s not the first time something like this has happened.
Trucks routinely struggle to make the tight turn from Police Road onto Browns Road, forcing them into the path of oncoming traffic or up on to the gutter – or both.
When they do mount the curb, trucks often hit the power pole on the corner.
A metal plate on the pole bears evidence of past hits, while the ditch on the corner caused by truck wheels is getting deeper by the hour.
Three times, Mrs Petridis has had to fix her fence after trucks ploughed through it.
She once had a narrow escape as one came through her garage after she had just left that exact spot.
“They have to do something. This is very dangerous,” Mrs Petridis told the Journal.
Mrs Kallianis said trucks also speed down the road, potentially putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.
She added that truck drivers also use the road during their curfewed hours.
She and her neighbours have been begging Greater Dandenong Council to erect barriers to protect pedestrians, or for the power pole to be removed so trucks can no longer hit it.
They’ve found an ally in Councillor Zaynoun Melhem, who said the corner had been a problem for many years.
“They’ve been hitting a lot of branches and power lines. We’re trying to get council and VicRoads to look at better ways to manage the road,” he said.
He believes barriers could be useful on the corner to protect pedestrians and houses.
“I really see a major issue potentially happening there because of the turning circle being so narrow,” he said.
“Trucks drive over the footpath on a daily basis, I’m nervous a child will get hit.
“Either some bollards might help, or making truck entry to Browns Road strictly from Princes Highway – that’s probably the only real solution.”