Cleveland Street

It’s one of my worst nightmares: standing at the corner of Cleveland and Crown Streets (Surry Hills) and witnessing someone being knocked over and killed by a car. If you’ve ever stood at the lights at one of the four corners you’ll know it’s not a crazy fantasy.

In the last hour or so I’ve crossed the intersection twice (to and from the supermarket) and have seen people on both occasions walk out from the kerb into the middle of the oncoming traffic. It wouldn’t have taken much for either one of them to have been swiped, especially since Cleveland Street is reasonably busy on the weekend, and since they were probably a bit “out of it”.

Drug and alcohol abuse is most likely the main reason for this phenomenon. Sometimes they’re walking really slowly, weaving in and out. Other times they’re walking really quickly, with a determined look in their eyes. It’s a very weird and scary thing to witness.

According to some figures I saw a couple of years ago, about 9 or 10 accidents involving cars and pedestrians occur on Cleveland Street every year, though I don’t recall how many of those result in deaths. And yet oddly enough, since I’ve lived in the area for almost twenty years, I’ve never witnessed one. In fact the only accident I’ve witnessed involved myself, when I mis-stepped the kerb and fell to the ground with my shopping bags being sent asunder.

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