Dee Why Children's Centre Relocation

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Dee Why Children's Centre must move from its current Fisher Road location as Dee Why Public School expands and takes back the leased space.  Northern Beaches Council proposes to build a new multilevel facility for the Children's Centre in adjoining small Arthur Reserve. 

We urge Council to not build the Children’s Centre on Arthur Reserve but to consider alternative better suited local sites.  Reasons for this are detailed below.  We urge local residents to support and sign the petition to provide a better site for the centre.  

1. Loss of green space

Arthur Reserve is an open green space, used by residents and children using adjacent Scout Hall.  Currently the school open space and playground (between Fisher & Arthur streets) is available for residents to use, however once the school moves to the space this will no longer be available.  

We propose that Council upgrade the current Arthur Reserve area with play equipment instead of a building.

2.  Lack of space & expansion

We understand there is already a waiting list for the current children’s centre.   The proposed facility does not offer increased numbers, but just replaces the current 70 places.    The council needs to increase child care availability, and therefore find an alternative space where additional spaces and growth is possible.   

3. Current Safety Issues:  Parking

The top of Arthur Street is already busy with local Dee Why workers parking there, as well as parents dropping off children to Dee Why Public School, as parking near the school is limited.   Parking and/or standing is very limited at those times in Fisher Road and therefore the natural alternative is to park in Arthur Street and walk thru the park “Arthur Reserve” currently via an existing concrete path.

Turning from Arthur St to MacIntosh is dangerous already today with current traffic – therefore we propose restricting parking on one side of Arthur and MacIntosh Streets.

The proposed child care centre would add to this increased volume with the 70+ customers and staff at peak times. Expansion of Dee Why Public school will also produce additional traffic flow and volume at peak times, eg. school pick up and drop off.

4.  Current Safety Issues:  Traffic Flow

Traffic flow in the mornings and afternoons is already increased as people use Arthur Street as bypass to avoid Fisher Road.   Arthur Street has a “dog-leg” bend adjacent to the proposed Child Care Centre works, making it a blind bend in the road that obscures vision from oncoming traffic (especially with large vehicles / trucks / caravans usually parked there).

At the peak times traffic flow at the round-about intersection of Fisher Road and Macintosh Road is already chaotic, with traffic regularly banked back up on Macintosh Rd.  Entering or exiting Arthur Street at those times is hazardous to say the least. This congestion is exacerbated by the parked cars and vans on both sides of Arthur Street and on both sides of Macintosh Road.  There is only sufficient road space in Arthur street for one car at a time and only in one direction, entering or leaving either street, adding to the frustration and backing up of vehicles.

Macintosh is a traffic problem in terms of flow at peak times at the roundabout, which will be increased with the proposal.   Macintosh Rd is the subject of many near collisions due to the narrow width of road and the Govt bus route.   There are constant incidents of car mirrors being side swiped by passing traffic.

5.  Current Safety Issues:  Pedestrian traffic

Arthur Street is a suburban tree lined street consisting of single dwellings, however, there is no existing defined pedestrian path on either side of the street.  This encourages pedestrians to walk along the road as it is a sealed surface.

Proposed building will increase both flow and volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, to and from the extended Public school and proposed child care centre.   Given the pressure of parents to drop off and pick up kids to and from the centre in a busy work schedule environment it would only lead to increased volume of traffic and increased potential for increased accidents.

Added to this concern, and the blind bend in the road, opposite the proposed site for the child care centre the potential for serious accidents is increased exponentially.

Alternative sites proposed for the Children's Centre:

Alternative sites include land adjacent to the Cromer Community Centre, Fisher Rd North and Narraweena Community Centre, The Circle Narraweena. Both these sites meet Council’s stated criteria for walking distance to and from public transport as well as low utilisation of open space. They have the added advantage of having existing off-street parking obviating the need to build a car park, as proposed, for staff and parents to drop off and pick up their children.