Back roads are becoming perilous as drivers race along them in Wollongong's north, trying to dodge the traffic standstill on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, residents say.
A group of Coledale, Austinmer and Wombarra residents told the Mercury action is needed before the spike in speeding drivers has a tragic result.
They've already had one notable tragedy - a Superb lyrebird well-known to the community was mowed down by a hit-and-run four-wheel-drive last week.
It's prompted residents, led by Coledale mum Kylie Madden, to call for changes before more fatalities occur.
"The problem is that the roads in the back of the Illawarra were designed as country roads," she said.
"They're narrow winding roads that go over crests, there's no footpaths. But with the traffic on Lawrence Hargrave Dr, they're being used by such a high volume of traffic.
"I was standing here with the Woolworths delivery driver and had these couple of young blokes come here and do this full skid, the full burnout in front of us, all the while filming [our] reactions, presumably to put it on TikTok - that's the kind of thing we're getting up here at the moment.
"It's just people avoiding Lawrence Hargrave Dr."
She said the coronavirus lockdown had seen a major increase in the number of people walking, jogging and riding along the back streets, which increased the risk if speeding drivers come in droves."
Knut Mendin, 45, was taking his children to school when they saw a lyrebird - well known among the community - get killed by a four-wheel-drive.
'The driver just drove over it [and] didn't stop," he said.
"This was very distressing. The car lost some parts of the car, there was some screeching and all that, and the car just drove off."
Wollongong City Council, which is responsible for that road, said it was "saddened" by the death of the lyrebird, but did not give an indication it would bring in any kind of traffic calming measures - instead reminding driver there are road rules.
"We encourage drivers to remember these are local roads and drivers need to drive to the conditions of these roads," a council spokeswoman said.
"These are in place to protect all road users, including local wildlife. Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere - including on local residential roads, and drivers need to be mindful of this at all times.
"The closure of Lawrence Hargrave Dr at Stanwell Park by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) [for] essential slope stabilisation works was always going to have an impact on the northern suburbs community. TfNSW have put in place traffic management at Bulli Pass to support the changed road conditions for local drivers.
"We will also request that NSW Police increase patrols on Buttenshaw Dr and Morrison Ave where their resources permit.''
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