Pedestrians walking by the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney, Australia, have been warned of the risk of needles being dropped by drug addicts who frequent a suburb directly above.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, as a warning to people on foot, syringe signs have been installed along the southbound ramp connecting the tunnel and the Eastern Distributor.
AdvertisementThe signs were erected because an area in Darlinghurst directly above the partially-roofed link had become "a hot spot for injecting", a tunnel spokesman said.
The laneway, between Palmer and Bourke streets, has attracted users since it was created as a result of the tunnel's construction in 2005.
At night, drug users congregate along the dimly lit path to inject drugs including heroin and ice.
They toss the used syringes over a high chain-link security fence or push them through gaps in the barrier, causing them to fall onto the road directly below, posing a potential threat to tunnel workers, motorists with convertible cars or open sunroofs and drivers who have broken down and left their vehicles.
According to the tunnel spokesman, "To the knowledge of the current management, which has been in place since the change of ownership in September 2007, there has never been an incident of needle-stick injury."
"Nonetheless, the signage remains in place in the interests of worker safety and in the rare event that a motorist got out of their car and walked around in the ramp area," he added.
Opposition roads spokesman Andrew Stoner said that the priority should be to close the pathway, which would ensure addicts had no opportunity to dispose of needles in a manner which posed such a danger to tunnel users.
"It shouldn't be a huge task. It is, however, essential given the real risk of a needle-stick injury, or worse," he said.
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