Traffic fix


Traffic fix

WITH car parking at a premium as Christmas shoppers flock into Leongatha, a plan for a traffic overhaul of the CBD to improve public safety and the town’s economy and vibrancy is being put forward.

The plan is being devised by a visiting environmental consultant surprised by the dangers motorists and pedestrians now face in town.

The consultant, James Hickey, has what he says are solutions for Leongatha’s traffic woes after working in town for several months.

He called for heavy vehicles to be removed from McCartin and Bair streets, reverse parking to be created in McCartin Street, and the confusing intersection near the courthouse addressed by directing the heavy vehicle alternate route down Turner and Hughes streets – an idea already supported by many locals.

In the long term, McCartin Street could be a cul de sac ending at Bair Street or a 25km/h speed limit imposed, Mr Hickey said.

“A vast improvement will be felt once the vibrations from B-Doubles no longer tumble lattes off coffee tables,” he said.

Mr Hickey said reverse 60 degree parking would reduce the incidences of cars reversing out of parking bays and into other vehicles, with such parking used in other regional towns.

Ironically, soon after Mr Hickey shared this idea with The Star, a driver reversed into a car behind.

South Gippsland Shire Council’s manager infrastructure delivery John Moylan said, “The standard practice for angle parking in the state of Victoria is based on reversing out of parking spots. To change this practice in one town or municipality would create confusion.”

Mr Hickey also called for zebra crossings in McCartin Street between Bair and Peart streets to increase safety and entice more shoppers.

“The greatest risk is at the corners of Peart and McCartin streets, where drivers tear around onto McCartin Street and give pedestrians crossing the road at these points very little time to reach the relative safety of the small median strip,” he said.

Mr Hickey said McCartin and Bair streets are the heart of Leongatha and tankers, cattle trucks and tractors should be barred from them.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation and it also degrades the amenity and customer experience,” he said, suggesting

alternate routes north and south of Leongatha.

The north route would redirect heavy vehicles along Turner Street and then to Hughes or Roughead streets, depending on where traffic needed to go.

The south route would be along an extension of Parr Street from South Gippsland Highway to Bass Highway.

Mr Moylan said heavy vehicles cannot be removed from Bair Street as truck access is required for deliveries to businesses.

Mr Hickey said congestion needed to be alleviated at the confusing intersection of Roughead, Anderson and McCartin streets near the courthouse, where drivers dash in front of passing traffic and motorists unfamiliar with the intersection are confused about who has right of way.

The intersection has been the scene of crashes and many near misses.

A sign in Roughead Street urges motorists approaching the intersection to indicate but Mr Hickey said that highlights the absurdity of the design.

“A sign that tells people to indicate is potentially cause for confusion,” he said.

“Does that mean people should be indicating right whereas no one actually has to indicate at that intersection, which adds more confusion.”

Acting Regional Roads Victoria Eastern Region director Pas Monacella welcomed the feedback and only said the second stage of the alternate route was scheduled for planning in the future. This would direct the heavy vehicle route down Hughes Street.

Mr Hickey believes pedestrians’ safety is being put at risk by them having to cross wide Bair Street, particularly at the McCartin Street roundabout.

“Traffic coming up from Roughead Street goes through that intersection quickly.  It should be 40km/h max. If we push the kerb out further, people will slow down,” he said.

Mr Moylan said the lease currently being negotiated with VicTrack by council allows for the return of rail services in the future if the State Government made that decision.

Here’s an idea: environmental consultant James Hickey in Leongatha’s McCartin Street, where he believes reverse 60 degree parking would improve safety for motorists and pedestrians.

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Posted by on Dec 18 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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