Time to press ahead on Carr Street reopening | Editorial February 9, 2018

Right or wrong, Goulburn Mulwaree Council has bitten the bullet on the reopening of Carr Street.

Whether it reaches fruition is another matter.

Mayor Bob Kirk is right about at least one thing – the community is tired of the stop-start approach to the West Goulburn thoroughfare and a secondary access to Run-O-Waters.

He told The Post that the council had been thrown off by “curve balls” on the issue, including the purported danger of reopening the street. Some of these have come from the community but the council has also been mixed over the years. 

Last March, councillors voted unanimously to defer any decision on Carr Street pending an inspection and police report. They also accepted in principle that Carr Street would become gated sometime in the next four years “to be used for emergency access only.”

It’s mysterious that almost 12 months on, there’s still no comprehensive police report. Indeed, the police only appeared to have become aware of this request in the past week. 

Carr Street was closed in the mid 1990s, considered hazardous due to width and “poor vertical alignment,” a 2015 report stated. It was re-examined in 2006, with a traffic committee considering sight distances were below standard and that a cul-de-sac was more appropriate. Nevertheless, the community was consulted; 100 of the 136 responses wanted the street re-opened. Then Mayor, Paul Stephenson, declared the council would “find the money somewhere” but the subject went off the boil.

While there are arguments for and against, we believe the street can be rendered safe. Nearby Slocombe Street was once just as hilly and narrow but has become a vital link. Run-O-Waters residents will need several options to access the city and there’s no reason Carr Street can’t be one. We must also consider that more homes are planned for this area.

Yes, it will take work and money but the council’s approach has some merit. The sticking point may come down to consent conditions included in the Grandview Estate subdivision. They do not call for a major upgrade of Carr Street, just a section of the estate’s frontage, with kerbing and guttering.

This and the Shannon Drive subdivision will require deep negotiations with developers in order to avoid higher community costs for this work. 

But overall, the council has come up with a worthy set of measures that should improve safety for Run-O-Waters residents and at South Goulburn.  

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