Run-O-Waters will have a second access and an emergency exit thanks to concerted lobbying by residents and council studies.
But the full re-opening of Carr Street in west Goulburn appears to be off the table, with one resident describing it as dangerous and expensive.
Fires, traffic accidents, gas leaks over the past few years have highlighted the need for a second access to the busy Run-O-Waters estate.
Carr Street resident Sharon Howe has been banging the table since the issue flared. She scored a breakthrough at the most recent council meeting. Councillors decided after lengthy debate to extend the western end of Mary Street from Carr Street and link it in with Pockley drive at Run-O-Waters. The work will be included in the council’s 2017-21 capital works program.
They overturned a staff recommendation to re-open Carr Street, instead deciding to firstly seek a police report on the option. Councillors “accepted in principle” that it should be gated sometime in the next four years and only be used for emergency access. The decision followed Ms Howe’s address during open forum.
She told councillors she couldn’t believe the street’s re-opening was even being considered when a consultant’s report, costing $28,000, had rejected the option.
“I don’t know how many times I have to explain what a poor decision that would be. Carr Street is dangerous...I can guarantee you that if it’s reopened, there will be a fatality and the council will be responsible for it,” she said.
The consultants estimated a $2.28 million remediation cost, which Ms Howe said was prohibitive. Moreover, they forecast an extra 1000 vehicles per day, including trucks, which would place additional pressure on feeder roads such as Mary and Addison Streets.
Ms Howe highlighted the fact Carr Street was closed many years ago due to a bus accident. Senior Constable Phil Downes had also “clearly stated” at a meeting about Run-O-Waters’ access that police did not want it re-opened.
Ms Howe suggested Carr Street be gated for emergencies instead.
Other submitters on the Run-O-Waters traffic study also stated Carr Street was too close to Hume Street to be of any real benefit.
Some said the study was “fundamentally flawed” because it relied on “incomplete data.”
“The traffic study by its own admission doesn’t factor in the new lots in Bonnet Park,” a submission stated.
“At up to 30 new dwellings, at 7.4 traffic movements per dwelling (as per the formula used in the plan), this is a significant addition to figures. The survey was conducted in March and did not appear to include traffic generated by the new Caltex service station next to Bunnings and Red Rooster.”
Several referred to a June, 2016 accident in which a truck jack-knifed and blocked Ducks Lane, the only Run-O-Waters access.
The study concluded that at full development, Ducks Lane/Hume Street and Mary Street/Hume Street intersections “would not operate at an “acceptable level of service.”
It proposed traffic lights at the Ducks Lane/Hume Street intersection and a roundabout at Mary/Hume Streets as solutions. But an alternative access via Pockley Drive and Shannon Drive was preferred.
Operations director Matthew O’Rourke said the former two proposals would need to be progressed with the Roads and Maritime Service.
“Establishing a link between Lockyer Street (near the Big Merino) and Tait Crescent (at the back of Geissler Motors) is also considered an important measure to alleviate traffic congestion in the Lockyer and Sowerby Strreet area,” he stated in his report.
A total $2.1 million has been allocated for the alternative Run-O-Waters access and Lockyer Street extension from 2018-2021.
But for now, the council is taking a holistic view to solving the access headaches. Mr O’Rourke said he was not wedded to any one option, but open to suggestions.
At the meeting, councillors endorsed the development of a traffic management plan for Run-O-Waters including estimates, funding sources and work priorities. It will contain traffic volume data.
In the meantime, staff will investigate a temporary emergency access from Pockley Drive to Gurrundah Road, via Foord Road.
General manager Warwick Bennett said he also hoped to secure RMS approval for emergency access off the Hume Highway through Greendale Court, subject to an SES management plan.
After the meeting, Ms Howe said she was pleased with the outcome.
“I always said emergency access through Carr Street could be controlled. This also ensures it is not open to 1000 cars a day, which it is not equipped to take,” she said.
“I really believe an RMS access off the Hume Highway is a must. If there’s another truck jack-knife, we will have exactly the same situation (where residents are trapped) again. But this is a great start.”