Loaded Dog Hotel patrons are getting an eyeful as they sit outside watching the world go by.
Hardly a week goes by when there's not an accident at the "dangerous" intersection outside the Tarago pub, says its manager.
Tim Long says the number goes up a notch to about three a week in holiday season. Many are considered minor and not reported to police, making it hard to gather statistics and make a case. Others are more serious, like the day in July when two cars crashed at the intersection, one striking the Loaded Dog sculpture outside and the other just stopping short of the pub.
"There are 40 or so people out here who want a roundabout there because otherwise someone will die," Mr Long said.
"With all the additional trucks, (including) Veolia's, the logging vehicles (travelling to Goulburn's rail hub) and the amount of traffic up and down the coast, it will only get worse....The community perception is that something needs to be done."
Mr Long was responding to The Post's report on Tuesday about a traffic impact assessment for Tarago. A draft was commissioned by the council to assess the effect of Heron Resources' trucks on the town. The company is resurrecting the nearby Woodlawn Mine. The community was consulted at a June meeting as part of the process.
However, Mr Long said no one talked to him and he had a bird's eye view of what happened.
He told The Post that motorists, including truck drivers, were often not stopping at the give-way signs, despite the Roads and Maritime Service installing larger ones more recently.
"The logging trucks don't slow down on Braidwood Road either and are going through town at 100km/h," Mr Long said.
He said truck and car speeds were particularly concerning for the nearby school on Braidwood Road.
Mr Long said while random police checks in the 40km/h zone had slowed people down, on a weekend motorists were still travelling at 100km/h in the 60km/h speed limit.
In 2017 a female motorcyclist died near the intersection after a man driving a ute struck her rear wheel. He told police he was exceeding his restricted 90km/h P1 licence speed limit after he passed a '60km/h ahead' advisory sign on the town's south side. The man was convicted for negligent driving causing death.
Mr Long said recent roadworks on the Goulburn side of Tarago had reduced motorists' speeds.
"But the traffic from Braidwood to Goulburn is still travelling too quickly," he said.
Tour buses from the coast, bike and car clubs passing through of a weekend, workers from the Majors Creek and Captains Flat mines and Heron and Veolia employees were all adding to the congestion.
But he did not see a town bypass as a solution, as some had suggested. Mr Long feared vital business would be lost as a result.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council is preparing a report on a preferred bypass route and a roundabout at the Lumley/Braidwood Road intersection, among other aspects. It will be presented to councillors by year's end.
However, as previously reported, operations director Matt O'Rourke said a roundabout might be technically difficult, given its larger footprint.
The draft of a $40,000 traffic impact assessment, equally funded by the council and Heron Resources, recommends minor traffic improvements at the intersection to better cater for B-doubles. It states that a roundabout is not considered necessary.
Mr O'Rourke said Tarago's traffic issues were not solely Heron's reponsibility and were being considered by the council as part of the Village Plan.
Heron CEO and managing director Wayne Taylor stressed that the company had not commissioned the traffic impact assessment, though it was contributing financially. But this was also based on the understanding that it would include pre-2012 traffic data, before Heron started operating. Mr Taylor said this hadn't been collected yet.
He could not comment on what traffic improvements might be needed until this was included and the report finalised.
"We are trying to minimise our impact, knowing that a lot of other trucks pass through there, so part of this was to gather the baseline data," he said.
"At the end of the day it is more of a discussion between the council and community to ensure the facilities are fit for purpose. We have restrictions on where we can go but all the roads we are working on are rated for B-doubles."
The final traffic report, including the data, is due to be considered by Heron's community consultative committee at a meeting on September 25.
It is also likely to be raised at a council outreach meeting in the village on October 29.
Mr Long simply wants the correct information filtering through.
"There's a perception that it's not a high risk intersection but when you see cars being T-boned and trucks rolling over....We're terrified that one of these vehicles is going to land in the pub," he said.
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