Median strip divides opinions
By Mary Mann
IT DOES not matter how%many bandaids you use – they won’t fix a broken leg.
Ballina resident Jim Cross says the same could be said about the intersection of Grant and Bentinck streets near his home.
The site has been the subject of heated debate since mid-2007 after Ballina Shire Council installed a central%median strip at the site to stop T-bone accidents.
Many residents were annoyed at the decision, pushing for a roundabout instead, but the council had not budgeted for it.
Residents such as Mr Cross said the median strip would only make the problem worse, forcing many drivers to turn on to the busy Pacific Highway at the end of Bentinck Street, turn into the narrow Marsh Avenue, or do an illegal U-turn at the intersection which ripped up grass out the front of the residents’ homes.
Now the council is sealing the road shoulder to ‘reduce disturbance from loose stone and the effects of wet weather’ when drivers perform U-turns at the site.
It is also extending the centre double line marking, which is supposed to stop drivers from doing U-turns.
“It’s just another bandaid,” Mr Cross said.
“You can’t fix a silly decision by just continuing to add to it.
“They should have just done it properly in the first place and put a roundabout in.”
Resident Ken Hope said extending the double lines was pointless.
“Ninety per cent of the hundreds of ‘right-turners’ from Bentinck Street into Marsh Avenue ignore the double lines anyway, so why would those same people change their habits in Bentinck Street?” he said.
Ballina Shire Council’s civil services group manager John Truman said the work was%being done to try and make it safer for residents.
“We are trying to reinforce that U-turns at the site are illegal,” he said.
The council has decided to review funding for a round-%about in this year’s budget process.
“The council has asked me to prepare a report on road upgrade priorities for the shire, and in doing that we will see where the intersection sits,” Mr Truman said.