SAFETY IS THE ISSUE: Ballina residents (from left) Peter Pickup, David Thompson, Ren Stanley, Jim Meldrum and Lorraine Meldrum
SAFETY IS THE ISSUE: Ballina residents (from left) Peter Pickup, David Thompson, Ren Stanley, Jim Meldrum and Lorraine Meldrum

Median strip plans divide neighbourhood

By GRAHAM BROADHEAD

A BALLINA Shire Council proposal to divide a street with a median strip has also divided a neighbourhood.

Council has proposed to build a median strip, funded by a $50,000 Federal Blackspot grant, on Bentinck Street, at the intersection of Grant Street, which will prevent right turns from Grant Street.

One group of residents has already been very vocal in their call to have a roundabout built at the intersection instead of the median strip, while another group supports the council staff recommendation for the central median strip.

Peter Pickup, who lives on a corner of the intersection, said those residents wanting a roundabout don't have any real argument against the median strip, except that it will be an 'inconvenience'.

He also claimed many of the residents calling for a roundabout didn't live close to the intersection.

"The main issue is safety," he said. "The only way you're going to stop the accidents occurring is to stop the traffic from coming there. If you build a roundabout, you won't stop the traffic."

Council staff estimate a roundabout would cost between $256,000 and $450,000, depending on the choice of design. Another resident supporting the median strip, Jim Meldrum, argued that Grant Street, which has been promoted as a major route from the CBD to the shopping centres, wasn't designed to take the same load of traffic as Moon or Kerr streets.

The issue goes before Ballina Shire Council tomorrow. Staff report that a resubmission of the grant to allow the money to go towards the building of a roundabout now would delay any work for at least two years.



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