Roundabout sends Ballina residents in circles
By Patrizia Reimer
BALLINA residents have mixed feelings about Ballina Shire Council's recent decision to build a roundabout at the maligned Grant and Bentinck streets intersection. For Jim Cross, who has been pushing for a roundabout, the council decision was the best one for public safety.
"The council's decision to build a roundabout instead of a central median was quite straightforward and unambiguous," he said.
Resident Peter Pickup, meanwhile, was hoping the council would stick with its original plan for a median strip blocking through traffic across Bentinck Street.
He said statistics highlighted the dangers of the intersection and a median strip could be built sooner.
"There have been so many accidents. If someone gets hurt badly at that intersection they've got something to answer for," he said.
The council's general manager, Paul Hickey, said staff would consider design options and then decide on alternative grant funding or using capital works money for the roundabout, which will cost about $450,000.
Residents Jim Meldrum and Trish O'Connor agreed the roundabout was welcome and a median strip would hamper traffic flow.
But Mr Cross is worried about funding delays. "I don't think the council has a great deal of money to dispose of. The fact is they already had grant money from the RTA that they could use to do something now and solve the problem," he said.
Trish O'Connor said the roundabout was not the only way to reduce accidents and she and others were open to alternatives.