Residents want roundabouts to stay
IT SEEMS Lismore is passionate about its roundabouts and most residents don't want to see two that are under review to be replaced by traffic lights.
A story last week in The Northern Star about an RTA safety audit of roundabouts on Ballina Rd in Lismore, at the Molesworth and Dawson Sts intersections, drew a large public response with more than two-to-one advocating support for them to remain.
Cyclist, pedestrian and Lismore councillor Simon Clough said it was still early days in the process and the RTA would ultimately decide after consultation with Lismore City Council.
"It's their study, their road and their money," he said.
Cr Clough believed the current state of play on the busy Ballina Rd "effectively cuts East Lismore pedestrians and cyclists off from the CBD and most essential services".
"Crossing that road by bike or on foot is a nightmare," he said.
"Those residents have an absolute democratic right to walk to town safely without having to get in a car."
While online feedback heavily supported retaining the round- abouts, the most salient comments focused on the lack of view caused by foliage and other installations on the roundabouts; the lack of driver awareness of how to negotiate them correctly; and the fact the Ballina Rd roundabouts were simply too tight for two-lane roundabouts.
Greg Byrne, owner of North Coast Heavy Vehicle Training, agreed with the final point, saying truckies had to "lane-share" and tyre-blowouts from hitting the kerbs cost trucking companies about $600 a pop.
He said visibility was also a concern for truckies.
"We have the same problem as cars, particularly at the corner of Union St and Ballina Rd in Lismore - it's just difficult to see, compared to the roundabouts down (on the coast) which are rather good; they're wide and they're open."
He added if traffic lights were to be installed they should be synchronised to assist traffic-flow.
Traffic flow was also a key concern of driving instructor Charles Lowe.
The owner/operator of Professional Driving Consultancy is a vocal advocate of well-managed, properly-used roundabouts and said a sense of flow could be enhanced if drivers were encouraged to leave roundabouts legally.
"Too many drivers do not indicate their way off the round- about," he said.
"Traffic lights also interrupt the traffic flow and in forcing cars to remain stationary for measurable periods they contribute to pollution while we don't have hybrid cars."
Meanwhile back online, the usually provocative Paul Recher seemed to have the most sensible suggestion after warning against putting anything to do with round- abouts in Lismore out to public consultation.
"If the experts say that one or two sets of traffic lights are needed then the community should just accept it and not think up fanciful excuses," he opined.
"There will still be 40 or so roundabouts left for those who worship them."
Should the roundabouts be replaced with traffic lights, bridges or...? Leave a comment below.