Trial turning ban removed

by Davyd Reid
Baw Baw Shire Council will remove the ban on right hand turns from Princes Way into School Rd in Drouin following the completion of the trial this week.
Council gave the undertaking during a community meeting at Drouin Primary School on Thursday night, with concerned parents and business owners packing out the school library to express their concerns around available parking and safety of children.
Council undertook to remove the ban until further deliberations around traffic movement in the vicinity of Drouin Primary School are undertaken during a Council meeting in May.
It will also temporarily lift the five-minute parking restriction on School Rd during peak pick up and drop off times.
The trial ban arose following council concern of traffic congestion in the area.
With 10 traffic movements possible at the Princes Way and School Rd intersection, traffic data had determined 38 per cent of traffic had been turning right into School Rd from Princes Way.
However the ban has created mayhem at the Princes Way-Albert Rd intersection, with a significant increase in vehicles attempting a U turn from Princes Way into the service street.
Chiropractor Doug Emmerson, whose business is on School Rd, said he was fearful a major accident would occur at the intersection should the right hand turn ban at School Rd continue.
"I'm concerned we're trying to correct something but creating something more dangerous," he said.
"There have been several near misses at Albert Rd.
"People get stuck on Princes Way and with buses and trucks coming down the hill, it's dangerous.
"If it's wet there could be a very bad accident."
Mr Emmerson said the trial ban had also taken a toll on businesses on School Rd.
"We lose one and a half hours (of business) each day," he said.
"At 3.30pm I have no customers, there's always a 40 minute gap.
"I was considering taking my lunch hour then, because there is no work, but from 8.30am it's a long time to wait."
Grant St resident Graham Tindle suggested changing the direction of traffic on School Rd.
"It's ludicrous to bring main flow of traffic into a service street," he said.
"This (change of direction) would bring your right hand turning traffic into Sinclair St."
The concept of a drop off and pick up zone at the front of the school to assist traffic flow was also discussed.
Families were also encouraged to consider other options such as walking or riding bikes to school, utilising the town bus or leaving children under the supervision of the teacher on duty and arriving for pick up later.
Mr Emmerson implored council to consult with business owners ahead of any further changes to traffic conditions in the area.
"There was something in the story on the front page of the Gazette about consultation," he said.
"We were not consulted (with), we were told what was going to happen."
Published in Warragul & Drouin gazette, March 24, 2015

    Posted in Drouin Primary School

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