Completion of the bypass in Merimbula’s town centre has evoked a fair amount of comment already. However, one aspect has slipped through the cracks, and that involves the almost total loss of parking slots for disabled drivers at times when essential shops, banks, chemists, travel agencies and cafes are open for business.
What were four short term parking slots opposite the newsagents, and one each in front of the Westpac and Commonwealth banks are now no parking zones, and the disabled slots in the recently refurbished north-western car park adjacent to the toilet block have been moved further away and are now next to the main bypass road. Meanwhile the few slots left in Beach and Alice streets are now filled long before the shops and services are actually open.
To receive a disabled sticker is not easy these days anyway, and a proviso is that the recipient is unable to walk 50-100 yards easily even with walking aids. I was a naval helicopter pilot and was badly clobbered around the Gulf War time, and have severe mobility issues, so know how difficult this can be.
A simple solution is to make the two slots in front of Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank short term parking again, but this time for disabled parking only, and bearing in mind the elderly and disabled are slow in everything they do, for 15 rather than five minutes.
I’ve never been to a bank or chemist yet when I was in and out again in five minutes.
Tony Criddle, Merimbula
Intersection from hell
Just what kind of exotic substance were the councillors, their functionaries and designers on when they came up with the plan for the new main street intersection and the bypass from hell?
In one fell swoop, costing the ratepayers circa $10million, they have created a dangerous and confusing hazard for pedestrians and drivers alike, totally ruined the countrified ambiance of the main street, removed the promised green space, caused traffic to bank up to a level of gridlock not seen before (good luck emergency vehicles) and produced a swathe of black, summer heated tarmac the likes of which could serve as Beelzebub's lair.
Still, hats off to the quality and speed of construction. At least someone knew what they were doing.
Scott Buckingham, Tura Beach
I would like to call on all rural landholders, farmers, developers, speculators and sea and tree-changers to attend a meeting at the Merimbula RSL on October 19 at 6pm to address the draconian E zonings the Bega Valley Shire Council has unscrupulously brought upon unsuspecting ratepayers.
I would also like to encourage Bega Shire councillors to attend this meeting so they can listen to the concerns of ratepayers who are and will be so badly affected by these zoning changes.
This is an opportunity for everyone to voice their concerns, not only about the E zone encumbrances being forced upon us but the way in which our Bega Valley Council has stealthily imposed these regressive rulings. These unfair rulings will impede if not destroy any chance of rural growth and need to be halted immediately.
Clyde Thomas, Kiah
Ode to the missing
Walking past the NAB today, something wasn't right; OMG the majestic gum, forever gone from sight
The stump, a stark reminder, to show it once stood there; Now passer-bys slow down, to shake their heads and stare
What is this thing with council, to spoil what is good; Risk management aversion, message misunderstood
Makes more sense to move a car, than kill a living tree; Typical reaction, ensure 'litigation' free.
Dona Eaton, Eden
The design of the new intersection in Merimbula has raised some significant questions. It appears that the sizing of the on road signage may have been understated to the point of being ineffective. Anyone approaching the intersection cannot clearly see the turning indicators painted on the lanes until they are upon them at which point it will be too late to change lanes. Even worse would be that late lane changes are attempted by frustrated motorists which will certainly put other drivers, bike riders and pedestrians at significant risk of collision and injury.
As stated by the project engineer, priority has been given to traffic on the bypass road. This is odd given that the same engineer advised us that that source of traffic only accounted for 30% of the overall traffic flow. We now have cars being blocked at the lights and at the corner of Market & Beach Street. This will only be worsened during the peak Christmas holiday season. This will be compounded by the use of the loading zone less than 100 meters from the intersection between the mentioned streets.
The question that needs to be answered is : what plans do Bega Shire Council have to address and improve the problems outlined above?
Trish Culo, Merimbula
I am compelled to reply to Anne Wrights Letter of October 4 regarding the Monaro/Market Streets intersection, and I couldn’t agree with her more.
The issue of this intersection was brought up many years ago with our Bega Valley Shire Councillor’s at the time voting for a bypass route through Merimbula to Tura Beach to promote the 12,000 people to shop at the Tura Beach new Woolworths complex. At the time I recall the cost for this was between 3.5 million and 5 million dollars. Yes, ratepayers money. I, like many other locals contested this ridiculous amount of expense and asked for a roundabout, but as usual it was knocked back. Just like the Sapphire Coast Drive/Reid Street roundabout, I was told at the traffic committee meeting to go home as it was a ridiculous idea....history has now proven a point.
The Monaro/Market Street intersection reminds me of the Camberwell Junction, in Melbourne it might as well be, due to the enormity of it. Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on this intersection with lights should very well have right turning lights...why skimp on the lights to accommodate this extremely overly large intersection.
The Bega Valley Shire councillors in years gone by have refrained to keep Merimbula’s traffic conditions running smoothly, when all it would take is roundabouts at all our congested intersections, namely Sapphire coast Drive/Main street, Main St/Market St.,(top fun Corner), Merimbula Drive/Market St., (Nat.Bank Cnr.), Beach St./Market St., and also the now dangerous Monaro/Market Streets debacle. I do not think for one moment that the planners or construction personnel ever took a physical run for this intersection nor the councillors who voted this in for construction.
I would like to stress to the current Bega Valley councillors to stop spending un-necessary exuberant ratepayers monies on botched intersections for Merimbula, when the plain less expensive roundabouts would suffice and probably a third of the cost. (one councillor quoted $24,000 five years ago for a roundabout, even if that figure has trebled it’s still cheaper than the fiasco created at Monaro/Market street intersection. The locals, the businesses, the ratepayers and tourists have had enough with what the BVSC has done to Merimbula and its future.
Anyone interested in promoting a petition for future traffic conditions please phone me on 0408998733.