Angst on Lake St

Daryl Dobson a member of the community group BOAT (Bureau of Accessible Tourism) at Lake Street.
Daryl Dobson a member of the community group BOAT (Bureau of Accessible Tourism) at Lake Street.

There is growing concern among some of Merimbula’s Long Point residents about the three proposals to put a path from Rotary Park to the wharf. Of particular concern are the two options (A and C) that will introduce one-way systems into the area.

While many people agree that a path is very desirable and would be good for tourists and locals, the idea of funnelling traffic along Cliff, Hill, Wyeebo and/or Wharf Streets as part of a one-way system, is causing some angst.

Community group BOAT (Bureau of Accessible Tourism) has been given $2m from the state government for the project after lobbying for funds. According to council’s feasibility studies, the only option that can be funded is option A with its one-way system along Lake Street.

The money must be used and the project finished by the end of financial year 2018/19. Council asked for community feedback which closes on Sunday, May 20, and everyone is being urged to have their say.

Michael Britt is concerned that option A would leave Long Point residents with only a single bush fire escape road, Wyeebo then Cliff Street. 

“As a fire from the north-west, like the one at Tathra, would likely cross around the Cliff Street roundabout, Long Point residents would be trapped. The 150-page Feasibility Report is totally silent on bush fire risk,” Mr Britt said. “It is also silent on the huge increase in traffic which the plan would funnel into Wyeebo Street – a narrow residential access street.”

Jill and Dennis Burridge also believe safe exit strategies would be compromised in the event of a fire and have questioned the traffic increase along Wyeebo Street especially as there is no path on the street for those walking.

Ms Burridge said the traffic figures as presented in the feasibility study were concerning.

The report by O’Brien Traffic states that under option A existing traffic along Wyeebo, Cliff and Hill Streets will increase by up to 374 vehicles a day. However, the figure is based on volumes in July 2017 when the town might be considered to be at its quietest.

The matter is expected to be discussed by council quite soon given the financial imperative. In the meantime there has been talk of alternative routes and construction materials or even giving the money back to the government.