The recent Peninsula News (edition 442) article concerning the long anticipated works at Melbourne Ave made welcome reading in the recent issue of Peninsula Community News.
However, as part of the school community that has, for many years now, been petitioning for the upgrade of the section of Melbourne Ave north of Hobart Ave, I felt compelled to clarify to your readers that traffic lights have never been on the community’s request list for the area in mention. Traffic lights (as a future vision) are, as the body of the article states, purely the recommendation of the Council’s commissioned (and much needed) independent study of “current and future traffic volumes”. Anyone familiar with the areas directly preceding the area subject to this study would quickly recognise the issues traffic lights at that point would cause.
Lights at the intersection of Melbourne and Hobart would create gridlock and an increase in unsafe behaviour at the next intersection of Perth Ave (later Rabaul) and Hobart (just before the latter becomes Mt Ettalong Rd). With no designated turning lane into Perth from the eastern approach on Hobart, the intersection of Hobart and Perth is already a significant problem, particularly during peak commuter hours and school zone operating times. At both times traffic queues well back along Perth Ave toward Adelaide and drivers take huge risks trying to “sneak through” the gridlock. Moreover, installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Melbourne Ave and Hobart Ave would firmly establish PerthRabaul Ave as the main “rat run” of Umina.
This long, straight road is already used by commuters, visitors and locals to avoid traffic calming measures (lights, roundabouts) on Ocean Beach Rd. Lights at Melbourne Ave would encourage a huge number of drivers to simply detour down Rabaul Ave instead, creating new issues on that road to be remedied later. It is my belief that any long-term vision for Melbourne Ave (such as traffic lights) must necessarily include a plan for Perth-Rabaul Ave, a road that is already long overdue for pedestrian safety measures, improved cycle lanes, and traffic calming due to its substantial growth in usage in recent years. This need not delay the delivery of the basic upgrade of Melbourne. The project can be delivered in stages with the area of highest need, directly outside the school, completed first.
Email, 11 Apr 2018 Melissa Chandler, Umina