Saturday, April 13, 2024

No turning back for Adelaide road stoush

Controversial road works have begun in Adelaide’s CBD, with City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters Council claiming the works – which were strongly opposed by both Council and 400 local traders – will have “damaging and irreversible” consequences.

The works are taking place at the busy intersection of The Parade and George Street in Norwood, and will see new right-hand turn lanes installed to allow vehicle movement into George Street from The Parade, along with a scramble pedestrian crossing.

Council says a letter sent to traders and business owners gave just 24 hours notice of the road works commencing.

The letter from Parkade Property Ltd, dated September 2, states that the works – to begin September 3 – are designed to improve motorist, cyclist and pedestrian safety, and deliver safer and easier access for local businesses, residents and the wider community.

“The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters – which received a copy of the letter yesterday – is strongly opposed to the roadworks on Adelaide’s premier main street,” Council said in a statement today.

The roadworks have been approved by SA’s Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) after it was lobbied by the two private property owners who wanted dedicated right-land lanes installed, in addition to a ‘scramble crossing’, it said.

Council’s General Manger of Governance and Community Affairs, Lisa Mara, said residents, visitors and traders will face traffic delays, road works and other disturbances to accommodate the road works “which will not improve the issues at this intersection”.

“The letter states that there will be night works for three weeks. This is a significant impact for the local businesses which rely on dinner patrons, movie-goers and other visitors – particularly as we enter Spring and the weather gets warmer,” Ms Mara said.

“The letter has come after a trader repeatedly raised concerns with DIT about the absence of a works schedule or traffic management plan.”

A previous letter from the private developers stated work would begin on 16 August. This letter also contained an incorrect email address – frustrating traders, residents and visitors who are seeking to find out more information, she said.

“The property owners have now willingly provided an image which depicts the devastating impact their work will have on the character and amenity of The Parade. In particular, the median island, on which the community’s much-loved Christmas trees and four flag poles are placed, will be removed and a significant tree is at risk of dying.”

She said he concept of a ‘scramble crossing’ is to allow all pedestrian movements to occur at one time, followed by vehicular movements.

“In order to create a “scramble crossing” there is no need for major roadworks. It is simply a change of the traffic light sequence.”

“It’s important to understand that in the interests of pedestrian safety, the Council has always wanted the scramble crossing. The Council is opposed to the dedicated right hand turn lanes and the damaging infrastructure work involved in their formation,” Ms Mara said.

“The question yet to be answered is why the interests of two traders were given priority over the collective interests of 400 Parade traders and property owners and the wider Norwood community?”

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