Group rallies for change to major road upgrade plans
A COMMUNITY group is petitioning the council to make major changes to a road extension that has been 40-years in the making.
Safe Streets Hervey Bay started the petition to get the missing link between Urraween Rd and Boundary Rd extension redesigned.
The group wants the plans to accommodate walkers and cyclists, and safer crossings for surrounding schools.
Safe Streets Hervey Bay member Craig Barrett said the group understood the upgrade was needed to ease road congestion but hoped that council would look at more holistic options.
“We think the current four lanes are excessive and want to see that reduced to two lanes,” he said.
Mr Barrett told the Chronicle his mission was to see the entire community benefit, not just the motorists.
“A key element is finding a balance for motorists and everyone else to make our cities as liveable as they can be,” he said.
“We understand the council is doing what they think is best but we hope that we can make this space work for everyone.
“We have an opportunity to get ahead of this and do right.
“We just want the council to get the balance correct.”
In submissions made to the council, the group also requested more pedestrian crossings, a protected cycle lane, more green space and trees.
Currently a painted cycle-lane has been included in the plan but Mr Barrett said this not the safest option.
“Painted road cycle lanes are not effective and having protected cycle lanes is going to make it safe and accessible,” he said.
Mr Barrett said he was concerned there had been little community consultation in the process of designing the road.
Councillor David Lee told the Chronicle in July that due to government coronavirus guidelines, the council was unable to hold public meetings or set up information stalls to showcase the project.
Mr Barrett said other than the flyover video, there was sparse information available about the specifics of the new road.
“We want to see plenty of trees in the area but we don’t have a specific number that is planned,” he said.
“I would like to see adequate shade along the road and a decent density of canopy of trees to make for a generally nice space.
“This will also help create a home for birds and wildlife.”
The Hervey Bay resident said so far the group had found councillors to be receptive to suggestions but hoped the petition would lead to more candid conversations.