STREET PROTEST: School parents and supporters Judy Fife, Cassie Webster, Ann Loder, Kerry Nipperess, Damien, Kelly and Liam Fry and Jon Maree Baker took their Barwan Street message to the shire council chambers yesterday.
Narrabri Shire Council yesterday met representatives of the Narrabri Public School to hear their concerns about the proposed change to the Barwan Street-Doyle street intersection configuration.
Narrabri Shire Council has reaffirmed its plan to swap the Stop signs on the Barwan Street and Doyle Street intersection in Narrabri.
However, the council has allowed time for NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to appeal to the Regional Traffic Committee against the decision before it is implemented.
The proposed change to the intersection has aroused ‘grave concerns’, about pedestrian safety from Narrabri Public School and others.
The demolition of the old Public School administration building and construction of its replacement will make the area busier and further add to traffic and pedestrian safety issues, a parent wrote in a submission to the Local Traffic Committee.
The Local Traffic Committee had recommended to council against the Stop sign changes for safety reasons.
The proposal is to move the Stop signs from Barwan Street to Doyle Street.
The aim is to improve the traffic flow along Barwan by making it a through road and accordingly encourage ‘non shopping’ traffic out of Maitland Street.
The intersection has been the subject of scrutiny in the past because of issues including visibility at the corner, parking in front of the library and a change in traffic habits because of the new Centrelink office at the spot.
A proposal to install a roundabout at the intersection was budgeted for in 2014/15 financial year but the funding was diverted to other applications and the roundabout was dropped.
Council adopted the view that the Barwan Street traffic flow was the ‘big picture’ issue in view of the need to keep non shopping traffic out of Maitland street and that Barwan Street safety issues were manageable through measures like traffic calming installations and policing of speed limits.
In a staff report on the history of the area, casualty data from the RMS indicates that there have been a higher number of reported motor-vehicle accidents on Barwan Street than on Maitland Street.
“There have been six accidents on Maitland Street, two causing casualties and six non injury,” the report said. “Ten accidents have occurred on Barwan Street resulting in 10 casualties and one fatality.
“The concern is that opening Barwan Street as the ‘through road’ will result in an increase in motor-vehicle related accidents.
“Barwan Street is a gazetted heavy vehicle route with an average of 10 percent of all traffic along the road being heavy vehicles.
“Doyle Street is also a heavy vehicle route (B Doubles only) between Barwan Street and Reid Street.
“The concern of the Traffic Committee with making Barwan Street the ‘through road’ is the potential increase in heavy vehicle traffic using Barwan Street as a short-cut to the southern parts of the Shire.
“The Narrabri Primary School pedestrian crossing is about 100m on the southern side of the Barwan and Doyle Street intersection.
“The current Stop sign configuration forces vehicles to come to a complete stop prior to the pedestrian crossing, which is the safest form of passive traffic control. Making Barwan Street the through road will automatically increase the 85th percentile speed of all vehicles travelling south along Barwan Street between the intersection and the pedestrian crossing.
“The concern of public safety and the increased likelihood of a pedestrian accident at this crossing have been raised by the Traffic Committee, the local community and the NSW Department of Education and Communities.
“NSW Police representatives have informed the Traffic Committee that they have not had a problem with speeding vehicles through this section of Barwan Street in the past, which has been attributed to the current Stop sign configuration.
“The concern is that any changes to this intersection will result in an increase in motor vehicles speeds which will need to be monitored if the changes are implemented.”
HAVE YOUR SAY
Fill out my online form.