A ‘confused’ solution
The Station Street upgrade presented by council is a confused, destructive and unnecessary solution to a problem that was not defined before the design took place.
It combines aspects of a bypass with an upgrade, restricts and closes access, has no benefit for pedestrians or drivers who wish to visit or are employed in the town. More than half of it is a completely new road. It is neither a bypass, nor a distributor, nor an upgrade. The public meeting on September 20 exposed issues of serious concern which the council seems to disregard in its haste to construct this wasteful and destructive project. Heading the list is the streetscape destruction that would be caused if it proceeds in its presently planned form. The commemorative pin oaks at the northern end of the street, heritage camellias outside the station, elms, plane trees, and more trees further south: all would be sacrificed.
A more acceptable solution is to retain Station Street on its present alignment to conform to the 2014 Town Plan that shows Station Street as straight, not bent into and out of the land beside the railway lines, upgrade the roadway to RMS standards (a true and really necessary upgrade), save the streetscape, retain all the unrestricted parking at the station, and improve pedestrian access and safety.
Council intends to proceed with its project “without consent” which was seriously challenged at the meeting, but refuted by the mayor. A full Environmental Impact Statement is needed. More unsatisfactory aspects of the council’s scheme include:
- no overall program or sequence of works.
- estimated cost has not been disclosed. What is the risk to ratepayers?
- no cycle lanes and cycle parking design.
- Pedestrian access and safety on Kirkham Road and across the Wingecarribee Street bridge have not been considered.
The plan demonstrates council’s dismissive attitude to the community and its determination to force an unwelcome and disruptive road project into Bowral at the expense of streetscape, public amenity, pedestrian safety and interests of its ratepayers.
The dangers of mobile devices
Constant use of mobile devices is now part of everyday life, but alarming new statistics have revealed it’s a danger that impacts many blind or vision impaired Australians every time they leave the house.
A recent Guide Dogs Australia survey has revealed almost half of all people who use a white cane are walked into at least once every time they are out, with about 60 per cent of people reporting the instances are caused by people engrossed in their mobile devices. Almost half of all people who use a white cane had also been knocked over, injured or had their cane broken by someone walking into them in the past two years.
As we launch our new campaign, Eyes Up, this International White Cane Day on October 15, I would like to ask readers to be mindful of who’s around them when using their mobile devices, so that we can help people who are blind or vision impaired stay safe in their communities. I would also like to remind readers that if you or someone you know is experiencing sight loss, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provide services and support at no cost, irrespective of age, level of vision, or where a person lives. Enabling people to move around safely and confidently is always our priority.