THE proposed traffic lights for the notorious Korumburra Road and McKenzie Street intersection are a great idea and cannot come soon enough, according to members of the Wonthaggi community.
VicRoads hosted a community drop-in session on Wednesday, November 23, providing residents of Wonthaggi the chance to view proposed plans for traffic lights.
The session was held at the Wonthaggi Centennial Centre so locals could discuss ideas with VicRoads representatives and leave feedback for consideration.
The proposed plans are for traffic lights to be implemented at four points at the Korumburra Road and McKenzie Street intersection near Bunnings.
Pedestrian access and a slight incline in the road to slow traffic as it passes through the lights are included as part of the proposed plans.
The plans are still at the proposal stage, and are being submitted for funding.
“So far we’ve received a lot of feedback from people for this proposal,” VicRoads representative Chris Padovan said.
“We want to work with the community to ensure the best outcome for all road users.”
The Sentinel-Times asked members of the community what their thoughts were on the plans, and why they decided to visit the drop-in session on Wednesday.
Pedestrian access, safety for cyclists, and traffic congestion were common concerns.
“I have major concerns regarding the existing pedestrian crossing on McKenzie Street,” local resident Jessica Harrison said.
“A bicycle only just fits onto the pedestrian refuge, and I don’t think that it’s terribly safe.”
Caroline Donohue visited the drop-in session to view the plans for the traffic lights, and also raise other concerns she had for traffic flow through Wonthaggi.
“I would like to see traffic lights in the town, certainly,” Caroline said.
“Especially at the intersection of McKenzie Street and Korumburra Road. I think they’ve been a long time coming, and I’m actually surprised they haven’t been put in earlier.
“I’m also here today to make some other suggestions to VicRoads, such as the need for double lines through the main street of Graham Street and Billson Street.
“Cars turning against the traffic to park cause a lot of dangerous congestion.”
Sue Fitzgerald, who lives close to the proposed traffic lights, expressed concerns for pedestrians in the current environment.
“I live very close by. Our neighbour is a blind man, and I know that he has a lot of trouble crossing this busy road,” Sue said.
“Traffic lights at that intersection would be just brilliant for him. Pedestrians regularly are crossing those roads.
“There are a lot of disabled people living in our community who need something like traffic lights to help them get around the town.
“I think that the proposed plans are brilliant.”
Donna Lancaster raised concerns about the flow-on effect of traffic banking up down McKenzie Street if the traffic lights were put in place.
“I have concerns about allowances for traffic turning right off McKenzie Street, into businesses such as the child care centre,” Donna said.
“Cars have to stop and turn against the traffic coming from Phillip Island. At busy times such as mornings and afternoons, is this going to be a problem?”
Lorisse Dart from VicRoads said VicRoads undertook many traffic counts and analysis of the flow of traffic when considering the implementation of traffic lights at the intersection.
“We have a good idea of exactly how many vehicles travel up and down that road and at what times,” Lorisse said.
Lorisse also said the inclusion of a slightly inclining road heading into the traffic lights will allow for safer travel through the intersection.
VicRoads do not envisage that traffic flow will be hampered because of the traffic lights, and believe that traffic flow will be improved.
Overall it appears that participating members of the community viewed the proposed plans as a positive for the safety of motorists and pedestrians in Wonthaggi.
Once funding is secured, the entire process of construction could take up to two years, according to a VicRoads representative.
Traffic lights get green light from the community