SAN Remo residents have described a
VicRoads’ proposal to install two sets of traffic lights in their coastal hamlet as “excessive”.
The state roads body is also proposing to have dual lanes running both ways between the San Remo entrance to the bridge and near the Back Beach Road intersection.
But there are fears it’ll do little to ease traffic congestion and instead create a bottle neck effect.
Everyone – VicRoads, council, tourists and residents – agree something needs to be done to reduce the traffic delays.
But residents say the proposed traffic lights and other features are “over engineered” and obtrusive.
Residents are also protesting the removal of car parks along a main shopping strip, as part of the development.
VicRoads say they’re trying to ensure no car parks are lost. But the existing proposal sees two car parks removed.
VicRoads – also known as Regional Roads Victoria – organised a public workshop last Tuesday on the traffic proposals.
But residents aren’t happy.
The proposal includes two sets of coordinated traffic lights along the highway, one intercepting with Back Beach Road and then another with Wynne Road.
They’re also planning:
• A restructure to the Bergin Grove exit, so you can only turn left (to go onto the bridge) and not right back towards Bass.
• Relocation of bus drop-off/pick-ups and the restricting of car parking on the median where the Melbourne bound bus stop is now.
• Limiting traffic exiting the United Petroleum service station and Keam Crescent to left hand turns – heading to Phillip Island. To go back to Melbourne, motorists will have to travel into San Remo and then make a U-turn.
• Install two pedestrian crossings.
VicRoads is doing all this to try and achieve better traffic flow and increase safety, particularly for residents exiting San Remo.
Long-time resident Joan Matthews was concerned proposed infrastructure would stop traffic flow and decrease the number of parks available on the already limited places on
Marine Parade.
“Removing parks will make shopping more difficult and will send many visitors down residential streets looking for somewhere to park,” says Ms Matthews.
“The average age of San Remo resident is in the 50s, with many being retirees, we need more parks not less.”
Residents have suggested roundabout or one set of lights may be more efficient.
“The second set of traffic lights is very close to the first, why can’t they incorporate into one?” asked resident Sandra Thorley.
Andy Dennis said the major issue with traffic flow is the roundabout at Newhaven.
“Everyone knows Newhaven is where the bottle neck starts,” says Mr Dennis.
He suggested foreshore land owned by
VicRoads adjacent to Bergin Grove and Marine Parade – that is often used as over-flow car parking – would be suitable as an official car park.
“The ‘dust-pit’ would be well suited to become a car park,” Mr Dennis said.
The updated plans incorporate previous feedback received from the community and stakeholders, including the Phillip Island Integrated Transport Study Community Reference Group, Bass Coast Shire Council, and the San Remo Traders Association.
Labor MP Jordan Crugnale also attended the consultation workshop.
“It’s great to hear that people were talking other modes of transport from buses to electric bikes and the importance of providing an alternative mode to reduce the number of cars in the first place,” says Ms Crugnale.
“Whilst also maintaining the treasured visual amenity and environmental value the area,” say the Bass MP.
VicRoads says they will take feedback into consideration prior to advancing their proposal.