Street upgrade call

Street upgrade call

UPGRADE calls for Thacker Street are growing as locals point to the increase in population, traffic and the number of cyclists struggling to get across the town safely.
The street is under City of Greater Geelong control and has been on the radar for cycle lane improvements for several years.
Currently a south side cycle lane stretches from Presidents Avenue to Wallington Road but the road lacks sealed walking or cycle ways between Presidents Avenue and Grubb Road and along the entire north side.
Thacker Street resident Lisa Tink said getting her three young children across to sports facilities was a big safety problem.
“The ironic thing is, they are building Shell Road Reserve sports and the aquatic centre infrastructure but they are not supplying a safe means for people to use their bicycles and not their cars.
Continued from front page.
“We used to live in Mermaid Avenue and the number of times my kids wanted to ride up to the skate park and I wouldn’t let them. I can’t understand why they are not making it a priority.
“You cannot even ride on the gravel bike lane because it is so pot holed. And we can’t ride down the other side of the road the wrong way. Why can’t they build a bike lane on our side?”
Long-time resident and frequent bike rider Craig McGarry contacted the Voice with his own photographs in a bid to draw attention to the current state of the street.
“Riding a bicycle along this road is fraught with danger,” he said. “The lack of a shoulder makes this road very dangerous.
“The road is a main thoroughfare in the town used by, among others, children going both ways to primary and secondary schools. As there is also a lack of footpath, the road becomes the best of two bad options.”
City of Greater Geelong General Manager City Services, Gary Van Driel, said Council is currently investigating the potential upgrading of Thacker Street in Ocean Grove, between Grubb Road and Presidents Avenue.
He said the investigation covers the possibility of on-road cycle lanes, indented parking, kerb and channel drainage works and footpath works on the southern side of Thacker Street, and the potential for future works on the northern side of the street.
Mr Van Driel said the presence of another service authority’s water main running directly underneath the preferred kerb alignment was a complicating factor in the design for the upgrade.
He said options were being examined on the possibility that the water main could be relocated or avoided, in order to minimise the cost of the project.
However, although a Barwon Water spokesperson confirmed it is aware of City of Greater Geelong investigations into an upgrade of Thacker Street, Ocean Grove, she said “the ball was now in their court”.
Barwon Water has previously advised the council of critical water supply infrastructure located in the vicinity of the proposed works and the requirements to maintain the integrity of these assets.
“Barwon Water has advised of the location of the main and the minimum distance requirements. It is up to council to come back to us now,” she said.
Thacker Street has been identified by Bike Safe as one of the worst hazard roads for cyclists in the region. Bike safe has done its own costings and argues a solution is as close as $144,000.
The president of Bike Safe, Mr Barton van Laar is so far disappointed in the Council’s response to date. He said it’s a key arterial road with no shoulders, links old and new Ocean Grove, the two shopping centres, and all the activity on the Shell Road Recreation Reserve.
“We have been trying to get the City of Greater Geelong to add shoulders to Thacker Street for nearly three years. It is totally unacceptable that a street this important has not at the very least got shoulders. Every day peoples’ lives are being put at risk. We are spending significant funds on adjoining public infrastructure, yet a simple safety initiative such as Thacker Street shoulders and bike lanes is ignored. It defies logic. We are trying to encourage active transport, less car trips. This does the opposite.”
“All that needs to be done initially is shoulders at least 1.5m wide to run along Thacker Street both sides, from Shell Road to Field Street North and the new Yellow Gums Estate. It is approximately 1km on the North side and 850 metres on the south side.”

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared.