Anger over intersection inaction

Resident Russell Mowatt. Photo: Mark Wilson

By Jessica Micallef

A New Gisborne resident has criticised Macedon Ranges council’s decision to keep the intersection at Farrell Street and Station Road open to traffic.

Resident Russell Mowatt said motorists have been using Farrell Street as a “rat run” to avoid the Saunders and Station roads intersection.

Mr Mowatt said population growth has caused the residential street to become a short cut for many motorists.

“The primary school has grown over the years, you’ve got the development in Ferrier Road – that’s going to cause concern along the way forward and then you have the netball courts,” he said.

“It started to spill over when I was on council and we got the officers to do some traffic studies.
“They did a couple and they [motorists] were using it as a bit of a rat run.”

During a council meeting last month, councillors voted to keep Farrell Street open to traffic at the Station Street intersection despite Mr Mowatt presenting a petition signed by 48 Farrell Street residents, asking for chicanes or a court bowl to be implemented.

“Councillors have ignored previous council road studies, a petition, community consultation and previous council officers and VicRoads recommendations,” he said.

“As a local community we were given a false sense of security that they would give some form of traffic calming action.

“I got a lot of feedback from other residents. They are trying to get out at 8.30am to go to work and have had people with road rage.”

Mr Mowatt also raised concerns about having no footpath on either side of Farrell Street. At the council meeting, councillors voted to list building a footpath as a “high priority” in the Shire-Wide Footpath Plan. But Mr Mowatt said it was not addressing the real issue.

“It’s becoming a health precinct with the aged care and medical centre,” he said.

“You get a lot of the elderly walking down and they are trying to compete with the cars.

“But it’s still not addressing everything, it’s a piecemeal approach. It’s trying to appease the masses.”
“I’m hoping the next council will come along and give it more consideration.