Old Port Road pe­ti­tion gains sup­port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

MORE than 40 res­i­dents liv­ing near Old Port Rd have signed a pe­ti­tion lob­by­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of mea­sures to slow speed­ing traf­fic, im­prove safety and re­duce in­ap­pro­pri­ate traf­fic on the road.

Bird­wing St home owner Tim Marks started the pe­ti­tion af­ter be­com­ing con­cerned with the high num­ber of heavy ve­hi­cles who use Old Port Rd as a short­cut be­tween the Cap­tain Cook High­way and Port Dou­glas Rd.

Speak­ing to The Gazette, Mr Marks said the only ve­hi­cles that should use Old Port Road are those that need to get ac­cess to nearby res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

How­ever he has no­ticed buses, trucks, mo­tor­bikes and speed­ing cars in­creas­ingly us­ing the road, which backs onto his prop­erty, and there are no speed limit signs for traf­fic head­ing into town.

Mr Marks, who has a civil en­gi­neer­ing back­ground, said the un­der­ly­ing pave­ment of the road was not suit­able for heavy buses and trucks and would re­sult in struc­tural dam­age.

“Main Roads have de­signed an en­trance and an exit to Port Dou­glas and this is not a part of it,” he said.

The pe­ti­tion in­cludes three so­lu­tions for coun­cil to in­ves­ti­gate.

The first is to im­prove the stan­dard of the road to a main roads stan­dard, which Mr Marks ac­cepts is not prac­ti­cal. A sec­ond op­tion is to close the road, which was also con­sid­ered by the for­mer Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

The third, and pre­ferred op­tion, is to close the sec­tion be­tween Yiki St and the Nau­tilus St round­about to all but lo­cal traf­fic, by us­ing calm­ing de­vices to slow the traf­fic and make it less at­trac­tive to peo­ple want­ing to take a short­cut.

Port Dou­glas po­lice have told Mr Marks that they sup­port his con­cerns, recog­nis­ing the dan­gers for chil­dren liv­ing near the road and other road users.

“There is no shoul­der, no foot­paths, no bike paths and no light­ing - these are sig­nif­i­cant safety con­cerns,” said Mr Marks. “They have to con­sider it and ad­dress it soon other­wise some­one is go­ing to get killed.”

A coun­cil spokesper­son con­firmed the pe­ti­tion had been re­ceived and was likely to be tabled at the next In­fra­struc­ture Ser­vices Com­mit­tee meet­ing on Au­gust 17. While Old Port Road is a coun­cil road, the in­ter­sec­tion of the Cap­tain Cook High­way and Port Dou­glas Road, and Port Dou­glas Road it­self, are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads.

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