Old Port Road petition gains support
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.