No stop­ping signs to stay

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Matthew New­ton

A DIS­PUTE over the place­ment of no stop­ping signs at the west­ern end of Coral Es­planade has dis­turbed the cul-de-sac’s peace­full idyll in re­cent months.

The is­sue came to a head at the Fe­bru­ary 11 coun­cil meet­ing, with coun­cil vot­ing unan­i­mously to “re­tain, and where re­moved, im­me­di­ately re-in­state the no stand­ing signs at the cul-de-sac area of Coral Es­planade in or­der to en­sure the safety of road users and to pro­vide un­ob­structed ac­cess to emer­gency ve­hi­cles.”

Be­fore the is­sue was voted upon, Coral Es­planade res­i­dent An­drew Mar­shall ques­tioned the in­stal­la­tion of the signs and coun­cil re­ceived a pe­ti­tion from res­i­dents and vis­i­tors re­gard­ing the re­moval of the no stop­ping signs.

Mr Mar­shall said that turn­ing in the cul-de-sac had never been a prob­lem in the 100 year his­tory of the street.

He was also wor­ried that coun­cil did not un­der­stand the sig­nage they had erected.

“Coun­cil seems to have missed the point that the ‘S’ sign is a ‘No Stop­ping’ sign and not a ‘No Stand­ing’ sign. (No stand­ing signs) don’t ex­ist any­more and there­fore this is go­ing to pre­vent ac­cess to peo­ple’s homes,” he said.

A "No Stop­ping” sign means no stop­ping, at any time, not even to quickly drop some­one off.

“The rea­son why we’re all up in arms is be­cause we can’t park any­where else. It’s il­le­gal to park in Coral Es­planade be­cause the road is too nar­row. Park­ing in the culde-sac is there­fore crit­i­cal.”

But not ev­ery­one wants to see the signs gone. Long term Coral Es­planade res­i­dent Mickey Rage said the cul-de-sac needed to be kept free of ve­hi­cles for safety and ac­cess con­cerns.

“Ve­hi­cles need to be able to go around in one go,” Mr Rage said.

“If there’s an am­bu­lance or fire truck that’s in the culde-sac and he’s got to do a 7 or 9 point turn, it’s go­ing to slow him down.

“For other peo­ple that live down the road that’ve got boat trail­ers; it’s dif­fi­cult for them to turn there if there are ve­hi­cles parked there.

“At the end of the day, all over this na­tion, it’s il­le­gal to park at the end of a cul-de­sac any­way.”

The signs have been re­moved and erected three times since late 2014, af­ter they were ini­tially in­stalled fol­low­ing a com­plaint from a res­i­dent.

A coun­cil re­port noted that a sec­tion of the Trans­port Op­er­a­tions (Road Use Man­age­ment) Act 2009 states “cars parked in a cul- de-sac will un­rea­son­ably ob­struct the path of other ve­hi­cles try­ing to make a turn.”

In cor­re­spon­dence with Mr Mar­shall, Coun­cil­lor Clif­ford stated that the whole process had been “han­dled in­cor­rectly”.

Dur­ing the Fe­bru­ary 11 meet­ing, Coun­cil­lor Atkin­son took a dim view of the dis­pute. “I think there’s been a lot of child­ish be­hav­iour go­ing on down there on the es­planade,” he said.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney said a re­sponse would go out to all af­fected res­i­dents in­form­ing them of coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

NOT HAPPY: Coral Es­planade res­i­dents Robina Mealey, Sheena Bar­rett, Sue Cob­ham, An­drew Mar­shall, Sheila Cars, Heather Mar­shall, Bryan Har­ries, Brigette Rob­biard, Jane Har­ries, Elmer Ten Haken, Wendy Gor­don, Carla Whe­lan, David and Linda How­ells and Brian Whe­lan want the signs in their cul-de-sac re­moved.

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