RESIDENTS of Macquarie Street in Morisset say Roads and Maritime Services risks creating a major safety problem with their planned overhaul of the notorious intersection at Fishery Point Road.
The residents support the installation of traffic lights, raised concrete medians, and new lane markings at the trouble spot.
But they say plans to eliminate the break-down lane at the front of their properties will create another hazard.
John and Cherylanne Auston have lived on Macquarie Street, near the intersection, for 44 years, and agree that works are long overdue to curb the speeding, crashes and traffic queues there.
“The traffic lights will be good. We just need to be able to access our properties,” Mr Auston said.
Residents currently pull off the carriageway into the break-down lane so that they can safely manoeuvre their vehicles to reverse down their steep driveways.
This means that they can then drive nose-first out onto the busy main street by first inching out onto the breakdown lane to gain a clear line of sight to the oncoming traffic.
The traffic lights will be good. We just need to be able to access our properties.- John Auston
Residents fear that if the break-down lane is wiped out, they will have a dangerous time entering their driveways nose-first, then a near-impossible task trying to reverse out of their driveways onto busy Macquarie Street.
“We’ll have to slow down everybody else behind us on Macquarie Street to enter our driveways, and risk being hit from behind,” Mr Auston said.
Mrs Auston said it was not only a safety issue, but one of personal isolation.
“We’ll become prisoners in our own homes,” she said.
The Austons say eliminating the break-down lane will also create untold problems for emergency services vehicles, the postman, and visitors accessing the affected houses.
Their neighbour Phil Peterson suspects the RMS might not have been aware of the steep gradients of the affected driveways, and the issues that flow from that.
“It’s a safety issue for everybody concerned – not only the residents, but traffic going past, and for pedestrians,” he said.
The residents say the break-down lane could be retained, and the problem solved, if the RMS shifts the works marginally to the railway side of the road, where there are no homes.