Thursday, September 10, 2009

More on Cathedral Drive.

The latest news seems to be that clearing of trees from the Highway is to start on Monday, despite the best efforts of the SAVE group, which sought to have at least some of them retained.
This group is one which has to earn our respect. Far from being the somewhat imaginary idiot-type “greenies” that some of the froth-at-the-mouth anti-environment types have accused them of being, they have been trying to achieve a compromise which would give greatly increased road safety without losing quite such a shocking and unnecessary number of old-growth roadside trees.
REAL greenies, of course, like to be safe on the roads just like everyone else!
The SAVE group includes some intelligent and rational "greenies", as well as people who have been working very hard for the economy of their local district by developing its tourist potential.
Their suggestions, which have all been ignored by our minister for transport, included:

* seal the road shoulders
* remove the overhanging dead branches and commit to a rigorous ongoing maintenance program, undertaken by qualified arborists
* install wire rope barriers, or other forms of guard rail where necessary (something CONSPICUOUSLY lacking from some very dangerous sections of the new piece of highway between Hampton and Crows Nest. That appalling road has been subjected to recent road “improvements”, designed by the people who have also designed the Hampton “upgrade”)
* add audible line marking
* improve reflectors on each side of the road
* upgrade the Geham Dump turnoff (including a textural surface at dump entry to remove mud from vehicle tyres)
* upgrade the Merritts Creek Road / Aberdeen Rd intersection
* reduce the speed limit (to 70 km/hr through Hampton village and 80 km/hr for the remainder, which would add less than 90 seconds drive-time.)
* install wildlife signage
* totally re-design the Hampton village upgrade, especially the Esk-Hampton Rd intersection - the present scheme will turn Hampton into nothing more than a cross-road and eradicate its village character
* find an alternative location (i.e. where there are no existing trees) to locate the truck inspection zones

And I’m sure you’ll agree that the last point, where the government is insisting on clearing extra trees to create a truck inspection zone just there, when there are plenty of already-cleared sections on other portions of that particular highway where the facility could be built, does demonstrate that no serious attention was ever really given to the concerns of this particular group of voters.
It even looks rather as though our government is thumbing its nose at them, doesn't it?

Those who’d like to know more could look at SAVE’s website -

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