Bridging the Gap Part Two: Townsend precinct centre
A YEAR or so ago I published a pamphlet on the Maclean Precinct, with Townsend at its centre.
Why Townsend? It is the geographic, transportation and population heart of the precinct. Reiterating the advantages of this concept are many, but are for another time. This letter discusses two additional highway question marks.
Jubilee St, Townsend runs from the "T" intersection with Cameron St until it becomes James Creek Rd. It is a main thoroughfare across the middle of the precinct.
Councillor Jim Simmons (CV 4/3) rightly pointed out it needs major repairs. He was told "no" because the road would be redundant. Really! Too bad about the folks living 8-16 Jubilee, Hilltop Rd, Annies Pl and Ulmarra St.
And at the bottom of the hill, just before the old highway it appears there will be a turning circle and no access under the old or new highways. Why?
Powered traffic would survive but what about pedestrians?
The walk from Jubilee to the end of Cameron St will involve going around 5-point and 4-point roundabouts, a bridge over the highway and crossing four access ramps, only to end up at Ferry Park. I'd take the hill any day. It's also over a kilometre shorter each way.
And if they say there will be a pedestrian tunnel then it begs the question "Why not the road as well?"
Farlows Lane runs from Jubilee Street to the northern edge of Townsend. From there it's an unmade road to the old highway.
Even though there is an underpass (Farlows Lane Overpass) access to the rest of the lane, which goes to the Maclean-Yamba Rd is not possible. It should be. It would make a short, flat road from Townsend to the east side of Maclean.
Currently road work is progressing about 0.5km north of the overpass. Is the new highway going to include an overpass so that this necessary access road can not only be developed but is part of the highway plan?
Therefore it is imperative that no more work is done on these sections until the "problems" have been resolved to everybody's satisfaction.
Otherwise the only access between the two halves of the Maclean Precinct will be at Ferry Park and the Harwood Bridge, with nothing actually suitable for non-motorised traffic or pedestrians.
John Ibbotson, Gulmarrad