Where is a traffic study for Nuriootpa?

Michael Andrews says changes are needed soon to avoid an accident at the top end of Gawler Street, Nuriootpa.
Michael Andrews says changes are needed soon to avoid an accident at the top end of Gawler Street, Nuriootpa.

Logic is holding back “much-needed changes” to address a Nuriootpa street which has become notorious for traffic and pedestrian near misses, a frustrated resident says.

Michael Andrews, who lives at Second Street, shared how he has been “banging on” about the congestion at the top end of the Gawler Street since April 2015 with no constructive response. 

“I saw a mother and child nearly hit the other day...missed them by two inches,” he said. Do we have to wait until someone is hit or killed before action is taken?”

Mr Andrew concerns heightened late last year following the completion of the redeveloped Co-op shopping precinct, having witnessed “plenty” of near misses with vehicles and pedestrians.

“I spoke with Stephan Knoll a couple of times about Gawler Street and he agreed that no parking should be either side of the road,” Mr Andrews said.

On May 10, 2017 the Schubert MP wrote to then Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan expressing “the community’s concerns with retail and residential development throughout the town of Nuriootpa and the effect it will bring on the traffic flows”.

Mr Knoll had requested a traffic management study be completed for Nuriootpa, noting in particular the areas around Gawler, Murray, Second and Third streets.

“This survey must also ideally look at pedestrian traffic flows and be completed by the end of the year (2017),” Mr Knoll had stated.

Last week Mr Andrews visited Mr Knoll’s office and was told nothing would be done until a full traffic management was rolled out across Nuriootpa.

The MP’s office told the Herald the study is still of “major interest” and is being looked at. “I look forward to working with council to determine how to best deal with the issues,” he said.

Mr Andrews, who vies for a position as an elected member on Barossa Council, is not the first to complain about the congested section.

Retired lawyer and Nuriootpa man Mike Regular also aired his grievances about on-street parking in to the Herald in November 2017.

“Drivers’ line of sight is blocked due to the cars parked along Gawler Street,” he had told the Herald.

As a result, representatives of The Co-op visited the off-street carpark site, and bollards were put in place to prevent customers from parking near the entry to the shopping centre.

In an original development application for the redeveloped Co-op site dated April 28, 2015, it was agreed “that on-street car parking opposite the Gawler Street access point shall be banned to enable through vehicles to safely pass vehicles turning right into the development”.

“Additionally, on street parking immediately to the east and west of the access shall be banned to maximise driver sight lines.”

However, a new application dated June 2017 reveals The Co-op has met all criteria for the redevelopment with the off-street parks to remain.

Mr Andrews says it only takes a row of 4WD vehicles to park together along the off-street parking for drivers and pedestrians having to inch further onto Gawler Street, in front of oncoming traffic.

He strongly suggests a long strip of yellow paint down the side of Gawler Street, to mirror the opposite side, to allow a clearer passage for motorists exiting the shopping precinct.

And while stoplights are located at the end of Gawler Street, Mr Andrews said it’s human nature for people to walk across the road from The Co-op to access retail on the other side. “A tunnel under Gawler Street would be perfect but a pedestrian island in the middle would be better than nothing in conjunction with no on road parking.”

He supports the $70,000 pedestrian project – pitched by the Co-op’s former human resources manager and voted in by the community – which received full funding through the Labor Government’s Fund My Neighbourhood grant program.

Despite receiving the most votes of any project in the region, the pedestrian crossing project went quiet.

The Herald revealed last week that the “funding is currently available” but is “still in the planning and design phase”. 

“Dates for consultation and construction cannot be advised until the preliminary planning and design works are completed,” The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure continued in a statement.