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This was the Council Meeting. Absent: Clrs Phillips, Peters & Iskandar. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine. Note: MC = Marrickville Council. The Councillors & Wards are as follows -
LABOR: Iskandar/Central, Wright/North, Tsardoulias/West, O’Sullivan/South. GREENS: Phillips/Central, Peters/North, Byrnes/North, Kontellis/West, Olive/South. INDEPENDENT: Macri/Central, Thanos/West, Hanna/South.
Union Street Tempe: That MC not proceed with the proposal to provide a 2-way section of Union Street Between Brooklyn Lane & Princes Highway - 4 residents spoke, one for keeping Union closed & 3 against. Resident 1: Fully support full-time no right turn into Union Street & reopening of Union with 2-way traffic to the lane. It’s fair to all. How can we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars & go against the traffic expert’s recommendation? Why are we ignoring Option A? Reopening Union St eliminates the need of contemplating 2-way option between Princes Highway & Brooklyn Lane. Increase in traffic down Stanley Street. For Item B3 – opposed to 2-way traffic on Brooklyn Lane & Princes Highway. Reopening Union would remove this need. Install no right turn into Princes Highway, then reopen Union Street & reinstate 2-way traffic to the school. This will solve most of the problems.
Resident 2: Would like to keep the road closure for Union Street. On Sunday we held a garage sale trail & a lot of people were walking around the suburb in absolute safety. These street closures are building the community, If we open up Union Street, we have 300 kids [at the school]. We just need 1 kid hit by a car & people will look to MC. It’s not about the vocal majority; it’s about the community.
Resident 3: Support the recommendation to not make Union Street dual use. Reopening Union Street is about community equity. Why should Union Street have a calm street? Mary Street has had an increase in traffic because of the Union Street closure. To keep Union closed will be extraordinarily unfair to so many streets. Should be fair for all the community, not the loudest. Why has Union Street got traffic counting measures, but no other streets? Stanley Street has had a huge increase in traffic. To put up a motion to close Union Street permanently without community consultation will be completely unfair & undemocratic. This should be out there for 2 months for community consultation.
Resident 4: Speaking for the residents of Brooklyn Street who are opposed to the barrier in Union Street. I’d like to speak in favour of opening school lane to 2-way traffic. Union Street closure received the least amount of support in the last survey. I’m also against the partial opening of Union Street. There is a severely disabled woman in Union Street having severe difficulty because of the barrier in Union Street. There has to be give & take on both sides. The residents of Union Street have to expect traffic living in the inner city. If the no right turn into Union Street is implemented, they cannot expect to have the barrier as well.
Clr Hanna: Moved the recommendation. Clr Olive: Speaking against Clr Hanna’s motion. MC should be working from the words ‘temporary.’ Page 5 says temporary road closure until full no right had turn can be implemented. It doesn’t say we will be taking out the road closure. I’ve understood that we will make a decision once we have put in the no right hand turn. We need a no right hand turn from highway into Union Street, but it will not give us the best outcome. Road closures have been shown to work with a bit of inconvenience for some residents. We have to keep progressing forwards. Item B3 is a reasonable suggestion because it will alleviate a number of problems & make it legal & safe. Want to close Union Street permanently.
Staff: The October resolution said this was an interim step with no right hand turn into Union Street & we would remove the road closure after this. This is based on the Traffic Committee with consultation with the community. A permanent road closure was not on the cards.
Clr O’Sullivan: We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultancies; May & June reports & an extensive residents survey. Option A in October was the most popular option & Option C was by far the least popular, that is the closure of Union Street. 15% wanted the closure with 58% saying it was the least preferred option. Consultancy recommended Option C not be recommended. The further survey was narrowly based & the initial survey was wide. At the initial resolution, only 1 Councillor voted against this option. The Tempe Action Group submission indicated the option with no right hand turn they could live with. We need to say we will stick by our October decision because that’s what we were advised & what we voted. I have to take a broader view.
Clr Byrne: Q: We’ve been given approval for no right hand turn…what are the time-frames? Staff: We expect formal approval by Christmas. Earliest we would see if end of January for no right hand turn. Clr Byrne: Have we done community consultation with Smith Street residents & around? Staff: No community consultation. It took us by surprise from the RTA. Clr Byrne: Will there be notification for Smith Street residents? Staff: Yes. If we opposed this there could be a delay for Union Street. Clr Byrne: I’m concerned because we have had lots of community saying we have not done enough community consultation, so to do this without community consultation is of concern.
Clr Thanos: I will be supporting Mayor Hanna’s motion as it has been amended by Clr O’Sullivan. Clr Macri: Q: What capacity does Smith Street have? Staff: No capacity issues. Clr Macri: I support the Mayor’s recommendation.
Mayor Hanna: In October we promised we would reopen Union Street after we get a no right hand turn. I’ve been watching Tempe streets looking at every street because some have much more traffic. Vote: Against – Clr Olive, Kontellis & Byrne. For – Clrs Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Thanos, Macri & Hanna. Carried.