NOTHING reveals the growing pains of an expanding city like pressure on the road network and Orange has more than its fair share of that at the moment.
Despite the benefits of the northern bypass and the heavy vehicles it has taken out of Summer Street, Orange’s arterial roads are under intense pressure that needs to be eased urgently.
The bottleneck which has been created in Peisley Street has prompted fresh calls for its intersection with Franklin Road to be reopened.
When the road was closed because it had become a popular but dangerous route east to Peisley Street, that reduced access points and added to the congestion in Gardiner Road.
And, if Peisley Street wasn’t busy enough with the growth in mine traffic, the construction of the new hospital on the same route created a road with traffic volumes which at peak times must rival Summer Street. Combine mine and hospital traffic with projected housing growth south of Orange in coming years and it is clear Peisley Street and Forest Road will not be able to cope.
Residents in Franklin Road and the neighbourhood quite rightly fear reopening the intersection would open the floodgates to drivers looking for a shortcut across town to Peisley Street or over the train line into Endsleigh Avenue.
Rather than look at reopening suburban roads council’s traffic committee needs to accelerate work on the whole traffic plan for the southern part of the city.
Starting with the ridiculous bottleneck created by the kink in Peisley Street over the train line at East Fork, the road progresses from one trouble spot to the next.
A few hundred metres south at the Huntley Road intersection with Forest Road there is a similar problem. The city now has to play catchup with road improvements to cater for the traffic which has been generated by all this extra activity.
But it won’t solve the problem by opening a road which was closed when traffic was not nearly as bad as it is now.