Zone loaded with issues

OPPOSED: L&J Churchill Mechanical Repairs owner Janette Churchill at the proposed loading zone in McNamara Street. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 091916zlchurchill2

OPPOSED: L&J Churchill Mechanical Repairs owner Janette Churchill at the proposed loading zone in McNamara Street. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 091916zlchurchill2

A CONTROVERSIAL loading zone and tiny park proposed for McNamara Street are set to proceed despite divided support among business owners.

The trees, seating, bike rack, lighting and kerb and guttering, intended to stop people from parking on the footpath next to the all-day parking area, have been deferred three times as street beautification competed with security and maintenance concerns and choosing a loading zone location. 

The City of Orange Traffic Committee looked at the matter last month and decided the eastern side of McNamara Street, 30 metres south of Summer Street, was most appropriate location for the loading zone.

It concluded the road was wider, the majority of businesses were on the eastern side and the two disabled parking spaces and the driveway in the vicinity created enough room for a larger rigid truck.

It dismissed the western location, which was also the subject of the park proposal, because it would cut up to five parking spaces, as opposed to three for the eastern side, the forklift would have to travel against the flow of traffic while loaded, the road was narrower and there would be more vehicle interaction.

L&J Churchill Mechanical Repairs owner Janette Churchill said having trucks on the western side would in fact cut the distance forklifts would have to travel to reach the back of the truck.

“There’s no respect for the truck drivers who don’t want a loading zone there,” she said.

I’m interested in the street becoming as valuable as any other street. - Grocer and Co Organics owner Guy Hampton

“The council won’t listen – it doesn’t matter what you say to council, it doesn’t matter.”

With plans for the loading zone also including No Stopping signs outside her business, Mrs Churchill believed they would affect the business’ ability to operate, but the report to councillors said the zone could be reduced to Wrap-Rite’s driveway. 

The Grocer and Co Organics owner Guy Hampton said he looked forward to having green space in McNamara Street for all its users.

“That small strip of gravel is unsealed and dangerous, it’s being parked on and cars have to cross the footpath – sometimes trucks use the footpath, but they’re never on the gravel strip,” he said.

“I’m interested in the street becoming as valuable as any other street and having some green space.”

Councillors will consider the matter tonight.

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