RESIDENTS of Turner Crescent say traffic problems generated by trade and construction vehicles are just a sample of the congestion expected when a childcare centre is opened.
Barbara Olde and Brian Ward met with Orange councillor Jeff Whitton and Orange City Council Technical Services Director Ian Greenham on Thursday to discuss their concerns about the traffic bottleneck that has developed on the elbow of the crescent outside the centre.
Mrs Olde put traffic movements at between 60 and 80 an hour with workers coming and going from the site and she believes that will only get worse when parents begin dropping their children to the 94-place centre.
The facility will have a 32-space car park but Mrs Olde believes parents are likely to bypass that and drop off from the street. No footpaths, and cars parking either side made the road very narrow and passing difficult, compounding the problem for pedestrian access.
"I can remember dropping my kids off at day care. I didn't park in the carpark because I couldn't get back out again. I parked on the road and walked down and that's what people are going to do [here]," she said.
"Some people [who live on Turner Crescent] are driving their kids up to the [bus stop] on the corner because they can't trust the children in this chaos. It's too dangerous."
Mrs Olde said compounding residents' concerns was the approval of an eight-block subdivision next the childcare centre.
"At least we'll have a footpath in front of that one," she said.
Traffic issues plagued the development, owned by Australian Childcare Solutions, before it was finally given the go-head for construction in October 2019 when a rescission motion was beaten by one vote.
After the initial knockback, the centre cut its capacity by 30 places to 94 and overhauled its design to resemble a house which led to its recommendation for approval by Orange City Council staff.
Staff had also recommended the original design for approval, but councillors at the time agreed with residents' concerns about traffic and rejected the DA . The NSW Land and Environment Court upheld the refusal on appeal.
Back then residents lodged 14 submissions, with many also protesting the revised design on traffic grounds, pointing out the blind corner at the centre's entrance. They also feared delays in nearby Mastronardi Way to access Molong Road.
"But it is here now so we've got to make it safe for the community," Cr Whitton said on Thursday.
Mr Greenham said the developers of the centre were responsible for repairing damage to the road surface and gutters before being cleared to open.
The construction of footpaths, speedhumps or parking restrictions are possible solutions but Mrs Olde said something needed to be done prior to the centre's impending opening.
"I think its going to get worse," she said
"The reason why we bought here was because it was so quite," she said.
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