Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The intersection of an authority’s preference with a community’s expectations


The Warragul – Drouin Transport Study was commenced by Regional Roads Victoria in 2017. The study is “… exploring ways to improve traffic flow and safety within and between Warragul and Drouin.”

The concept design for the upgrade of the Wellwood Rd – Princes Way intersection is now available for public viewing and feedback. 


The community can meet members of the project team, inspect the concept designs and provide feedback on Monday 16th September, from 2-7pm, in the CWA rooms, 10 Sinclair St Drouin.

The Wellwood Rd – Princes Way intersection is a priority due to the increasing number of large vehicles accessing Princes Way from Wellwood Rd and vice versa.

Currently, all traffic using Wellwood Rd must access Princes Way (and vice versa), via a gap in the median strip just north of Waddell Rd. Many large vehicles while they make this turn, will frequently require traffic in both directions on Princes Way and on Wellwood Rd to slow down, stop or veer direction.

Many trucks turning north from Wellwood Rd require clear road on both sides of the white line in Princes Way
Yes, an upgrade of the Wellwood Rd – Princes Way intersection is most certainly a priority; but at what cost?

Some significant trees will be removed, although how many and which ones is not yet decided. Some private property will most likely have to be acquired and the Princes Way ‘service road’ either side of the intersection will be closed off at Wellwood Rd.

The Friends of Drouin’s Trees has determined the amenity value of the trees in the vicinity of Wellwood Rd – Princes Way, using a formula provided by the City of Melbourne and the City of Greater Bendigo. The formula is being increasingly used by many local government areas and uses a base value for a tree of given size and modifying coefficients for species, locality, condition and aesthetics.

Some of these magnificent (and unusual for Drouin) Blue Gums in Wellwood Rd will be impacted/removed under the current concept design by RRV
Of eleven trees in the vicinity (all of which are on Baw Baw Shire’s Significant Tree Register which apparently was not referred to by RRV) the lowest amenity value was $65,000 and the highest $260,000. The total value of the eleven trees was over $2m and the average was $197,000. Not all eleven trees will be removed of course and no doubt an offset process will be applied to those that are removed but, should we be happy with this?

The Friends of Drouin’s Trees has respectfully requested that RRV reconsider their design concept for the intersection:
A roundabout with a smaller footprint? (RRV says there are engineering requirements that have determined the concept design)
Install traffic lights rather than a roundabout? (RRV says this is a more expensive option and requires a similar footprint)
Direct (ban) vehicles of a certain size from using Wellwood Rd in this vicinity?

Don’t forget
The community can meet members of the project team, inspect the concept designs and provide feedback on Monday 16th September, from 2-7pm, in the CWA rooms, 10 Sinclair St Drouin.  (And you may be able to have your say on some other transport issues for Drouin!!!)