Council to vote on traffic solutions

With Byron Bay ready to be swamped by the annual Easter invasion, Byron Council is expected to vote today on measures aimed at easing traffic chaos in the town.
They don’t include a much-called for major bypass for the town, but a ‘mini-bypass’ option, using the existing emergency rail crossing at the southern end of the railway station, is favoured.
Recommendations for improving traffic flow are included in a strategic study of Main Road 545 that extends from the Pacific Highway interchange at Ewingsdale Road, through Byron Bay to the southern boundary of the shire.
Carried out by international infrastructure consultants, Opus, the study said ‘numerous’ road works were required to ensure an adequate level of service.
It concluded that while the town centre accounted for only one kilometre of the 19km main road corridor, it was the cause of the major traffic queuing, congestion and waiting times.
This was because Byron Bay was the ‘destination’ for at least 80 per cent of people driving into the town, so access to the town – not bypassing it – needed improving.
A second rail crossing   in the town centre was essential for any improvement, otherwise the road network would cease to function, the study said.
In conjunction with the mini-bypass, the study recommended a new lane be added at the Shirley, Butler and Lawson Streets roundabout and a new roundabout be constructed at the intersection of Jonson and Marvell Streets.
Cost of those measures was estimated at about $2 million.
The study said any bigger town bypass would only duplicate existing bypass routes, namely the Pacific Highway and Bangalow Road, and would only attract low numbers of existing traffic which would not justify the cost – plus, there was the potential for attracting new traffic.
Councillors will vote on a recommendation to have designs and costings carried out on the suggested measures.

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