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Roundabout rethink?

Roundabout rethink?

At Orange City News we have recently been approached by a concerned citizen worried that the amount of traffic at some of the city’s roundabouts is putting pedestrians in danger.

Outside our offices we see on a daily basis the difficulty people have crossing near the Byng Street and Lords Place roundabout — at times it is downright dangerous!

Is it time to look at replacing some of our roundabouts with traffic lights? Or perhaps we need to consider other ways to help pedestrians cross our increasingly busy streets.

Chairman of the City of Orange Traffic Committee, Cr Russell Turner, said he is not aware of any strong push to replace the roundabout at the Byng Street and Lords Place intersection, but he acknowledges that traffic can be problematic for pedestrians.

“Roundabouts are traditionally not pedestrian friendly we admit that, but they are a very good way for moving lots of cars,” Cr Turner told Orange City News.

“Even the most agile people have to scurry sometimes to get through on time safely, but roundabouts are here to stay, nationally, internationally — not just here in Orange. They are recognised as a very efficient way of getting traffic through rather than lights at many intersections.”

Above photos: 2:30pm on a Thursday. A selection of photos taken within a 30 second time frame show the congestion at the roundabout on Lords Place and Byng Streets.

Cr Turner said the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) have guidelines for determining whether traffic lights are more appropriate than roundabouts.

And traffic lights, while a similar cost to install, are far more expensive to run and maintain, he said.

“The RMS identifies where lights work more efficiently than roundabouts and that is why we have a number of intersections with traffic lights, but the vast majority of our intersections are roundabouts,” said Cr Turner.

“You'll notice in that particular section [Byng Street and Lords Place] there is a pedestrian refuge down near McNamara Street and there is another pedestrian refuge up near the police station. So people, if  they feel uncomfortable about crossing at the roundabout there, they can always go an extra 50 metres and cross more safely with a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the road. And they're provided in many other areas near roundabouts around Orange as well.”

Let us know what you think?

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