The City is urging the Minister of Education to reconsider a proposed public ‘super school’ in close proximity to the City Centre due to traffic concerns.
City of Greater Geraldton CEO, Ken Diehm said a consolidated high school or ‘super school’ on the Shenton Street site would increase traffic in the area by 50 per cent and that the existing road network would not be able to handle the additional traffic flows.
“The City engaged a traffic modelling consultant to investigate what effect the ‘super school’ would have on traffic flows and the road network within the existing school precinct. The report forecasts an additional 1,400 car trips per day would be generated by the facility and that Durlacher Street alone would see an increase in traffic and congestion of up to 20,000 car movements per day.
“Although sections of Cathedral Avenue and Chapman Road are dual lane and have some capacity for additional traffic, Durlacher Street is only single lane and would require a major upgrade to accommodate the forecasted increase in car movement,” Mr Diehm said.
Several intersections in the school precinct that would also be substantially impacted by an increase in traffic flow and require upgrading were also identified in the report.
“To help traffic flow in and out of the area traffic signals would need to be installed at the intersections of Durlacher and Shenton Street and also at Cathedral Avenue and Maitland Street. Existing turning lanes would need to be lengthened or new ones introduced on Cathedral Avenue, Shenton Street, Durlacher Street and Waldeck Street all of which would cost more than $7Million of rate payer’s money,” Mr Diehm said.
The City is also concerned about community safety as traffic congestion and poorly designed drop off and pick up zones pose a real risk to students and parents alike.
“Every parent who drives into the school precinct knows how awful the current traffic congestion already is and understands the horror of trying to negotiate poorly designed drop off and pick up zones for their school children,” said Mr. Diehm.
“I urge the Minister to reconsider the proposed super school in Shenton St and to provide a commitment that, if a super school is built in Geraldton, our ratepayers are not left to foot the bill for the required traffic management works.”