Geelong Road is for people, not just cars

Calling Geelong Road "the biggest planning disaster in regional Victoria" because it doesn't have double lanes (J.Menner, The Courier , December 21) implies cars and the people who drive them must have free rein, ad infinitum.

Double lanes is the wrong planning decision - exorbitant in cost and relevant to demand for just two of each 24 hours - for little more than half the year.

The problem is how the road funnels to a narrow roundabout and congests at peak times - the focus is rightly on improving flow there. As traffic research shows, away from the Whitehorse intersection cars generally travel at the speed limit.

The planning of Geelong Road is about balancing the needs of people who commute to study and work in south Ballarat; with the communal needs of people who live along or near the road.

These people are pedestrians, cyclists and residents with a range of physical constraints. Double lanes would be socially isolating; imagine parents with prams, elderly people, young school students and laden shoppers trying to cross four lanes from Ballarat to Buninyong.

Double lanes would also mean the loss of many beautiful trees .

A dedicated bike lane is also being installed along Geelong Road. People are people: if all of us acknowledged that a cyclist (and their journey) is just as important as a motorist and theirs - if we saw the person, not just the vehicle - more people might leave the car at home. Thousands of students use the road regularly and cycling is a healthy and non-polluting transport, but it needs to be safe.

Geelong Road is about people, not just cars.


Mount Helen


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