REGIONAL Roads Victoria's decision to install traffic lights at two of the six notorious intersections in Sturt Street has been met with acclaim by nearby traders, but some say the moves don't go far enough.
The release of the final designs for the six intersections at Lyon, Errard, Windermere, Talbot, Raglan and Ascot streets shows new sets of traffic lights which will be installed at both Raglan and Ascot streets.
Double U-turns will be placed at Lyon, Errard and Talbot streets, while Windermere Street will be closed off to north-south traffic at Sturt Street.
The changes were announced on Thursday by VicRoads after a three month consultation period with construction to start in the second half of this year, beginning with the installation of lights at Raglan and Ascot streets.
The changes differ from original plans which were scrapped by the Andrews State Government in February last year which included the removal of crossover intersections at Lyon, Errard, Windemere and Talbot streets, with motorists able to turn on and off Sturt Street.
Alterations to intersections at Raglan and Ascot streets would have allow drivers to perform a u-turn but not travel straight across Sturt Street.
Ballarat West LPO manager Alyson Rose she was encouraged by the new lights at the Ascot Street corner.
"It's so dangerous out here, so often there's not attention being paid by drivers," Ms Rose said. "Everyone is trying to beat everyone else, there's too much rush, rather than thinking.
"I think lights are a great idea and I don't think there will be too much of a change in travel times. Maybe it might add a couple of extra minutes at school time.
"I've seen dozen of crashes and everyday you hear the car tyres screeching and horns blowing."
Trish Tantau, business owner of Country Casseroles agreed.
"We're so open here," she said. "It's a very dangerous corner and as a business owner looking out the street, you see cars flying by all the time.
"The next one up (Talbot Street) doesn't seem to have as many accidents, but this one is a very busy corner and something had to be done."
Ballarat Real Estate principal Ron Morrison said he would have liked lights to have been placed on all the corners.
"Those streets have been flow streets right throughout our history and my feeling is if you wanted to do anything, install lights," Mr Morrison said.
"Lights are acceptable but you're still going to get accidents on some of those corners, with lights or not.
"To me Sturt Street should be our main thoroughfare, not Mair Street, not Dana Street and I believe the day we open the Bridge Mall will be a day to celebrate.
"Our most beautiful street is Sturt Street and visitors should see that and drive through it. It's important to maintain the beauty.
"The strange thing to me is the u-turn, I believe it will achieve nothing. Why not just leave them and monitor as they go and put in lights if it seems there is a problem. There's still going to be accidents.
Ballarat Bicycle Users Group spokesman Matt Briody said the changes would make Ballarat safer.
"I think this project will make a significant improvement to the street, not just for traffic and safety, but as an enhancement to the gardens," he said on social media.
"This project should be supported by anyone who is serious about road safety, and anyone who is serious about making Ballarat a better place."
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