BYRON GRIDLOCK: Aim for 1km every minute, says councillor
MOVING a kilometre every minute might have seemed like a bizarre, distant dream for many motorists in and around Byron Bay.
But that's a minimum rate of movement Byron Shire councillor Alan Hunter hopes his colleagues will support as a target for traffic movement within the shire.
Cr Hunter will bring a notice of motion before the council meeting this week, seeking support for a goal of one minute per kilometre travelled on our roads.
He hopes to see this target incorporated in a range of the council's committees, including the Byron Bay Town Master Plan, and hopes to seek public comment on the idea.
Cr Hunter said the idea came out of a recent workshop involving some councillors and Transport for NSW.
"We started talking about a vision and we didn't come up with one," Cr Hunter said.
"The average punter out there is not frustrated with the condition of the roads; we've done a lot of work on that," he said.
"But I don't think the community is any more satisfied than it was before because the frustration in getting around is just so great."
While Byron Bay Bypass works are still ongoing, Cr Hunter said he thinks the council should consider a connection between Tennyson and Lawson Sts as well as shuttle buses to reduce traffic in the CBD.
"It's a luxury now, that Byron can't afford, to have everybody driving around town in their car," Cr Hunter said.
This week, the traffic has been compounded by road works delays on Shirley St, an influx of schoolies and the closure of Bangalow Rd for filming.
But Cr Hunter said it's a bigger issue requiring considered solutions.
Cr Hunter, who has been living in the area for about 16 and a half years, never saw traffic backed up on Ewingsdale Rd for years when he first arrived.
"Not it's happening every day," he said.
He said he didn't cast blame upon the film crew working on Nicole Kidman's Nine Perfect Strangers miniseries, or the visitors.
"I don't blame them. I blame us for not being ready for it," he said.