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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Brunswick Heads’ main-street upgrade ‘years away’

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tweedstreet2A planned upgrade of the main street in Brunswick Heads to make the former highway more people and bicycle friendly is still several years away, according to the taskforce helping to plan it.

Echonetdaily this week reported that some locals were concerned about safety and other issues as a result of narrowing Tweed Street (the old Pacific Highway) for central car parking and tree planting under a master plan for the project. (see https://www.echo.net.au/2015/11/narrowing-of-main-street-in-bruns-sparks-safety-fears/).

But a taskforce made up of residents, businesses and community groups working with Byron Shire Council to develop more detailed plans and costings for the staged works says implementation of the the project is still years away.

Tweed Street Taskforce member Kim Rosen yesterday issued a statement in response to the article in Echonetdaily.

‘An environmental upgrade of Tweed Street from a highway into a people and bicycle friendly street was first flagged at the all-town community workshops in 2004, at which the “Taking Care of Brunswick” Community Development Plan was collaboratively developed,’ the task-force statement said.

‘An extensive consultation process with the whole community was conducted in 2009 and a huge range of issues and opportunities were taken on board and factored in to the design to create the master plan.

‘This was all fully documented by the consultants in a storyboard. Features of the master plan included calming the traffic, beautification of the street, trees and seats, increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists and also provided opportunities for attending to other issues such as drainage, parking and signage.

‘The Tweed St Masterplan was approved by council in August 2010. The storyboard and concept designs have been available on the council website since 2010.

‘The master plan was included again as project in the town’s inclusive 2011-2016 Community Economic Transition Plan.

‘In the last year, the Tweed St Taskforce (a mix of residents, businesses and community groups) has been working with council to develop more detailed plans and costings for the whole street and for stages.

‘The goal has been to get the master plan to “shovel ready” stage and therefore and in a position to access substantial state and federal government grants.

‘At the recent Tweed St Masterplan Refresher Forum organised by the Taskforce, the history, process and design elements of the Masterplan were outlined for newcomers and community group representatives.

‘Issues raised during the Forum Q&A (including parking, tree planting, bus stops, lighting etc) were recorded.

‘After the project progresses beyond the preliminary costing and funding stage, these and any new issues or opportunities will be considered by the Council engaged Project Manager in conjunction with engineers, landscapers, other experts and stakeholders.

‘Implementation of the plan is still several years away.’

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  1. This project is nothing more than an attempt by a group of people, the majority of which live in Tweed St to divert traffic away from their street and into neighbouring streets. The “traffic calming” measures of placing 3 roundabouts along Tweed Street is a recipe for disaster.

    Any fool can see that traffic coming into Brunswick from both the North and South will soon learn to avoid “slow” Tweed Street and instead head into town or the beach using the much quicker routes of Fawcett St, Nana St, The Terrace, and Booyun St. If you are trying to get from one end of town to the other the fastest “rat run” will be along Newberry Parade and Byron St and then down either Minyon, Teven or Short Sts.

    The removal of all turning lanes from Tweed St and making it single lane will not just “calm” traffic but totally jam it. Turning lanes are recommended safety measures that allow cars to keep the road clear while they exit. Without turning lanes, on weekends, school holidays and during festivals, Tweed St would become one big traffic snarl with drivers taking all kinds of risks trying to turn onto and off Tweed St.

    When this project was initiated in 2004 it may have been worth consideration, but now, 10 years later with Brunswick’s traffic now 2 to 3 times heavier it is not worth one more dollar of councils limited funds. The so called community consultation on this project was obviously very select on who was consulted. Perhaps the project team could supply the addresses of those who support this project so we can see how many of this group are in fact Tweed Street residents.

  2. Good comment Road worrier, if the project doesn’t withstand public scrutiny then it should be reviewed or revoked , certainly no more Council monies appropriated to it until there is resolution of the issues surrounding the plan.
    A: the fact that community “consultation” occured is not in dispute, it’s the selected few consulted and in my mind the “consultation” was more like dictation!
    However, substantive and justified criticisms of the project were dismissed from the commencement of the project…..show where there is evidence that objection to central tree planting and reasons for objection were not followed through…..and if the project was so embracing of community consultation, then why are there so many reasoned objections to it now?
    B: Ttimes have changed, including the population and vehicular traffic, and the concept has to be viewed in context of those changes including priority for capital works programmes for Brunswick Heads.

    As Kim’s response stands, it reads it is a fait accompli. i.e. a done deal, but as it is a concept only at this stage and in answer to the flow of objections council and councillors must at least make certain that the MAJORITY of residents are well informed and from that result, review the project.

  3. Flawed Masterplan for Tweed St
    The Tweed Street “Masterplan” is back on the agenda because Council is considering allocating further funds to progress an “approved” project that many residents and local community groups believe has serious design flaws.

    Since 2004 these groups have made numerous submissions to the Tweed St Taskforce but their concerns were not addressed in the design plan approved by Council in 2010.

    At the “refresher” meeting last week (11 Nov) considerable time was spent detailing the extensive consultation process, yet community representatives raised a range of contentious issues from maintaining the quality and integrity of the road, (ex-pacific hwy and no potholes), traffic congestion and safety issues from the loss of right hand turn lanes and centre of the road parking, also the impact of tree planting on drainage, other services, dwellings and ongoing maintenance.

    While virtually everyone supports the concept of “beautification” of Tweed Street, with additional tree planting, a bike path and more attractive parking areas along the roadside, the plan’s focus is on expensive engineering solutions that narrow the road, create a bend and roundabouts and centre of the road tree planting and car parking to slow the traffic.

    The design won’t improve safety but clutters and obstructs the road without considering the impact on everyday users, local residents and commercial operators along Tweed St.

    We have been told the plan is not set in stone and can be amended, but the taskforce is pushing ahead with the “staged” implementation of the plan and pursuit of funds towards what is estimated to be a project costing between $3m to $5m.


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