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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Traffic lights needed in my backyard

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Well done Byron shire councillors! At last, Byron Shire might have a sensible debate about traffic lights.

After waiting more than 20 years for something to happen at the increasingly dangerous Clifford Street intersection – being told the cost of a roundabout was prohibitive and no-one would tolerate traffic lights – I welcome some sensible discussion.

I can’t think of a more reasonable resolution than was passed, that calls for objective, informed investigation and contextualised merit-based decisions.

I have never heard the moral, aesthetic, environmental or any other imperative for the avoidance at all costs of traffic lights in Byron shire, just an hysterical knee-jerk reaction that has no place in discussion of matters of public safety and amenity.  
However, if there is a cogent argument against, now’s the time to bring it out.

Personally, I’m over having to navigate a horrendous intersection as my only exit from the place where I live, subject to what seems little more than the whim of some in the shire, who, if they ever visit beachside Suffolk, can do so when they choose and don’t have to face the daily peak hour roulette to get to work, or kids to school.

Byron Bay is also well and truly in need of better traffic solutions than the chaos of the roundabouts in Lawson Street.

Imagine when there is a pedestrian crossing interrupting the flow of traffic! One is badly needed but the safest and most efficient solution with this amount of traffic would appear to be traffic lights. They are safer for bikes as well.  
The traffic issue furthermore is now year-round and traffic lights just may do more to ease the journey through town than a bypass ever will.

No-one more than me mourns the passing of the sleepy beach-side village that was Byron Bay but no amount of petulant foot-stamping will bring it back.

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park

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  1. Just today 22/12, there was a big crash at the clifford street intersection. The numbers just dont add up for them to be coincidences. That corner is so inherently dangerous. Im not fussed on what the change is, it just needs to be reviewed

  2. Traffic lights installed in the existing road reserve or acquisition of the residents land on western side of Clifford St intersection for a roundabout ?
    I hope the person who owns the land gets a good compensation for it . Rates will rise even more and rents will increase accordingly.

  3. people need to grow some logic and half a brain in how to drive. Traffic lights around Australia are notoriously badly set up wasting incredible time for drivers and more CO2 buildup.

    • Yes Donald, Byron’s congestion problems are clearly mainly caused by people not knowing how to drive. Nothing to do with visitor numbers. Likewise there’s no waste of time driving through town or out of Clifford Street waiting in bank-ups and spewing CO2 emissions. You’ll need to do better than this!

  4. Excellent letter Liz. Roundabouts work well in light traffic situations where no particular route dominates. The work very poorly in heavy traffic situations where one route dominates all others.

    Traffic lights don’t create traffic, the traffic is already here. We need to deal with it and make the intersection safe, and traffic lights are a far more cost-effective solution than a roundabout, anywhere between one-tenth and a third of the cost.

  5. Sanity at last ! I used to support Jan Barham’s implacable opposition to traffic lights but our Shire has changed and so must our thinking … sadly.
    Jenny Coman


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