WELLINGTON Shire Council intends to retain the current configuration of an intersection at the Port of Sale.
Council has received a petition with 106 signatures of people objecting to the renaming of the northern end of Park St to Grand Canal Drive.
The objection relates to traffic going through the Port of Sale being given priority over that heading to the southern part of Park St.
Council intends to create a single road through the Port of Sale precinct from Foster St through to Raymond St.
The proposal to create Grand Canal Drive, would take in what is currently the northern end of Park St, Canal Rd, the southern end of Desailly St and the west of McMillan St.
Council last year advertised its intention to rename the stretch of road, which would proceed if no objections were received.
Council’s place names committee will use the petition and any other objections to create another report, including recommendations, to be presented for council to vote on during the next meeting next Tuesday, March 20.
Park St residents believe renaming the section of their road to Grand Canal Drive would hinder their efforts to have Park St reinstated as the priority road at the intersection, while it could also make it hard for visitors and emergency services to find their property.
While the name change is yet to be confirmed, council will advise the head petitioner that there will be no proposal to alter the intersection of Park St and Canal Rd.
Prior to road works being completed last year, Canal Rd and Park St was a standard “T” intersection in which Park St traffic had the right of way.
As part of the Park St Bridge replacement and Port of Sale redevelopment, an assessment of the intersection was undertaken to determine the most appropriate configuration, taking traffic flow and vehicle and pedestrian safety into consideration.
A traffic count indicated that of the 1110 vehicles per day utilising Park St north of Canal Rd, only a quarter (280) used the Park Street Bridge, with the rest (800) continuing onto Canal Rd.
This led to traffic to and from Canal Rd being given priority.
While acknowledging residents south of the Port of Sale had to get used to a new intersection lay-out, councillor Darren McCubbin said the more “significant” street had to take priority.
“It’s based on traffic numbers, and the traffic numbers are clearly saying that the Canal Rd is the highest priority,” he said.
“In the two months that this place has been open, over 40,000 people have attended this centre.
“It’s the clear intent of the architect and council that the front of the building has now been shifted to the port side.
“There is a large number of people who are driving along that road, more than they’ve ever done.
“We look at the 11 people that are based around Park St, and the thousands of people who are using the port.
“Clearly this road has higher priority.”