26 April, 2021
Council rejects Yandilla Street pedestrian crossing recommendation
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has voted to install a new pedestrian crossing adjacent to Evans Lane on Yandilla Street, despite preferences expressed by authorities and many locals for the crossing to be located further east.
The issue has been debated for some years.
Councillors were told that there had been extensive community consultation which led to a survey being carried out in 2017, asking if locals were in favour of a crossing being located in front of the local pool.
There were 248 responses and of those, 140 people were in favour of a zebra crossing being created with 117 of those agreeing to the location near the pool.
There were 23 responses described as being a “qualified” yes.
Council’s Infrastructure Committee had been told that the site near the pool was preferred by the Department of Transport (TMR) and Main Roads and by TRC staff.
The TRC planners had recommended that the Council adopt that proposal, however the Committee took a different view, influenced by local business people, including the Pittsworth District Alliance (PDA).
The PDA and other business people had expressed concern at the loss of parking spots at the originally proposed site.
The Council Committee voted that TMR be advised that TRC supports the provision of a raised zebra crossing of Yandilla Street at Evans Lane.
It said the reason for its recommendation was that the results of the community feedback were inconclusive and the alternate location of Evans Lane (62 Yandilla Street) was based on that consideration.
At last week’s Ordinary Meeting of Council, Cr Carol Taylor put forward an amendment calling for the crossing to be located near the pool, largely for safety reasons.
She argued vigorously in favour of the original location but the issue was eventually decided on a 9-2 vote, with only Cr Cahill supporting Cr Taylor.
The debate saw Cr Nancy Sommerfield cast aspersions on the manner in which the 2017 community survey had been conducted.
Cr Sommerfield suggested that the question was poorly framed as it asked only if residents wanted the pedestrian crossing to be established at the site adjacent to the pool.
She asked for clearer questions to be put forward in future surveys.
TRC’s General Manager Infrastructure Services, Mike Brady, told the meeting that the question had come about based on community consultation taken previously.
Council’s CEO Brian Pidgeon said TRC has on its staff experts in community consultation matters which ensured that surveys were undertaken correctly.
Mr Pidgeon said he thought it would be an operational burden for Councillors to have these things run past Councillors.
The Council decision is likely to defer further the establishment of a pedestrian crossing as it will have to be referred back to TMR.