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Shopping strip a 'danger'

Wednesday, 27th March, 2013

Red Robin staff Theresa Bugeja (left) and Louise Schofield are concerned about chaotic traffic conditions in Gypsum Street. Red Robin staff Theresa Bugeja (left) and Louise Schofield are concerned about chaotic traffic conditions in Gypsum Street.

By Erica Visser

Traffic at the Gypsum Street shopping precinct is out of control, according to a deli owner.

Red Robin owner Gary Werch said that City Council had told him in December that they were investigating the issue, however he is yet to hear back.

Mr Werch said that the area had become dangerous, particularly after the opening of several new stores.

Traffic at the Gypsum Street shopping precinct is out of control, according to a deli owner.

Red Robin owner Gary Werch said that City Council had told him in December that they were investigating the issue, however he is yet to hear back.

The area is the only shopping precinct in Broken Hill that does not have angle parking out the front.

Mr Werch said that as a result, people were using the road like a "pit-stop at a V8 Supercar event" and "hooning" through the nearby lane.

Mr Werch proposed that angle parking be adopted, the lane next to Warburton's Discount Butchers be made one way and the bitumised footpath be fixed.

"I just want Council to be proactive," he said.

"I think it's getting to the stage of urgent and I think we're one shop away from being full capacity.

"Gypsum Street would be the most heavily trafficked business area after Argent Street and the Plaza.

"We really deserve to have a better arrangement, this really, really has to be done in this area."

While a counter-argument for angle parking has been the drainage at the site, Mr Werch said that was irrelevant as customers did not park in front of the stores during rain anyway.

Mr Werch also said that the footpath was dangerous and he had seen a person fall just last week.

"I've seen a pram actually roll towards the street, there's no rail or anything, and it's a drop of about two steps onto the street."

Mr Werch believed that the footpath should be changed to cement as soon as possible with suitable wheelchair access as soon as possible.

Owner of Totally Addicted to Hair Karen Underwood agreed that angle parking would help alleviate congestion in the street.

"There definitely needs something to be done, I think that would create a bit more space and help a lot."

Meanwhile, Wayne Lee Blinds owner, Wayne Lee, said that the nature of his business meant that the traffic was not as great an issue.

However, he strongly believed that the footpath needed mending.

"There's holes and cracks and it's not in good shape. I think it's quite dangerous," Mr Lee said.

"I've talked to Council before about the footpath and they've told me many times it's on the agenda but nothing's ever been done about it.

"We've been talking about this for five or six years."

Two nearby residents told the BDT that their nature strips were being used as parking spaces on a daily basis.

Council's acting general manager Peter Oldsen said that "preliminary investigations" had taken place but no "detailed studies have commenced".

"The investigations will involve a review of the current demand for parking in the area to provide data so that the extent of any parking issues can be determined," he said.

"Once the issues involved are understood, consideration can be given to possible solutions.

"Implementation of the solutions will depend how much they would cost to implement and whether funds are available in Council's budget."

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