A long-held ambition of the Huon Valley Council (HVC) to redirect traffic from narrow, busy Mary Street in Cygnet is one step closer, with the Liberal Party promising $5 million to advance the project as part of its pre-election funding commitments.
The diversion of Mary Street to the east was first proposed in 1997 and was re-endorsed in the Cygnet Township Plans of 2004 and 2010 and was second on HVC’s list of priority projects recently developed as part of the strategy to attract funding during the State and Federal Election campaigns.
The Cygnet Association is inviting residents of Cygnet and surrounding areas to have their say regarding the proposed diversion of Mary Street and will present an exhibition of various plans and related material at the Cygnet Town Hall Supper Room on Sunday, May 16 between 10am and 3pm.
Cygnet Association president Howard Wilcockson said the new street is proposed to run from alongside the BP service station, behind the shops, past the Town Hall car park and then rejoin Mary Street opposite the hardware store.
“This concept was endorsed by the HVC in 2010 and has finally been given Priority Project status as a result of the Association emphasising that something needs to be done, in view of the population growth of the Cygnet region,” said Mr Wilcockson.
Mr Wilcockson added that through-traffic passing via the centre of Cygnet has increased markedly over recent years as more homes have been built within the region. “Furthermore, what were holiday shacks in areas such as Verona Sands, Charlotte Cove and Garden Island Creek have been upgraded, with many now having permanent residents,” he said.
“The end result of the population increase is a definite clash between pedestrian shoppers crossing Mary Street from the car park and parking along the street, to the point that if the through traffic is not reduced soon, we’re highly likely to see an elderly person or a child knocked down.
“We think the new street will provide for more parking, help reduce the traffic flow in Mary Street and make the central precinct area safer.”
The 2010 Cygnet Township Plan included a new car park on Mary Street, but current plans see it removed, perhaps due to cost, as HVC would have to purchase Village zoned blocks of land to see it constructed.
The street reserve in the current plan is approximately 25 metres wide, which is a narrower street reserve than the 2004 plan, limiting the provision of off-street public parking.
The new street reserve on the 2004 plan was approximately 45 metres wide and
joined Mary Street where Jacky’s Café‚ is now located.
In this plan there was no car park planned for the northern end, but the added public land adjacent to each side of the street would allow for public parking bays as well as providing for more landscaping and off-street footpaths.
The Cygnet Association has also offered a third option for residents to consider, which incorporates a wider street reserve and joins Mary Street just north of the BP service station, to create a one-way loop around the town centre.
It also affords the potential for creating off-street parking bays and a significant amount of new parking along the one-way streets and could be used as a two-way street when required, to allow the closure of Mary Street for special events.
Residents are invited to view the plans and are welcome to contribute ideas or make comments and suggestions during the exhibition this Sunday, or can visit www.cygnet.org.au for more information.