Magnetic Island North Queensland
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April 20th 2009
Hayles Avenue parking headache

Market users arrive for the Friday night market Last Saturday a meeting was held at the RSL Hall in Arcadia to discuss parking problems along Hayles Avenue in the vicinity of the RSL. Townsville City Council had, following a police request, begun the process of turning the street into a “No Stopping” zone but, following a sharp reaction from residents and users of the RSL Hall, council has now put the work on hold and gone back to the drawing board.

The intention by Council was to make the area on Hayles Ave, from the Mirimar Crescent intersection through to Endeavour Road, all, “No stopping” after a letter was sent to residents in mid March.

TCC had, it seemed, not understood the heavy community use of the RSL by groups as diverse as the Friday night Marketeers, U3A and Magnetic Island Musos Club who all need to park and unload and load equipment close to the RSL.

U3A Co-ordinator and nearby resident, Dr Don Kinsey wrote to council prior to the meeting and listed reasons for not stopping the parking which presently occurs there. His points included the following:

* This is Magnetic Island, a laid-back holiday and non-suburban lifestyle
* The RSL precinct is one of the most used facilities for community activities
* Most activities here involve unloading and loading supplies and materials used in those activities
* Many of those activities (such as U3A which I coordinate) involve older residents and visitors for whom remote parking is a problem
* The subject section of Hayles Avenue includes one formal and one informal bus stop and is very commonly used by taxis delivering people to the RSL
* Forcing parking into surrounding streets will not be greeted with much enthusiasm by residents of those quiet, dead-end streets
* One of the most serious traffic problems in this winding and often blind street is caused by the buses
* The most dangerous part of Hayles Avenue by far is not the stretch under consideration but the stretch from the RSL back to Bright Avenue much of which is blind, winding, and without any footpath, and includes a bridge with absolutely no footpaths or verges.

Dr Kinsey added that, "Deputy Mayor, David Crisafulli has expressed his own preference (public meeting, RSL, 4/12/08) for a general speed limit of 50km/hr to be applied to Magnetic Island to reflect its laid-back and relaxed atmosphere."

Magnetic Island Councillor, Trevor Roberts has, since the meeting, told Magnetic Times,

“Several suggestions were put forward such as: no standing signs on only one side of the road opposite the RSL; installing traffic calming devices such as speed bumps; lowering the speed limit to 40 kph along that section of Hayles Avenue; making Hayles Avenue a one way street from McCabe Crescent to the end of the street beyond the RSL.

“There are many things to consider including the contract obligations of the Magnetic Island (present at the meeting) bus service and the fact that their schedules are closely tied to the ferry timetables. There is also the bus service provided for school children. 
“In a nut shell No Stopping zones are clearly not what the community wants but it also important to keep in mind the safety concerns expressed by the police. Council will take away all of these concerns and will come back to the community with options for them to consider. It will be very difficult to find the perfect solution but with the help of the community we are hoping to secure an outcome that improves the situation for all involved.”

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Hayles Avenue parking headache
April 20th 2009
Say that's a good idea. Because the residents love it and use, let's ban it.

Besides what letter from the Council in March? Or do you just mean Arcadia residents?
wendy Tubman
April 20th 2009
Still, the 50 kph limit across the island supported by David Crisafulli is one that I think many would support.
April 20th 2009
The 50 KPH speed limit is a step in the right direction.
April 21st 2009
Sailing through there past the RSL at the current non-main-road speed limit of 50 kph (or even 40 kph) on a Friday evening just on dark is asking for trouble. Think of the damage to your car from hitting an old half-blind Digger or a mum pushing a stroller. Think of the paperwork!
My suggestion is that the management put up temporary road signs (sandwich boards with violent reflective tape) about 50m away at each end - just for the period of the market - suggesting a speed of say, 20kph - so that non-locals, particularly rubbernecking, no-idea tourists, are given fair warning that their wonderful weekend escape could easily be ruined ..... through no fault of their own.
Also, some of the locals who park there on the sweep of the curve should think very carefully about how big the bum of their 2.5 tonne urban tractor looks in the play of light and shadow along Hayles Ave. To use an overworked phrase - it's a no-brainer.
April 23rd 2009
Buses come through there very fast, with lots of kids around. Can they be asked to slow down?
April 25th 2009
With respect, Parent, surely it is our public responsibility, if not obligation, to manage our property boundaries and entry/exits so that children and others CANNOT run out onto the street between parked cars and perhaps under a passing bus. It is unfortunate that the RSL hall and grounds is in such a vulnerable spot and obviously this is the very reason why Council has had to intervene. If visitors insist on parking willy-nilly on the inside of that curve next to the market we all know they are creating a hazard - hence Council's proposal to stop people parking there. No one wants to fence off the grounds and no one wants to park further away or even give up one parking spot in the most appropriate area so what compromise are users prepared to make in order that all citizens, including motorists using the public street (it isn't a pedestrian mall), can do so with maximum practicality and safety and minimum inconvenience.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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