Despite nearly four years of discussion, angst and reported near-misses, the parking issues for Lumen Christi Catholic College remain far from resolved.
Principal Steve Centra spoke up this week ahead of a further scheduled face-to-face with Andrew Constance and a potential public meeting to discuss ongoing concerns.
He said no work has been done on Pambula Beach Rd other than the installation of no stopping signs, and that children, their families and the community remain at significant risk.
“The time it’s taking to resolve this is ridiculous,” Mr Centra said.
Council implemented no stopping zones along the section of Pambula Beach Rd adjacent to the college 12 months ago on the recommendation of the traffic committee. Arguments put forward at the time included safety issues around parents pulling back into traffic during the busy school drop-off and pick-up times, and erosion of the dirt bank potentially impacting on valuable council assets buried underneath.
The no stopping zones are in place for 8-9am and 3-4pm on school days.
However, as is clearly evident and pointed out by Mr Centra, even the adherence to the no stopping zone by the school’s parents hasn’t prevented erosion. A sizeable gully has formed at the road’s edge, with dirt and gravel washing on to the intersection with Culgoa Crescent and into stormwater drains.
“Even since closing it, no work has been done,” the college principal said this week.
“And if they were serious about the embankment they would have made it a no-go zone all the time, not just at the start and end of school.
“You could have B-doubles parking along here during the day every day and no-one can bat an eyelid.”
Mr Centra said he has obtained BVSC documents regarding the issue through GIPA requests, which indicate “three or four complaints from residents – one a former council staff member”.
“Our parents have sent many times more letters to the council objecting to the no stopping zones, but it seems they don’t hold as much weight as the few complaints,” he said.
Suggested solutions include reconfiguring Lumen’s existing car park – to which Mr Centra is amenable – shifting some staff parking into the adjacent sportsground land, and rolling “kiss and drop” zones along Culgoa Cres and the contentious section of Pambula Beach Rd.
Or as Mr Centra points out, all of the above for “the logical solution”.
“Obviously it will take money [to redevelop Pambula Beach Rd with drop-off zones] but that’s the simplest answer.
“I don’t want to be sitting here saying ‘we’ve had a tragedy, what can be done?’ It’s too late then.”