Valid concerns

A drive down Dumas Street in Mt Barker at morning school drop off time will highlight exactly why the Mt Barker Primary School community is concerned about plans to add a new park n ride to the busy thoroughfare.
The much-needed park n ride, announced by the State Government last week, would certainly be welcome news to commuters who regularly have to battle for a parking space at the existing Dutton Road facility.
The planned new hub, with its 400 plus parking spaces, shelter, secure bike lockers and toilets, is exactly what this growing town needs, and the vacant land next to the TAFE complex seems like an ideal location for it.
But the school community raises some very valid concerns.
The school zone along Dumas Street near the TAFE and library would have to be one of the longest in the Hills.
Each morning and afternoon it is packed with cars, parents and children from both the school and the neighboring kindergarten.
Parking has always been a problem at peak times, as has the amount of traffic congestion, with motorists often banked back from the Adelaide Road lights to well past the school crossing.
Add up to another 1000 vehicle movements a day, especially in the mornings, and it appears to be a recipe for a traffic nightmare.
More work needs to be done to ensure that if the park n ride is built there later this year that it does not jeopardise student safety, or worsen the existing traffic bottleneck.

Rally relations

The Major Events Bill 2013 is a wide- ranging document that aims to make it easier to run big festivals and competitions in SA by placing them under the exclusive control of the State Government.
Car rallies are only one type of event that  might be affected by the legislation, which is yet to be debated in Parliament.
However, these rallies are probably the one major event that causes the Adelaide Hills Council the most angst because they involve approving the closure of local roads.
Rally organisers argue that the silent majority of Hills residents support the sport and tolerate the road closures and it is the minority who complain.
Regardless, the complainers have been loud in recent years, prompting the council to draft its own policy for special events.
Elected members are now concerned that their efforts to mediate a middle ground might be for naught.
The Bill might make take the decision out of their hands but it would also take away their ability to speak up for residents.
If that happens, then event organisers and the Government risk eroding valuable community goodwill.

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