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Council statement about The Parade and George Street, Norwood

25/03/2021

It is extremely important that residents, business owners/operators and visitors to the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters are aware of the facts and legal action relating to the “scramble crossing” proposed to be installed by the Council at the intersection of The Parade and George Street, Norwood.

If the Council does not proceed with the current legal action, The Parade will never be the same again and its status as Adelaide’s premier Main Street will be at risk.

As part of The Parade Masterplan, which was the subject of three rounds of consultation with residents, property owners, business owners and visitors, the Council proposed a number of initiatives, including the installation of a “scramble crossing” at the intersection.

The concept of a “scramble crossing” is to allow all pedestrian movements to occur at one time, followed by vehicle movements.

As a main street, the Council’s priority for The Parade is pedestrian safety. At the same time, the Council is also cognisant of the need to improve vehicular safety and the safe movement of vehicles through the intersection.

To achieve these objectives, the Council worked co-operatively with the State Government on this issue over several years.

Following these discussions, on 4 June 2020 the Minister approved the installation of the “scramble crossing”, but only on the condition that right hand turns from The Parade into George Street be prohibited during peak hours (i.e. 7:30am – 9:00am northbound towards Magill Road and 4:00pm – 6:00pm southbound towards Kensington Road) for a trial period of 12 months.

The Council has never advocated for the banning of right hand turns from The Parade onto George Street.

However, on the basis that the “scramble crossing” would not be installed without this requirement, and on the basis that the bans on right hand turns would be trialled for a 12 month period, the Council agreed to this condition.

Following the Minister’s approval of the “scramble crossing”, property owners on The Parade took legal action (judicial review proceedings) against the Council and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT)

As a result, the construction of the “scramble crossing” by the Council was put on hold until the legal proceedings were resolved.

During the legal proceedings, the State Government entered into negotiations with the parties who took the legal action, and reached a different agreement regarding the “scramble crossing” at The Parade / George Street intersection.

The Council was unaware that these negotiations were taking place and that a new agreement had been reached between the State Government and the property owners.

The Council sought an explanation from the State Government as to the reasons why it had reversed its decision regarding the “scramble crossing” and, instead, reached an agreement with the property owners.

The agreement included the introduction of slip lanes, which would turn The Parade/George Street into a major intersection.  After reaching this agreement with the State Government, the property owner discontinued the legal proceedings against the Council and the Department.

To this date, despite numerous requests for this information, the Council has not been provided with an explanation about how or why this new agreement was reached.

The Council is seeking to understand why the approval for the “scramble crossing” as originally proposed by DIT and approved by the Minister, has been scrapped and why a new agreement has been entered into with two property owners, without any discussion with the Council.

Given the significant impact the new changes will make to this intersection and The Parade and the lack of response from the State Government, the Council believed it had no choice but to pursue this matter in the Supreme Court in the interests of transparency, the safety of pedestrians, the protection of trees in the median strip, and the generally amenity of The Parade as a main street.

Instead, The Parade will transform into a major arterial road which is contrary to DIT’s own assessment of The Parade as primarily a public transport road, with priority given to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

Finally, it is important to note that as part of The Parade Masterplan, which was approved by the Council, George Street will not be closed, but will instead remain open for two-way traffic with the aim of improving turns for motorists.