OGCA Newletter

Ocean Grove Community Association Inc - Media Release - 14 March 2018

No Third Bridge for Barwon River

We note with concern that local politicians are proposing a short term solution for the development of a third bridge for Barwon Heads/Ocean Grove. This will not solve the traffic volume solution and only create additional traffic through Ocean Grove, as people will use the third bridge to access from the west to north Bellarine, Queenscliff and ferries. This is not the way forward and we should be looking at long term solutions.

The Problems

There are 4 main issues causing problems for traffic crossing the bridge.

  1. When VicRoads originally proposed the two bridge solution (separate pedestrian and vehicle bridges) we advised them that the pedestrian bridge should be on the up-stream side to the vehicle bridge (i.e. opposite to what has been constructed). This is because pedestrians (including some 3,000 campers from the Ocean Grove Spit Caravan Park) now have to cross Bridge Road four times on a return trip to the Barwon Heads town centre.
  2. The traffic impact of development of Armstrong Creek residential subdivisions were not properly considered. A significant number of these residents now visit Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, to enjoy the beaches and shops particularly on weekends. In addition a number of these Armstrong Creek residents, together with people travelling from the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road, use the Barwon Heads Bridge to access the northern Bellarine, Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale and the ferries. Hence significantly increasing the ‘through traffic’ volumes, all year round.
  3. We support the installation of the Pedestrian lights for Bridge Road and Hitchcock Avenue as they provide a safe environment for pedestrians. However, the Bridge Road pedestrian lights results in pedestrians just meandering across the crossing and not allowing for vehicle traffic flow. This is exacerbated over summer due to the dramatic increase in both vehicles and pedestrians.
  4. The existing Grubb Road, Ocean Grove infrastructure can no longer cope with the vehicle volumes and vehicles turning into the new residential estates and the existing industrial estate. This will be further exacerbated with the growth of the residential estates (300 houses per year) and the development of the new retirement village and shopping centre abutting Grubb Road.

The Solutions

We believe that there are a number of solutions, short to long term that could be implemented to rectify the traffic problems.

  1. During the summer period (say December to Easter) the Bridge Road pedestrian lights could be replaced with a signalised pedestrian crossing. The remainder of the year they could convert back to pedestrian lights. VicRoads needs to develop an innovative set of traffic lights. Also the speed limit of 60kh on the existing Bridge should be reduced to 40kh (same as Bridge Road) to just north of the pedestrian refuge on the Ocean Grove side of the Bridge providing consistency in speed limits and improved pedestrian safety.
  2. The Geelong Ring Road (Bellarine Link) be completed to connect to the Geelong-Portarlington Road. This will mean that the “through traffic” to northern Bellarine, Queenscliff and the Ferries (plus return trips) will not come through Barwon Heads/Ocean Grove, but instead use the Bellarine Highway and Geelong-Portarlington Road. In 2007/08 VicRoads traffic counts identified that 25%-30% of traffic using the current bridge is “through traffic”.

This solution will also reduce traffic volumes travelling through East Geelong and Geelong to access western Victoria and Melbourne.

VicRoads are currently undertaking a Planning Study for the Geelong Ring Road (Bellarine Link). Both Federal and State Governments should then commit to actually funding the construction of the Bellarine Link. Construction works should commence by 2022.

  1. Ocean Grove expansion is also contributing to traffic problems. This will only get worse with the construction of more homes, Kingston Shopping Village and a retirement village, all along Grubb Road. VicRoads are currently undertaking a Planning Study for the enhancement of Grubb Road and Tuckfield Street, including connection to The Terrace.

We do not believe that this necessarily means the duplication of Grubb Road and Tuckfield Street, but could be in the form of improved carriage ways with appropriate turning lanes at intersections and decent road bicycle lanes. This option could then leave 20-30 metres in the road reserve to create a walking track with rest stops, together with a bicycle track for children and families. This would connect the Bellarine Highway to The Terrace and provide a unique pedestrian/bicycle link to the main entry to Ocean Grove.

Any enhancement of Grubb Road and Tuckfield Street should be based on maintaining and improving the indigenous vegetation we already have along the northern gateway to Ocean Grove. In addition, the opportunity to place power and communication lines underground should be part of the works.

The Ocean Grove Community Association will be lobbying for a commitment from all political parties at the next State elections for the next State Government to fund the construction of Grubb Road and Tuckfield Street enhancement works in the next term of Government with construction works to commence in 2020. Federal Government funds would also be welcome.

The Ocean Grove Community Association is in discussions with VicRoads to hold a Traffic Community Forum in June 2018. We will advise the community of the actual date and venue once confirmed.

Prepared by

Michael Harbour – Chairperson 

And

Phil Edwards – Deputy Chairperson

Ocean Grove Community Association Inc.

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Ocean Grove Community Association

The Voice September 2017 Newsletter

I provide the following updates;

Geelong Council Elections (October 2017)

The Geelong Council elections are proposed to be held via postal vote commencing 10 October 2017 and closing 27

October 2017.

The Bellarine Community Associations have agreed to have a series of Council Candidate Forums for the Bellarine Ward, during October 2017. The dates and venues are as follows;

The Ocean Grove forum is being facilitated by the Barwon Heads, Breamlea, Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale Community Associations. We encourage residents to attend and participate in the forums.

 

Traffic Issues

VicRoads is about to commence the planning/design process to duplicate Grubb Road, which we believe will entail community consultation. We will commence lobbying both levels of government for the funds to actually duplicate Grubb Road from the Bellarine Hwy to The Parade. Any such duplication will be on the basis of maintaining and enhancing the native vegetation along Grubb Road and installing all power lines underground. Our aim is to have construction works commence in 2020.

We have a traffic meeting with VicRoads and Council in late September 2017, so let us know if you have any other traffic issues that you want us to raise.

2017 Community Forums

We want your suggestions as to what community forums you would like us to organise in 2017. Some suggestions have been:

  • Developing Walking/Bicycle tracks within Ocean Grove and connecting to other towns.
  • Establishing Cultural/Education facility.

So let us know your ideas.

New Committee Members

We welcome our new Committee members Jo Hawthorne and Noel Emselle. The OGCA encourages people to become committee members and assist in facilitating community forums and lobby all levels of government for specific projects that will benefit Ocean Grove.

The Committee meets at 7.00pm on the first Wednesday of each month at the Ocean Grove Bowling Club Board Room. You are welcome to attend one of our meetings prior to becoming a Committee member.

 

Ocean Grove Bowling Club

We thank the Ocean Grove Bowling Club for providing the venue for our monthly Committee meetings and the Community Forums that we hold during the year. We would encourage people to have a meal at their restaurant prior to our Community Forums or any other time that suits.

 

Michael Harbour

Chairperson OGCA

0418 566 504