Look, we don't want to seem ungrateful.
We all welcome the fact the NSW Government is turning its eye to the worsening traffic congestion dysfunction in Wollongong's northern suburbs.
But the options to go on display next week - which the Mercury has learned about before their official release - aren't going to solve anything.
Do we need to be thankful when a government tries its hand at something sensible? After all, they represent us, they are funded by us, and their one and only job is to do what is best for us.
And of course the congestion problems faced by residents from Woonona to Coledale - some days, all the way to Loftus - are often either the result of, or heavily contributed to by, state government policies.
These include: easing the path for a rash of dual occupancies which increase population density, accelerating residential development in southwest Sydney from where the closest beaches are here, and making decisions on roads and public transport which mean the train trip between Wollongong and Sydney is barely quicker than it was many decades ago.
Add the new provision in planning law which dictates changes to the local environment plan can't ever reduce building density - only increase it - and if the northern suburbs only have one road in or out, the problems are pretty easy to predict.
So, thanks for coming. But if they'd spent a bit more time here, decisions might be being made with some better information.
A survey in 2019 identified people waiting to turn right as a significant frustration in Bulli and Thirroul. It may be so, but the options to be released on Monday seem to have firmly seized the wrong end of the stick.
The priority is on creating more clearways so traffic can flow better around drivers turning right. But if transport authorities think people slowing down traffic by waiting to turn right in Bulli and Thirroul is the cause of the area's traffic congestion, they should spend a bit more time in the area.
Everyone who drives up this way knows where the right turners are. Almost everyone indicates then moves around them, often with other drivers letting them in because they understand. It's not perfect but it works pretty well.
The real problem is the sheer number of cars on Lawrence Hargrave Dr. It's visitors from Sydney on sunny weekends, sure, but it's also every Saturday when people are trying to get the kids to soccer, and it's every afternoon at school pick-up time.
A clearway through Thirroul will only improve things for 100m - then the train bridge becomes single lane again. Instant bottleneck, which will stretch back and back.
Then there's the traffic lights at Philip St, and at Wrexham Rd. These are the spots which start the congestion in Thirroul. Each of them already have dedicated turning lanes. The issue is the number of cars on a main road limited by single lane sections.
If you're not going to improve these single lane sections, anything else will be meaningless; worse, it will ruin businesses and local amenity by removing local parking, and deliver close to zero benefit for traffic flow.
If the term "planning" is actually in your job description, please, think this one through a bit better.
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