If Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is looking for alternatives to their proposed orbital road investigation corridor, perhaps look no further than Fernhill Road resident Jim Munro.
The 80 year old retired engineer and organisational development consultant addressed the public forum at council's February meeting.
He spent some 150 hours developing his plan for an alternate orbital road route.
The basic premise of Mr Munro's plan was that an orbital road should to go around rather than through residential areas.
Mr Munro told council's public forum that the investigation corridor was raising anxiety within the community.
"I want to raise a proposal with you that has minimal impact," he said.
"And I pose a challenge: an orbital road routes traffic away from homes and frees up access issues," he told the meeting.
That remark saw applause from some of the 250 people in attendance.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Munro said he offered some help to a friend who was originally planning on addressing council.
"I simply offered to help but when I handed the information over to him he said I should make the presentation," Mr Munro said.
"This plan is based on an application of prior skill and knowledge," he said.
Mr Munro graduated from the Adelaide University as an engineer. He spent 22 years in the Army Reserve which taught him about ground appreciation and route planning.
Throughout his career he has variously worked in engineering design and development.
He also spent a period of time as a consultant in organisational development, specialising in accident reconstruction.
Mr Munro said he is making an approach to talk with council general manager Craig Swift-McNair.
"I think council could be doing a better job in advising the community with regards to the estimated costs and timings in relation to road development," he said.
"Council has a huge set of projects on their plate and they must be very careful about their prioritisation and development of the project plans.
Council has a huge set of projects on their plate and they must be very careful about their prioritisation and development of the project plans.Jim Munro
"I don't think they are clearly presented to the community, at this point," he said.
He said the tabled investigation corridor goes through some significantly developed areas.
The route is, he says, a mix of orbital route to the north and corridors within development areas to the south.
"It is not completely orbital," he said.
"I believe there is an opportunity to take the road from where it bridges the Oxley Highway out to Ocean Drive with minimum disruption to established areas."
Mr Munro said his plan was not that different from the plans to the north of the Oxley Highway as presented by council.
To the south, his plan provides a truly orbital route that as far as possible does not interfere with significant domestic development and the wetlands around Lake Innes.
"The southern intersection would be the eastern boundary of the National Parks and Wildlife Service reserve," he said.
Mr Munro said from his observations, there is a large amount of industry estate traffic and CBD traffic to contend with.
There is also regional traffic which comes to the airport that need not go through the CBD or the industrial estate.
There is also domestic traffic from recent developments west and heading toward the beaches. This traffic does not need to go through the CBD or the Lake Road area, he says.
"Inevitably, whichever route is chosen there is likely to be some residential properties resume," he added.
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