A PRICKLY debate has started over the height of shrubs planted on roundabouts.
Wagga residents and professional drivers say action needs to be taken on a number of roundabouts, with vegetation obscuring vision.
“In trying to make it look beautiful, they’re increasing the risk of accidents and slowing down traffic,” local community campaigner Ronda Lampe said.
Depending on the roundabout and the approach, Mrs Lampe said a driver might not see another car until they were turning.
“Sometimes you can only just see the top of small cars,” she said.
“If you’re up in a four-wheel-drive it’s not a problem, but we don’t all drive four-wheel-drives.”
Many drivers account for the visibility issue by slowing down and sometimes coming to a complete stop which Mrs Lampe said defeated the entire purpose of roundabouts.
She cited the roundabout at the intersection of Red Hill Road and Tamar Drive where traffic would bank up to the top of the hill at peak hours.
Visibility on the Johnston Street and Trail Street roundabout could often be reduced to just the roof or a windshield U-Learn Driving School instructor Craig Callow said.
“If you can’t see the indicators you don’t know if they’re coming through or turning right,” he said.
Without knowing where someone already on the roundabout is going makes negotiating one much more difficult.
“It impedes traffic flow and someone people just guess without knowing if they have to give way or not,” Mr Callow said.
Mayor Rod Kendall urged any motorists with issues about visibility on roundabouts to report it.
“They’re inspected and maintained on a regular basis but if anybody sees any issues at all, they should be reported,” Councillor Kendall said.
“In my experience they’re (reports) acted on,” Cr Kendall said.
Cr Kendall said the council adhered to regulations put in place to ensure good visibility.
He said initial plantings on roundabouts are planted with height guidelines in mind but could sometimes grow taller than expected and needed maintenance.
Cr Kendall described plantings as a balancing act taking into account safety, maintenance and appearance. Residents can report issues to council’s service desk, on 1300 292 442.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.