And More...

Will there need to be traffic lights? Where will they go? Will we be faced with the prospect of three sets of lights in the space of a few hundred metres along Richmond Road?

That would mean one set of lights at the Soldiers Road intersection, another to give traffic from Herbert Street access to Centrepoint and a third at the Argyle Park Road intersection that forms one corner of the High School campus.

Hold it there for a second and think what happens to the High School enrolments as the town’s population doubles. 

Do we want an educational institution with a thousand students, many of whom will arrive by car or bus, located right beside a substantial commercial development that is, in itself, a major traffic magnet?

It’s safe to assume that a population of twenty-five thousand will require at least two new primary schools and possibly a second high school. 

Where will they be in relation to any new commercial developments?

Now it’s quite possible that all these things are currently under consideration and that everything will be carefully worked through. 

Unfortunately, looking back over the past forty years I can see a number of examples where it has been totally obvious that developments have proceeded without any consideration of some of their long-term implications.

Leaving Bowen for a moment, I started my teaching career at Heatley Primary, a school that had opened the year before I arrived, had an enrolment of more than six hundred within eighteen months of opening, and eventually settled down to an enrolment of more than twelve hundred. 

A few years later I was teaching at Aitkenvale Primary, a school with an even larger enrolment located on a major arterial road where the lack of traffic lights at one point meant that some teachers, back in the days before crossing supervisors, were doing pedestrian crossing duty before and after school.

And the two schools would have been roughly two kilometres apart.

Those two examples may explain why I’m slightly dubious when I hear that governments are engaging in serious long-term strategic planning.

There are things on the horizon that need to be talked about and thought through. These pages will, I hope, provide a contribution to those discussions.

 © Ian Hughes 2014