After an extensive study by the Federal Regional and Interstate Traffic Authority (FRITA), and much debate in local Government, there is at last some good news for Gemfields residents. Funding has finally been approved for traffic management improvements to the busy Capricorn Highway-Anakie intersection.

 Initiatives already in place at this notorious traffic black spot include reduced speed limits and halogen night lighting, but more is needed according to Anakie police sergeant Arbey Tee. Sergeant Tee confirmed that this problem is regularly highlighted at this time of year by the increased traffic associated with Gemfest.

 The study by FRITA included an analysis of low cost traffic management solutions such as roundabouts and speed bumps but, as long time Sapphire resident Iva Cutter told the researchers, “the Capricorn Highway has so many bumps already that one more ain’t gonna make a rat’s difference.”

 Similarly, the idea of a roundabout was dismissed after Rubyvale’s Kent Drinkwater demonstrated a problem many residents have negotiating such obstacles, particularly at night. In fact this demonstration, conducted under controlled conditions on a Saturday night outside the Anakie Hotel, resulted in substantial damage to several vehicles and one cow.

 As a result of their study FRITA recommended to the Federal Government’s Traffic subcommittee that a more conventional solution be applied. Initial resistance to the proposed solution was overcome by a suggestion from Senator Redstones that a red light camera at these crossroads would cover the costs.

The traffic management proposal was therefore approved. Construction, funded by the last remnants of the Government’s 73 billion dollar Economic Stimulus program, is planned to commence this August and will take 36 months to complete.

September 2, 2012 · Posted in Cartoons, Gallery