Traffic signals will help make everyone safer
Last Thursday morning, a 77-year-old lady was knocked to the ground on the pedestrian crossing in front of the post office on Argyle Street, Camden.
An ambulance attended the scene and thankfully the lady did not have serious injuries.
Council's most recent accident statistics show there were 41 accidents on Argyle Street over a seven-year period.
Of these 10 involved pedestrians and eight actually occurred on the pedestrian crossings themselves, including one fatality.
As a comparison, 11 crashes occurred over a five-year period at the intersection of the Old Hume Highway and Burragorang Road in Camden.
This warranted the RMS installing traffic and pedestrian signals at this location.
There have been suggestions to simply lower the speed limit on Argyle Street to 40km/h.
Council has previously applied to the RMS for this speed reduction but without success.
However, this alone would not be the solution as we would still have pedestrian crossings spanning four lanes of traffic.
Under current RMS guidelines, zebra crossings across four lanes of traffic are no longer permitted due to safety issues.
The Camden Town Centre is becoming increasingly busy and, over the next decade, 100,000 new residents will live on its doorstep.
It's therefore quite likely more traffic and pedestrian accidents will occur on Argyle Street if nothing is done.
The installation of traffic signals on Argyle Street is not only to improve safety for pedestrians but drivers too.
Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak
Flowerpots no answer
Camden councillor Therese Fedeli wants to put flowerpots on the roundabout at Argyle and John streets.
Flowerpots that may impair drivers' vision, potentially be vandalised and be expensive to maintain.
The maintenance of planter boxes has not been successful and the remaining ones continue to downgrade the look of the town. A perfect example are the dying camellias in the planters outside the Macaria building, right in front of the council chambers.
Does she think that her flowerpots will be enough to make up for the destruction of our main street and its magnificent avenue of trees?
If she really wanted to leave a lasting legacy perhaps she could have considered improving the avenue of trees on the approach to Camden from Cawdor Road towards the Sheathers Lane roundabout. It would be something that would be admired and appreciated for many years to come.
It seems that this council is very short-sighted.
With the exception of a few, the councillors are looking to change the face of Camden and the birthplace of the nation's wealth, when they should be working together to preserve and improve our historic town.
It will take more than a flowerpot to fix this big mistake.
Wendy Shephard, Elderslie
Mayor and scares
I must agree with Peter Standen's letter ("Scare campaign", Advertiser, May 20) and his views that Camden Council are the ones who are "scare campaigning" and not doing the right thing by the local community.
The mayor Lara "what's her name" is acting only for Lara, and could not care less about the community and its needs because she is most probably on wobbly ground to get a third year in the job (hopefully).
I suggest to the mayor that it does not do well to bite the hand that feeds you.
Tony Cascarino, Narellan Vale
Town enhancement plan lacks consultation
Over the past months, I have read with increasing disquiet the conflict between Camden Council and those opposing its proposed town enhancement plan.
The response from the council to Camden Community Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce and those individuals who expressed alternatives to council's plan, sought further consultative processes and requested a moratorium, has been, at best, dismissive and at worst, arrogant.
Those opposed to the planned changes are not ratbags or "Labor stooges" but a group of concerned local individuals who love their town and whose common aim is to preserve the unique "country" feel of Camden.
Ignoring their grievances is anything but constructive and smacks of contempt for the very people who voted them in.
Are we still living in a democracy? Should not council listen to the concern of ratepayers before implementing changes which have far-reaching consequences on their lifestyle?
Elected councillors come and go, as all politicians do, but their legacy remains, sometimes to the detriment of the community.
For goodness sake, listen to your electorate.
Dr Edwin Lim, Camden
Mayor Lara Symkowiak provided an undertaking to the Camden Chamber of Commerce last September that the proposed Camden town centre upgrade would not threaten the continued existence of the "mini crossings" on Argyle Street.
These smaller, informal median strip crossings provide pedestrian access along the length of the main street.
The interconnectivity that they permit is lifeblood to Argyle Street.
They are essential to its dynamic, commercially and socially.
To remove these crossings would drive another nail in the coffin that the ill-conceived and misnamed "upgrade" seems determined to build for our treasured town centre.
I urgently await the mayor's assurance that she has not reneged on her promise.
Sue Way, Camden
Plea to be heard
I am writing to add my voice to the growing concern about the council's proposed changes to the main street, with lights and car park construction, etc.
It is obvious as we learn more about the proposals that our levels of concern are rising.
Reports of cantankerous council meetings and the tone of the letters to the editor is making concerned ratepayers sit up and take more notice.
A recent serious letter from Ken Newton, the highly respected former principal of Camden High, highlights that there are growing perceptions that the council is losing contact with and support of the ratepayers.
I have written to the mayor urging her to take on board this mounting criticism.
It's not too late to pause, take a deep breath and have a rethink.
Councillors take advice from senior staff and make their own considered input and of course must listen and consider the views of the community they represent, before they make their final decision.
If it is perceived that they have stopped listening, and are losing contact and transparency, ratepayers have been known to take brutal action at the ballot box.
Some well-meaning councillors could suffer a career crash.
I have had a long association with tourism in Camden.
My wife Jennifer was the first council tourist officer and along with Betty Hunt (Yewen) developed a thriving tourist industry in Camden.
The tourists love the history and the quaint rural atmosphere, the historic buildings and an active farm at the end of the main street.
Some minor aspects of the plan may still be worthwhile. This is the opportunity for the council to show leadership, have a big pause and reassess. Meet again with all community representatives, listen and take note of their constructive suggestions before it's too late.
former Camden mayor
'Black day' is here
Mark yesterday (Tuesday, May 26) the day when Camden Council purchased the South Australian black granite to resurface less than half of Argyle Street footpaths, as the commencement of the destruction of Camden's heritage character — a "Black Day" in Camden's long history.
Black marble, "my heavens", don't you council know that early Australian towns were built from local materials, in Camden's case local red and brown clays, sand, gravel and timber, not interstate granite.
You see it all over contemporary modern buildings, but please not historic Camden.
Don't crack the champagne yet mayor Lara Symkowiak and those who support you.
Many in your community are now digging in for a long fight to save further destruction of our beloved Camden, now or in the future.
Please defer further work and engage your community in how best to help Camden when the council moves to Oran Park, as recently requested by the 2250 petitioners, both local and visitor, submitted by the Camden Community Alliance.
Your only action so far is that you are proceeding with the support of about 380 positive responses received after eight weeks of council's aggressive marketing.
The numbers do not stack up Madam Mayor, nor does your support for this debacle.
Please show some real leadership and let's sit down and find a practical solution to Camden's future.
If some of your readers have a contrary view to mine, please call me on 0417 281 934 to discuss, as I am always open to fresh considerations.
Peter Standen, Harrington Park
Kindness is key
Lately and not without reason our town and the people who run it have justifiably received bad press.
Well I have requested help lately online to different local web sites. I had a significant amount of painted timber piling up, some kind local took it all away.
Yesterday I had an accident with my chin-controlled powered wheelchair. I practically demolished my front gate. I asked for help and today some kind individual turned up and repaired it for me.
Both times these acts of kindness were done free of charge. I know their names and they know who they are, they are what makes living in the Camden, Wollondilly area a very special thing.
I know I live with a progressive incurable condition but I also know I live in the best place there is.
To those who helped thanks, your kindness will never be forgotten.
Also a big thanks to Tom Allan and associates from council for my nice new pavement, this will help a great deal to keep me safe on my powered wheelchair while trying to get to and from my home.
David Napier, Camden
Citizens 'treated like mugs'
IN a previous letter to this paper I asked if the closure of Dan Cleary Drive for such a long time was indicative that the public were being treated like mugs.
I can now now thank Camden Council for conclusively proving my theory with an arrogant thumbing of its nose towards us.
The signage now informs us that the road will be closed for another two months.
It seems that doing the bidding of the developers is priority number one, while public amenity isn't even on the list.
Like the Camden town centre redevelopment, this is another example of this council's arrogance towards — and disregard for — its citizens.
Chris Anderson, Werombi