BEST OF 2023: Does Balmoral Crescent's sign confuse the most ... or do all the Valencia Drives puzzle more people?

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Balmoral Crescent goes in all directions!

Balmoral Crescent goes in all directions! Photo: Chris Roe.

Year in Review: Region is revisiting some of the best Opinion articles of 2023. Here’s what got you talking, got you angry and got you thinking this year. Today, Chris Roe gets hopelessly lost.

For visitors and food delivery drivers turning into the treelined ‘Lakeside’ community on the western side of Lake Albert, the street sign for Balmoral Crescent would have to be one of the most confusing in Wagga.

It’s not often that you find a street sign bearing the same name pointing in three directions!

To add to the confusion, until recently, the signpost was skewed off its axis, leaving all three arms pointing vaguely towards nearby yards.

Fortunately for lost drivers nervously following their Google Maps, two out of three directions will take you on a full loop and bring you back to where you started. So, is it really a crescent?

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A ‘crescent’ is defined as “a winding, curved road that typically attaches to another road at each end”.

If that’s the case, then Balmoral is probably better described as a ‘court’, or a ‘loop’ as it connects back to itself with an extra little tail linking it to Dalkeith Avenue … which is an actual crescent.

Confused, much?

On the plus side, it’s probably one of Wagga’s least burgled streets since even those who want to find it can’t. (Wagga City Council certainly seems to have trouble getting there if the potholes are anything to go by!)

Balmoral Crescent at Lake Albert is really more of a loop with a tail.

Balmoral Crescent at Lake Albert is really more of a loop with a tail. Photo: Google Maps.

It is of course not the only confusing address in town, and I imagine that the fleet of pizza delivery riders at the new Boorooma Dominos have taken a wrong turn on the unfinished northern streets more than once.

Last year I had to rescue an elderly relative from Estella who had spent 30 minutes attempting to reach a family barbecue on Bradman Drive in neighbouring Boorooma.

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The house numbers on Bradman Drive start at 22 and get to 46 before it’s cut by a creek and a strip of bushland. The street disappears for a few hundred metres before picking up again at number 64 and continuing on up the hill for another 100 or so houses. Is there a bridge on the way that will one day link it all together? With Wagga’s track record on bridges, I doubt it!

And for those in Gobba? If you have a kids birthday party on Valencia Drive, forget about it!

A trio of Valencia Drives is just the beginning! Photo: Google Maps.

On the northeastern side of the rapidly expanding new suburb of Gobbagombalin, there are three parallel roads that are all Valencia Drive … and one of them magically becomes Bondi Crescent halfway along.

And if that was not enough to keep Google Maps guessing, a look at the newest streets on the western side of the suburb reveals another cluster of Valencia Drives that will presumably one day link up with the east and extend the web of street confusion to all points of the compass!

Until construction is completed on the vast paddock in the middle of the suburb, there is similar confusion along the various Coppabella and Jumbuck Drives.

My tip – if your directions land you in a construction site, you’ve probably missed the mark.

Sorry, which Valencia Drive?

Sorry, which Valencia Drive? Photo: Google Maps.

Hopefully, some of the more mysterious conventions of modern town planning will resolve themselves in our newer suburbs in the coming years and we’ll all be able to get junior to the party on time and keep the pizza deliveries piping hot.

And if you find yourself faced with the infamous Balmoral three-way, I suggest that you just keep driving and you’re likely to circle back to the right spot soon enough.

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It’s a sign of the times really.

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