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Local Area Traffic Management Study

Media Response 29 July 2011

Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayor James Best:

1) How would the City describe the current state of traffic flow in the area? Is it at gridlock during peak times, particularly with Penhros College in the vicinity?

A Local Area Traffic Management study was completed for the precinct bounded by Canning Highway, Douglas Avenue, Hayman Road and Thelma Street at Como.  The City’s Infrastructure Services division refers to this precinct as the “Area 8 Traffic Precinct”.
 
A review of the traffic volumes indicates that the traffic using the roads within Area 8 are generally within the acceptable range associated with the road hierarchy and consistent with the functional road classifications as prescribed by Main Roads Western Australia. The traffic volumes do not indicate any uncharacteristic trends, which would be typically associated with excess ‘through’ or ‘rat running’ in the local area.  As a result, the study report indicates that specifically targeted strategies aimed at reducing traffic volumes on these roads are not warranted.
 
Vehicle speed surveys were conducted and these indicated that at several locations the 85th percentile speeds exceed the nominated speed limit of 50 km/hr and can be considered to be excessive and undesirable. As a result, several strategies were developed to specifically target this adverse driver behaviour in the residential precincts. The 85th percentile (or operational) speed is defined as that speed at which 85 percent of surveyed vehicles are travelling at or below, and is the commonly used measure of speed in traffic studies. 
 
2) What were the key findings to come out of the study?
The key finds of the Area 8 study are:
Traffic using the local roads is generally within the acceptable range associated with the road hierarchy and consistent with the relevant functional road classifications as prescribed by Main Roads Western Australia. The traffic volumes do not indicate any uncharacteristic trends, which would be typically associated with excess ‘through’ or ‘rat running’ in the local area. As a result, the study report indicates that specifically targeted strategies aimed at reducing traffic volumes on these roads are not warranted at this time.
Vehicle speed surveys indicate that at several locations the 85th percentile speeds exceed the nominated speed limit of 50 km/hr and can be considered to be excessive and undesirable.  As a result, several strategies were developed to specifically target this adverse driver behaviour in the residential precincts.

The area is well serviced by convenient and regular bus services, with the majority of residents being within a 400-metre walk to a road along which a bus services operates.
Crashes typically occur along the higher order roads which carry a greater volume of traffic at higher speeds than compared to the local access roads. As a result, crashes are more prevalent at intersections along Canning Highway, South Terrace, Douglas Avenue and Hayman Road.

A review of the existing crash data on the lower order roads within the study area do not indicate that any particular location is of concern from a crash perspective.

3) What are the major recommendations suggested?
Following a review of the existing traffic data and relevant crash data on each of the roads contained within Area 8 and consultation with the local community, a series of Local Area Traffic Management measures were developed and costed.  These measures incorporate best practice traffic engineering principles, which represent a balanced approach between community expectations and concerns and maintaining a balanced and efficient movement network.
 
The recommended measures include, the following:
Implementation of additional ‘slow points’ at key locations, including Blamey Place, Bessell Avenue and Todd Avenue;
Closure of Blamey Place at the intersection with Thelma Street;
A proposed roundabout incorporating the access road from Penhros College at the intersection of Thelma Street and Murray Street;
Improved line marking and signage on a number of roads within the study area to address way finding, conflict and car parking issues, particularly at key activity generators;
Increased car parking enforcement at ‘hot spots’, including in the vicinity of local schools;
Road safety audits at key locations internal to the study area including Douglas Avenue / David Street, Canning Highway / South Terrace, Canning Highway / Douglas Avenue and Hayman Road/Thelma Street;
Review of existing priority traffic control at Douglas Avenue / South Terrace / Hayman Road / George Street and potential to replace existing traffic signals with dual circulating roundabout;
Review existing unsignalised traffic control at Hayman Road / Thelma Street and investigate the potential to implement a priority traffic control measure such as traffic signals or roundabout;
Review the existing classification of roads such as Murray Street, Thelma Street and Ryrie Avenue to be reclassified as Local Distributor roads; and
Investigate the effectiveness of current local area traffic measures currently in place around schools in light of a possible future move towards permanent 40 km/h speed zones in these areas.

4) Does the City believe changes to traffic movements in the area will enhance safety for road users?

The planned changes will ensure that traffic using the roads contained within Area 8 travel at speeds commensurate with the road environment.  Further, the changes will ensure that non-local traffic is directed to the major roads, resulting in far less traffic within the residential neighbourhoods.  Consequently, appropriately managing traffic volumes and the speed of vehicles using the road system can only enhance safety in the local area.
 
5) How important is installing a roundabout at the intersection of Murray and Thelma streets?
Motorists travelling in a westerly direction along Thelma Street are required by law to stop at the intersection with Murray Street.  At peak travel times, if a motorist wants to turn right into Murray Street (i.e. travel in a north direction) this manoeuvre can often be difficult and hazardous due to the volume of traffic exiting a private access from Penhros College.

Consequently, traffic using the public road system are required to wait for vehicles exiting a private access prior to safely entering Murray Street.  Hence, excessive queues and traffic delays are experienced within Thelma Street, which is unacceptable.
 
A roundabout at the intersection of Murray Street and Thelma Street will assist to better regulate traffic flow and improve road safety at the subject location.
 
6) What are the future traffic issues that need to be addressed?
Refer to answer 3.

 
7) Will the City investigate possible black spot funding submission? If so, at what intersections?
A review of the existing crash data on the lower order local roads do not indicate that any particular location is an issue with regard to satisfying Black Spot criteria. Accordingly, these intersections will be considered for further review in the context of undertaking Road Safety Audits.  These audits will be used to assist any future State or National Blackspot submission.

Media contact

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Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.