Perth Waterfront Development and Traffic

Media Response 18 November 2011
Background: The $440 million redevelopment of the Perth foreshore will involve the realignment of Riverside Drive and in April the Southern Gazette reported of potential traffic impacts to the City of South Perth resulting from the project. It was reported last week that the City had yet to be consulted by the State Government.

Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty:

1. Has the City had consultation with the State Government over traffic planning?

The City forwarded a submission to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) in May of this year, highlighting concerns over the proposed Perth Waterfront Development.

The concerns related to the lack of consultation regarding possible traffic migration to Mill Point Road and / or other City streets as a result of severing Riverside Drive.

In its submission the City requested that detailed traffic modelling and reporting be undertaken as a matter of urgency to determine the likely increase to traffic volumes and congestion on South Perth streets – particularly Canning Highway, Mill Point Road, Labouchere Road and Judd Street – resulting from the Perth Waterfront development and changes to Riverside Drive, and that the City be party to such a study.

While the WAPC has noted the City's submission, there has been no consultation over traffic planning and modelling, or the measures to be put in place to eliminate traffic being diverted to Canning Highway, Mill Point Road, Labouchere Road and Judd Street.

2. Is the City worried about potential local traffic congestion resulting from the realignment of Riverside Drive?
Yes. The proposed changes to Riverside Drive will reduce traffic volumes from about 30,000 vehicles per day to about 15,000 vehicles per day, with the resultant traffic being forced to utilise other local and regional roads in Perth.

It is expected that a high proportion of traffic will divert through streets within the City of South Perth, with Canning Highway, Mill Point Road, Labouchere Road and Judd Street likely to be adversely impacted. This will only lead to increased traffic volumes and congestion on the local road network and key intersections.

3. Does the City believe traffic volumes will increase in streets such as Mill Point Road, Labouchere Road and Judd Street?

4. How would the City describe current traffic volumes in the City? Would it be able to absorb more traffic volumes?
Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak periods, are already congested and additional traffic resulting from severing Riverside Drive will lead to a worsening situation.

The network has the capacity to absorb additional traffic, however such traffic increases are only likely to lead to a greater level of traffic congestion and driver frustration during the AM and PM peak travel times.

At other times of the day (i.e. non-peak), it is expected that the road system should be able to cope with increased traffic volumes, although any increase in traffic volumes at Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road is likely to have a negative impact on the level of service at key intersections, entry (and exit) at the Kwinana Freeway on-ramp, pedestrian and road safety,
and detract from the residential amenity of the local area.

It does not make sense for a capital city not to have a continuous east / west road link. This link has existed (Stirling Highway / Riverside Drive / Great Eastern Highway) for well over 100 years. To now introduce an alternative route that takes traffic either through Perth City or
South Perth doesn’t appear to be logical.

Having regard for the significant growth anticipated for the UWA and Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital, as well as other residential developments in Perth such as the eastern entrance development around The Causeway, enhanced access to the these areas – and Perth Airport – is warranted not restricted access.

When the future population growth of Perth is taken into account (some would argue that the existing road system is at full capacity) and Perth’s desire to become a ‘global city’, how are the proposed changes designed to meet these challenges?

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