Proposed works Bessell Avenue in Como

News Update 21 July 2017
Road Works

Road rehabilitation

The resurfacing of Bessell Avenue from Canning Highway to Throssell Street in Como was included in the City’s 2016/17 Capital Works Program; however, the project has been delayed by a number of measures outside of the City’s control. The project will now be carried forward to 2017/18 and will be scheduled later this year. As part of these works, funds were also provided to upgrade the traffic management treatments along this section of road.  

Traffic management

Currently, treatments include a painted central median and areas of coloured pavement. This second treatment was undertaken as a trial and has resulted in only a minimal reduction (61 to 57 Km/hr) in the 85th percentile speed (a seven day average monitored speed at which 85% of vehicles travel at or below).  

A Local Area Traffic Study undertaken in 2011 inferred that a “central blister island” speed reduction treatment (similar to Thelma Street) was the treatment of choice for the Avenues off Canning Highway. However, this treatment was dismissed on Todd Avenue because the required road widening would impact on street trees, parking and access to properties. The same issues exist on Bessell Avenue and again the central blister treatment will not be used.  

Subsequently, the City implemented “raised pavement plateaus” along Todd Avenue, which have shown to reduce overall vehicle speeds. Although it is acknowledged that the plateaus are the most cost effective treatment of any of the approved treatments for reducing both vehicle speeds and discouraging through traffic, they can also cause discomfort to certain drivers and passengers and greatly inconvenience service vehicle operators (buses and trucks).

The City intends to upgrade the existing traffic management at the same time as the proposed resurfacing works along Bessell Avenue, Canning Highway to Throssell Street in Como. Based on monitoring of the success of other treatments in the City, the City would propose one of the three following possible options for Bessell Avenue:

1. Maintain the coloured pavement at the same level as the rest of the pavement but incorporate a raised median island;
Bessell Ave option 1

2. Reinstate the painted road section as a “raised plateau” adjacent to a central median;
Bessell Ave option 2

3. As above 2., but instead install “rubber speed cushions” between median island and road kerb.  The “rubber speed cushions” would be located central to the available lane.

Bessell Ave option 3

The “rubber speed cushion” treatment has been installed in Melville Parade under the former “Anti-Hoon Driver” road safety program. Used in association with the central median, the treatment is very effective. Approached at the right speed (approximately 40kph) a driver can partially straddle the cushion and experience only minimal “vertical displacement”. A bus, due to its width, can completely miss the cushion.  

While an inconvenience, the impact of the cushion is less at the right speed than any other “vertical displacement” treatment i.e. by being able to straddle the cushion at slow speeds it “rewards” good driver behaviour. At an approach speed greater than the urban speed limit, the full effect of the speed hump will be felt.  

The City intends to install the speed cushions, as per dot point 3, unless there is widespread concern for their use.

For clarifications and to provide feedback on the City’s proposal, residents are invited to contact the City on 9474 0777 and by Friday 4 August 2017.

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For more information, please contact the City.