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‘Traffic calming’ – your insights needed

By 10 March 2013 25

I would love to hear other Rioters’ experiences – good and bad – in relation to traffic calming measures. Significant traffic changes are proposed for Chisholm, RIchardson and Gilmore – namely roundabouts, raised intersections, platforms, and speed cushions. I am particularly interested in whether you have experienced these devices in your residential area, and/or whether such measures have affected your driving route choice.
This post is a bit long but please bear with me!

Here’s the factual stuff:
The proposal, for community input, is at http://timetotalk.act.gov.au/community-engagements/?engagement=residential-street-improvement-study-for-chisholm-gilmore-and-richardson
Map of where the traffic devices could go is here http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/425438/Map_ChisholmRichardsonGilmore.pdf
Devices are here http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/425440/Chisholm_Richardson_Gilmore_Impacts_of_traffic_calming_devices.pdf

I have some concerns about the proposal:

First, I am worried they are trying to solve a perceived traffic problem in these suburbs from the wrong end – ie, the survey is asking the wrong question. To me it seems obvious that the excess traffic on the roads in question is mainly caused by people trying to avoid the major thoroughfares that adjoin these suburbs, which are still mainly two way single lane (Erindale Dr, Johnson Dr, Isabella Dr). To extrapolate, it appears that Roads ACT has not kept up with the traffic needs of this part of Tuggeranong and is now trying (thru the proposed measures) to force people onto these same roads that we all know won’t cope with the traffic in peak periods. I think we would be better served if the traffic flow was monitored on major thoroughfares IN THE SAME WINDOW as the monitoring of the suburban streets, instead of having the narrow, uncontextualised focus of this survey. Surely it would be better to address the root of the problem instead of tinkering around the edges?

Second, I am worried that the impact of the traffic calming is going to be worse than the perceived problem we already have (I say ‘perceived’ because I live in Chisholm and wouldn’t have a problem if things stayed as they are now). They involve improved signage, roundabouts, raised platforms, speed cushions, and raised intersections. I have several main concerns about this aspect:
Roundabouts: We already have a roundabout at Heagney/Goldstein which is not ideal. They had to replace the first version and put in a ‘fried egg’ as buses couldn’t get around it. It is still a tight fit even for my Corolla.
Platforms: the one in the picture looks like the ones on Bugden Cres, Gowrie. The Bugden ones don’t seem to have made a perceptible difference to the amount of cars using that street as a rat run. Of even more concern is that the TAMS material notes that these devices increase traffic noise. Does anyone have anything positive to say on these things? I know I would hate it in my street. It seems to me that the only places where these measures would be useful is with pedestrian crossings outside the schools on Heagney and Hambidge, and at the new park on Heagney (though underpasses would be better).
Raised intersections: the one in the picture seems to be the one outside the Southern Cross Club at Woden. Surely such a measure is overkill in a suburb? Does anyone know where one of these exists in a suburb, and whether it actually makes any difference to traffic flow?
Speed cushions: these look like the things on Flinders Way Red Hill adjacent to Boys’ Grammar. IMHO, they are no earthly use, as cars (even my Corolla) can straddle them. The TAMS material claims they can cause traffic to be diverted. Has anyone experienced this or decided to go another way because of speed cushions?

Third, the calming measures cover every possible route out of Chisholm and Gilmore. We do need to travel out of our own suburb sometimes, people! It all seems a little OTT. I am also wondering what bussies will make of it all.

What do others think?

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25 Responses to ‘Traffic calming’ – your insights needed
#1
tommy2:34 pm, 10 Mar 13

Generally these ideas came from your local community – you may have to track the individual or group responsible. The other source is repeated car crashes.

Doubt ACT govt would just randomly spend money on this.

#2
Felix the Cat3:54 pm, 10 Mar 13

TL;DR

So you are against these traffic calming devices?
There are some in Holt (not sure the name of the street) and they have been fairly contreversial since they were put in. The residentts seem to hate them, so much that there was a front page story on The Chronicle about it the other week.

I don’t live or drive in the area so it doesn’t effect me personally and there are none in the area that I do live in.

#3
screaming banshee4:00 pm, 10 Mar 13

tommy said :

Doubt ACT govt would just randomly spend money on this.

But is it art, maybe

#4
bundah4:10 pm, 10 Mar 13

Yep i admit the speed cushions on Flinders Way piss me off so i now avoid it.Of course that wouldn’t be coz my car’s suspension was low and hard!

#5
deye4:33 pm, 10 Mar 13

I generally call them traffic enraging devices, that only annoy the local residents. They don’t tend to change my driving behaviour.

I find most of them rather pointless. Case in point I was on a road down in Melbourne a week or so ago on a very wide 4 lane 60 kph thoroughfare which would have carried most of the traffic for the suburb, and those dam pillows were placed in both lanes every 200m or so for about a kilometre and a half. why ? there was no reason for them except to annoy every driver who would have to go through them every single day.

#6
Deckard6:48 pm, 10 Mar 13

Lots of answers about speed cushions in this thread.

http://the-riotact.com/victory-declared-over-the-holt-raceway/81132

Say hello to the constant buddump buddump if they install one outside you house. There are also friendly people who show their appreciation by honking every time they go over one. Then to top things off they’re also used by hoons to lift the car up a fraction to begin a burn out.

Enjoy!

#7
wildturkeycanoe8:13 pm, 10 Mar 13

Deckard said :

Lots of answers about speed cushions in this thread.

http://the-riotact.com/victory-declared-over-the-holt-raceway/81132

Say hello to the constant buddump buddump if they install one outside you house. There are also friendly people who show their appreciation by honking every time they go over one. Then to top things off they’re also used by hoons to lift the car up a fraction to begin a burn out.

Enjoy!

+1 – I just went past one of these directly before a roundabout [obviously to slow traffic entering the roundabout] and there was a good load of rubber laid after it, obviously people disgruntled at having to lose all that speed and then get it back up again as soon as possible. I personally hate them as they are just a nuisance to everyone and if you wanted to speed, it can be done by straddling them anyway. They say bumps are smoother if you go over them faster anyway.

#8
LSWCHP8:42 pm, 10 Mar 13

I’m speaking from ignorance here, but if someone put an annoying traffic pillow (whatever that is) outside your house, would it take much effort to remove it?

#9
knuckles8:48 pm, 10 Mar 13

I can tell you patients in the back of ambulances don’t like them.

#10
cranky8:59 pm, 10 Mar 13

I would have to suggest the chicanes are the most likely to reduce speed/least likely to infuriate locals method of controlling speed.

Perhaps a study of the results of the installations on Learmonth Drive would be educational.

#11
T1G3R9:02 pm, 10 Mar 13

I use these roads alot and all i see is some major frustration coming my way. The reason I take these inner suburb roads is to AVOID roundabouts. The traffic on these roads isn’t even high, especially the ones in Chisholm. retarded! What they need to put money towards is Erindale Dr roundabout that intersects Sternberg? (spelling sorry) That’s where it backs up quite a bit.

#12
Primal9:45 pm, 10 Mar 13

Well the upgrades for Erindale Dr and Ashley Dr are still a couple of years a way, so I doubt they’ll wait to see the impact of those before going ahead with it.

#13
deye9:57 pm, 10 Mar 13

cranky said :

I would have to suggest the chicanes are the most likely to reduce speed/least likely to infuriate locals method of controlling speed.

nope, seem about the same as bumps and pillows.

#14
Pork Hunt10:21 pm, 10 Mar 13

LSWCHP said :

I’m speaking from ignorance here, but if someone put an annoying traffic pillow (whatever that is) outside your house, would it take much effort to remove it?

There are few problems in this world that cannot be solved with the suitable application of high explosives…

#15
miz10:23 pm, 10 Mar 13

Thanks everyone for taking the time – most appreciated. Sounds like I am right to be worried.

Locals: according to the website, there is an info session at Caroline Chisholm Primary on Thursday 14 March 2013 between 4.30 pm – 7.30 pm.

#16
banco10:32 pm, 10 Mar 13

tommy said :

Generally these ideas came from your local community – you may have to track the individual or group responsible. The other source is repeated car crashes.

Doubt ACT govt would just randomly spend money on this.

You’ve got a lot more faith in the ACT govt then I do.

#17
caf10:43 pm, 10 Mar 13

T1G3R said :

I use these roads alot and all i see is some major frustration coming my way. The reason I take these inner suburb roads is to AVOID roundabouts. The traffic on these roads isn’t even high, especially the ones in Chisholm. retarded! What they need to put money towards is Erindale Dr roundabout that intersects Sternberg? (spelling sorry) That’s where it backs up quite a bit.

This sounds like they’ll work exactly as intended, then.

#18
switch11:51 pm, 10 Mar 13

LSWCHP said :

I’m speaking from ignorance here, but if someone put an annoying traffic pillow (whatever that is) outside your house, would it take much effort to remove it?

Officially, or with a few spanners late one night? I’d say the first method would be ridiculously labour intensive.

#19
AG Canberra 18:15 am, 11 Mar 13

I asked the Chief Minister a question on this issue on 666 last week.

My main concern is the fact that there are no facts for us to consider. The only statistic provided so far is one line in the documents stating that 86% of traffic is travelling above the speed limit in three of the roads. Or it may travelling below the speed limit. (That’s what the documant says!)

I asked the CM ‘How are we supposed to provide feedback if we don’t have any info?’ She replied that she was sure that the info is available but to date neither the consultants, Roads ACT or her office have been able to proovide any of it.

She also had mentioned that she thought this work arose out of a motion passed in the assembly. Really? A motion in the assembly to install speed humps? If that is what they are debating they all only deserve 60k a year!

I encourage everyone with an interest in this to turn up to the school this week and put the hard questions to the Gov representatives.

Questions I’ll be asking will be along the lines of:

Can we see the historical crash data for these streets?
Can we see historical speed data for these streets?
Can we see statistics relating to traffic infringements in these streets? (if it is such an issue surely ACT Police Traffic are there with speed traps on a regular basis?)
Can we see traffic volumes data that allowed them to arrive at the assertion that volumes are greater than what the streets were designed for. What volumes were they designed for?
What kicked off this proposal? A couple of vocal residents in the lead up to an election?
Has the decision already been made to install these measures – and if so what is the point in consulting with us??

#20
cranky12:42 pm, 11 Mar 13

Perhaps this whole scheme is payback by the ACT Labor gov for Tuggers voting Liberal at the last election. :-)

#21
LSWCHP10:53 pm, 11 Mar 13

switch said :

LSWCHP said :

I’m speaking from ignorance here, but if someone put an annoying traffic pillow (whatever that is) outside your house, would it take much effort to remove it?

Officially, or with a few spanners late one night? I’d say the first method would be ridiculously labour intensive.

I was thinking of the late night spanner gig.

#22
watto239:51 am, 12 Mar 13

I’m not a fan of speed humps because they generally require you to go slower than the speed limit to go over them in a sensible fashion. But small roundabouts are okay as are chicanes.

I know from experience alot of people speed on these roads. When I was a youngster and a pizza delivery boy, we’d easily do 80-100 on some of these streets. I wonder if the locals would prefer speed cameras in their streets?

As for people diverting, its a pain in the neck sometimes, because people divert through my suburb (Bonython) to avoid a roundabout that gets busy. Yes i’d like the intersection to be fixed as a priority, but if they put some measures in the calm traffic (rather than the occasional speed van) I’d be happier.

#23
tim_c10:15 am, 12 Mar 13

knuckles said :

I can tell you patients in the back of ambulances don’t like them.

Nor patients waiting for the ambulance to arrive when it’s delayed by having to negotiate all these things.

The various “traffic calming” devices are also causing all sorts of back troubles for bus drivers – particularly in Grunge-ahlin.

The speed “cushions” are also extremely slippery in the wet – it is a recipe for a few bingles when TAMS places them immediately before intersections, just when you’re trying to slow down/stop.

In Indonesia, speed bumps are called “Sleeping Policemen” with the implication that these things are the Police sleeping on the job. It’s rather apt, because they are always a band-aid “solution” to a far bigger problem – eg. if we actually had an appropriate Police presence in Canberra, most of these things simply wouldn’t be required. But it’s far cheaper and easier just to put in a few “inverted potholes” than to actually deal with the real issues.

I’m really surprised that they’re considering them with Shane Rattenbury at the helm – wasn’t he supposed to be concerned about the environment?! These things have got to be the most environmentally reckless things around, increasing fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, premature replacement of suspension,steering and brake components, increased air pollution and noise, etc. etc. etc.

#24
Erg011:08 am, 12 Mar 13

Am I right in thinking that one of these speed bumps was removed (relatively) recently in Manuka? There were, for a time, bumps on both sides of Murray Cres, adjacent to the Captain Cook Cres intersection, but the one on the side approaching the lights is now gone. I thought it was a pretty useless and irritating place to put on of these, but I figure they couldn’t have taken it out for reasons of common sense…

#25
Grail11:50 am, 12 Mar 13

watto23 said :

As for people diverting, its a pain in the neck sometimes, because people divert through my suburb (Bonython) to avoid a roundabout that gets busy. Yes i’d like the intersection to be fixed as a priority, but if they put some measures in the calm traffic (rather than the occasional speed van) I’d be happier.

We have the same problem with people using Ellerston Crescent to enter that roundabout from the East (thus exacerbating the backup of traffic on Drakeford Drive). I’d really love to be able to close Ellerston Crescent at the Johnston Drive end between 8:00am and 9:30am. No amount of traffic calming is going to help, since most of the rat-run is through school zones anyway.

The experiment that RTA performed some time back with temporary lights controlling the Isabella Drive entry into the roundabout seemed to be a great success from my perspective. Did that experiment reduce traffic in Bonython?

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