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.