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‘Traffic calming’ – your insights needed

By miz 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
Map of where the traffic devices could go is here
Devices are here

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
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Grail 11:50 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?

Erg0 11:08 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…

tim_c 10:15 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.

watto23 9:51 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.

LSWCHP 10:53 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.

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