SUBMISSION TO THE SYDNEY CITY COUNCIL
ON THE DRAFT GLEBE AND FOREST LODGE LOCAL AREA TRAFFIC
2.0 RESPONSE TO DRAFT LATM PLAN
3.0 GLEBE POINT ROAD ISSUES
4.0 FURTHER LATM WORKS
The Glebe Society wishes to thank Sydney City Council for undertaking a Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) Study of Glebe and Forest Lodge, and appreciates the opportunity to respond to the draft LATM Plan, as unveiled at the public meeting on 8th May 2007.
We have prepared this response by firstly commenting specifically on each of the items in the draft LATM Plan, in Section 2.
In Section 3 we have provided expanded comments on the artery of Glebe, Glebe Point Road.
While the items in the draft Plan have covered the northern section of Glebe Point Road, no items are recommended south of Hereford Street. We understand that the consultant accepted the recommendations of the Glebe Point Road Streetscape Upgrade Project, and did not seek to provide further refinement. However there are further LATM and streetscape options that we wish to recommend in this important section of Glebe Point Road.
Finally, in Section 4 we have set out further suggestions for items that we consider are worthy of inclusion in the final LATM Plan.
2.0 RESPONSE TO DRAFT LATM PLAN
The general recommendation to request the RTA to authorize the introduction of a 40 km/hr speed limit on all local and regional roads in Glebe and Forest Lodge is fully supported. The implementation of this recommendation will reinforce the character of Glebe/Forest Lodge as a village area where pedestrians take precedence over vehicular traffic. The physical measures recommended will support this lower speed limit. The ideal situation would be if this 40 km/hr speed limit was uniformly applied on the one date, to better communicate to drivers that the limit applied to all of the area, with the exception of the arterial links. We are aware that other residential precincts such as in Whale Beach/Palm Beach have similar blanket restrictions. It is a particularly good precedent for the re-emergence of the character of the villages of the City of Sydney.
Should a uniform 40 km/hr speed limit not be immediately feasible for the area, the first priority is for such a limit to apply on Glebe Point Road. The works recommended in the Plan and as extended by our submission will provide physical constraints on traffic speeds, supporting the reduction in the speed limit.
Turning to each of the 20 works items in the draft Plan, we make the following comments:
1. Fully support.
2. Fully support.
3. Fully support.
4. Fully support.
5. Fully support.
6. Fully support.
7. We support the narrowing of this intersection with channelisation. This will assist the safety of pedestrians. The recommendation to investigate traffic signals is also supported. There might not be a priority for signals in the mind of the RTA. Even without signals, the recommendation to effectively tighten up the intersection is supported, with opportunities to be taken to improve pedestrian safety.
8. Fully support. Opportunities should be developed wherever possible for the creation of shared zones.
9. This option of removing existing constraints on commuter rat-runs is opposed. While there might only be occasional enforcement, the restrictions nevertheless have some impact on the majority of drivers. We recognise that these restrictions might inconvenience parents dropping children off at St Scholasticas College. However they have the positive impact of making morning rat-runs via Ferry Road and Forsyth Street less desirable. With less traffic using these routes, not only is through traffic kept off residential streets, but also there is less traffic using Taylor Street, past the Sydney Secondary College.
10. (a) We are not sure about this option, of installing raised platforms. As with any such speed control devices, some kerbside parking is usually lost, and there are some noise implications. We understand that there are existing speeding issues. A possible alternative would be to introduce kerb blisters at the start (and finish) points of the main parking zones, such as westbound from Minogue Crescent (East), as far as Minogue Crescent (West), and eastbound from Minogue Crescent (West). Kerb blisters would reinforce the narrowness of the carriageway and act as a portal/threshold treatment.
10. (b) The existing flush differential paving does not appear to restrict traffic speeds. The introduction of a raised threshold would be better, and hence is supported. However it should also be pointed out that this is a pedestrian crossing point that is receiving increasing use, being along a recreational pedestrian route beside the creek, and with substantially increased usage likely to occur in the near future when the medium density residential development to the south is completed. While the warrant for a marked foot crossing might not be met yet, it probably will be in the short term, when new residents seek pedestrian access to the foreshore parks and recreational facilities. Ideally a raised threshold with marked foot crossing should be provided now.
Alternatively, the need should be noted and the works implemented when pedestrian flows increase.
11. Fully support.
12. Fully support.
13. We anticipate that this MFC is recommended for the safety of children from the International Grammar School. As with any request for such a facility, if it meets the warrants then it is supported.
14. We anticipate that these works also relate to the safety of children from the International Grammar School. If so, perhaps the school should be encouraged to take a more pro-active stance in the preparation of a Traffic Management Plan, to make the dropping off and picking up of children safer. Without further data and information, it is hard to make a clear recommendation on options (i) and (ii). Option (ii) would provide cost-effective improvements. Signals might not be fully warranted.
15. Fully support.
16. Fully support.
17. Fully support.
18. Fully support.
19. (a) We recommend that this be taken further. There is a strong pedestrian route from the overbridge over Broadway , along Arundel Street, Seamer Street, Catherine Street and into Lodge Street. We recommend that the option of a Shared Zone over this full route, from the overbridge to Lodge Street be developed and implemented. Within Catherine Street this Shared Zone should extend between Lodge Street and Mt Vernon Street. Appropriate kerb extensions would be needed at the entrance points.
19. (b) No recommendation.
20. No objection.
GLEBE POINT ROAD ISSUES
As mentioned in the Introduction, Glebe Point Road is the central artery for Glebe, not just for traffic but for retailing, recreation and simply meeting people. While its transport function as a bus route is important, not only for providing access to local facilities but also as part of the link between Glebe (and Rozelle) and Central Sydney, it is also the most important pedestrian area in Glebe. As such, some priority to pedestrians is important. While the ideal might have been the creation of a Shared Zone, at least within the sections with the highest levels of pedestrian activity, with the volume of traffic, this is not feasible, and could impact on bus service reliability. However there are plenty of measures to reduce traffic speeds and improve pedestrian safety and amenity, with the 40 km/hr speed limit supported by raised platform treatments on all marked foot crossing locations being central.
We understand that the draft LATM Plan did not consider the sections of Glebe Point Road covered by the Streetscape Upgrade Project. We would like to revisit these sections to recommend further improvements that are consistent with both the Streetscape Upgrade and the proposed LATM Plan.
Starting at Hereford Street, the MFC outside the Valhalla needs a raised platform, not only to be consistent with other MFC treatments, but also to signify a gateway into the Glebe Point neighbourhood business area just to the north. This is consistent with the kerb extensions at the MFC that are suggested in the Streetscape Upgrade Project.
The junction of Glebe Point Road with Mitchell Street is an important location, being very visible at the bottom of the slope from St Johns Road, and also with adjacent land uses that attract people to this location, not just cafes/restaurants but also the Old Fire Station, that has much community use. Starting with the MFC over Glebe Point Road, this needs the standard raised platform treatment.
On the western side, there is not the same need for a platform, but it might be considered.
In Mitchell Street east of Glebe Point Road, there is an opportunity for a Shared Zone, as far as Campbell Lane. The start would be signified by a raised platform on the MFC. At the Campbell Lane end, kerb extensions in Mitchell Street would signify the start. The centre of this block has the Old Fire Station, with its range of community uses. We note that peak hour flows in this section of Mitchell Street are in the range 110-140 vehicles per hour, suggesting that the daily flows would be in excess of the desirable maximum of 300 veh/day for a shared zone. (Traffic counts undertaken by The Glebe Society in July 2005). However the current peak flows are still less than the 200 veh/hr environmental goal for a local residential street, and hence it is a relatively lightly trafficked environment. The creation of a shared zone would act to reduce the current flows, providing a disincentive to drivers to use this route. From the traffic counts at the Glebe Point Road/Mitchell Street junction, there is evidence of some through commuter traffic, so some disincentive would be of value.
At the Glebe Point Road/Cowper Street junction, we support the change in plans, to NOT install traffic signals. The MFC across Glebe Point Road on the southern side will need the standard raised platform, together with the other footpath widening works recommended in the Streetscape Upgrade Project.
The junction of Glebe Point Road with Francis Street has been much discussed in the past. The eastbound route down Francis Street is important for local access to the Broadway shopping centre. However westbound movement is more problematic. It is confined to left turns only at Glebe Point Road, with this movement making the southern end of Glebe Point Road part of the egress from the Broadway shopping centre, with drivers then making left or right turns onto Broadway. This increases traffic flows at one of the busiest sections of Glebe Point Road for pedestrians. In addition, the left turn out of Francis Street has caused continuing problems with trucks hitting the awning of the adjacent caf , with the result that barriers have been installed near the kerb, but with the effect also of restricting pedestrian movement along the southern footpath of Francis Street.
We recommend that Francis Street be restricted to one-way eastbound, from Glebe Point Road to Bay Street. We recognise that this will increase traffic flows in Bay Street to Broadway, for drivers heading eastbound, and on Bay Street-Smail Street-Mountain Street for drivers heading westbound. However it would improve pedestrian safety in Francis Street, reduce accidents with trucks on awnings and reduce traffic in the southern section of Glebe Point Road. Pedestrian safety at the start of Francis Street would also be improved with a raised platform at its MFC.
The southern end of Glebe Point Road presents a challenge. Incoming drivers need to be advised of the special nature of Glebe Point Road, its high concentration of pedestrians and its 40 km/hr speed limit. We recommend that a raised speed platform be provided across the whole width of Glebe Point Road. The details and exact positioning will depend on issues such as drainage. However such a gateway treatment would provide a strong message to drivers. Design details will need to be in sympathy with the work on the square on the western side.
In conclusion, a comprehensive program of LATM works along the length of Glebe Point Road is essential, to support the Streetscape Upgrade Project and to physically reduce the speed of traffic.
3.0 FURTHER LATM WORKS
In addition to the comments on the draft LATM Plan and the recommendations specifically relating to Glebe Point Road, we have comments and recommendations for further works. They are not listed in priority order, but generally follow the area from north to south.
While not part of the draft LATM Plan, we understand that the RTA has suggested that the MFC in Minogue Crescent near Harold Park Raceway be removed, and pedestrians encouraged to use the signal-controlled facility at the Wigram Road/Minogue Crescent junction. Unless there has been a pattern of pedestrian accidents at this MFC, we do not support such a change. The underlying principle for the Glebe/Forest Lodge LATM Plan should be to provide better pedestrian safety and amenity. The removal of this MFC would not support this principle, unless there are safety or accident concerns.
There appears to be an afternoon peak period rat-run with traffic traveling from Bridge Road to Hereford Street, and then via Walsh Avenue and Wigram Lane, to reach Wigram Street, to access to the Wigram Street/Minogue Crescent signal controlled junction. Wigram Lane provides an alternative to the more logical route of Wigram Street, if westbound traffic in Wigram Street causes delays on entering. The best solution is not obvious. One option would be to make Ross Street consistently one-way southbound from Wigram Road, rather than from Wigram Lane, the current start of the one-way restriction. This would need further traffic investigations before a conclusion could be drawn.
Options for further Shared Zones should be developed wherever possible. One location of merit is in Lombard Street north of Palmerston Avenue. This is a dead-end with angle parking, and could easily be developed as a shared zone.
The draft LATM Plan promotes the use of St Johns Road as a bicycle route, which we fully support. We note that St Johns Road currently carries substantial peak period flows. From the pre-Cross City Tunnel traffic counts undertaken by The Glebe Society, the two-way flow in St Johns Road east of Glebe Point Road was 570 veh/hr in the 8.00-9.00am morning peak, and 675 veh/hr in the 5.00-6.00pm afternoon peak. The predominant westbound flow in the afternoon is straight across Glebe Point Road, followed by the right turn into Glebe Point Road from St Johns Road East. These peak flows, in excess of the maximum for a collector street of 500 veh/hr, are a cause for concern, particularly in the afternoon. Anecdotal evidence is that there are also many drivers turning into St Johns Road from Wentworth Park Road, who then turn right into streets such as Colbourne Avenue, to access Bridge Road, with drivers relying on the good will of other drivers in the slow moving westbound queue on Bridge Road to let them in. Options such as right turn restrictions off St Johns Road into streets providing northbound
linkages to Bridge Road might be considered for the afternoon peak period. Alternatively, traffic signal timing restrictions on St Johns Road at the Glebe Point Road junction might then push more traffic through Colbourne Avenue and other streets. Further investigations of traffic patterns in this part of Glebe are recommended, prior to more conclusive recommendations being considered.
The Glebe Society fully supports the initiatives of Council in developing a more pedestrian-friendly environment in Glebe, through area-wide 40 km/hr speed limits, better safety at pedestrian crossings and footpath and kerb extensions. We have provided our recommendations on the draft LATM Plan, with specific recommendations for Glebe Point Road works. Our recommendations are listed on the attached figures, taken from the consultant s Draft Plan. We would like the opportunity for representative(s) of the Society to meet with Council staff and their consultants to further refine the Glebe/Forest Lodge LATM Plan.