Local transport matters

RMS2At the RMS Traffic Committee this Wednesday there are a number of matters related to West Ward:

  • Pickup/Set down changes outside Chatswood Public School: Due to ongoing congestion it is proposed to make changes to parking on both side of Centennial Avenue between the Highway and Edgar St.
  • Truck access to Chatswood Public School: A waste pick up truck was observed backing across the highway in the school. Roads and Maritime Services advised that this issue does not seem to be a road condition problem but a driver problem. It is suggested that contact be made with the garbage truck company to inform them of the appropriate movement of vehicles when picking up waste. Also this should be part of a management plan that the school has in place with regards to this service.
  • Footpaths within Chatswood, Lane Cove North Estate and Lane Cove North: There are a number of aspects listed with suggestions for improvements that can be reviewed in the full report. It was interesting to note the Officer’s comment that the footpaths in Lane Cove North Estate are a responsibility of the management committee for this private development.
  • Eddy Road parking restrictions: There is a recommendation to approve 2P 9.30am-2.30pm SCHOOL DAYS and No Stopping 8am-9.30am and 2.30pm-
    4.00pm SCHOOL DAYS parking restrictions in Eddy Road, south side of road, between Lone Pine Avenue and De Villiers Avenue, Chatswood.

Full details of the problems and recommendation:

RMS Traffic Committee October 2017

 

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One thought on “Local transport matters

  1. The following points have been raised by a parent of Chatswood Public School about trafic problems in surrounding streets:

    – Council observations of Centennial Ave were recorded on Fri 15th Sep and Mon 9th Oct. The 9th October is first official day of term. Many of Chatswood Public School’s more affluent parents with overseas ties choose to return to Sydney “off peak” a few days late. The school population is marginally diminished on the first day of term, and traffic is still lighter than usual. Meanwhile, Thursday 14th Sep was the school’s biggest annual social event “Moon Festival”, which keeps a substantial portion of the school kids out quite late. Again, arrival traffic at school the day after on Friday 15th may have been … unusual.

    I can’t say that traffic those days were definitely abnormal. However, both days have reasons for potentially diminished / affected school traffic.

    – Egress from Centennial into southbound Pacific Hwy (ie the bulk of cars coming out of Centennial) is often blocked in morning peak by southbound cars on Pacific Hwy stopped at Albert Ave traffic lights and filling the limited space between Centennial and Albert. The stationary car capacity of this strip of Pacific Hwy is not essential to full utilisation of Pacific Hwy through traffic since the queue of Pacific Hwy cars at Albert very rarely extends back as far as Victoria Ave.

    – The 10-second cycle of egress from Centennial into Pacific Hwy is adequate for 10 or 11 cars (5 or 6 per lane) in ideal conditions, and cycle time is once every 150 seconds (2.5 minutes). ie between 8:40am and 8:55am (peak drop off time for the schools) just 60 to 70 cars can exit Centennial Ave even under ideal conditions, which rarely happen at that time of day. The primary and high schools combined have roughly 3000 students. There are no other exits from anywhere in the district (between Mowbray and Fullers) to allow traffic to proceed southbound on Pacific Hwy, so many other local residents are also sharing this route at that time in the routine course of “morning peak traffic”.

    – The current Centennial Ave exit traffic light cycle might be fully utilised if, in addition to clearing parking from the left lane of Centennial Ave, the Centennial / Pacific Hwy lights stopped southbound Pacific Hwy traffic a few seconds prior to the Albert Ave / Pacific Hwy southbound lights going red, to allow the scant stretch of road between the two intersections to clear.
    (However full utilisation would still not be nearly enough to service the traffic demand.)

    – Given that council traffic survey of the location indicated there is a high level of illegal use of No Stopping zones by parents trying to pick up kids, and given that (proposed) “No Parking” would allow parents to remain in their vehicles stopped at the kerbside (“kiss and ride” style), placing a “No Parking” zone on the north side of Centennial at the approach to Pacific Hwy is still likely to see stationary cars blocking the left lane approach to Pacific Hwy.

    – A non-trivial portion of the cars turning right out of Centennial wish to immediately turn left into Albert. If this were better facilitated a few extra cars may clear from of Centennial in a cycle.

    – As a resident of Jenkins St, I can attest that the queue on Centennial Ave waiting for the lights at Pacific Hwy often (though not every day) blocks my right turn south from Jenkins to west on Centennial during drop off and pick up times and also on Saturday mornings shopping traffic often blocks Jenkins St. [Perhaps standard intersection Keep Clear road paint marking could be added in front of Jenkins St?] While these are not “average” they are also not uncommon. The observations presented to the Traffic Committee masks the existence of these longer queues. I am aware of the pedestrian crossing, and observe that these queues can be continuous along Centennial from Pacific Hwy back past Jenkins (usually breaking at the crossing) and are not just a shorter queue of cars held up at the crossing itself.

    – The lights at Fullers, Victoria, Centennial, and Albert are locked in sync. Cars coming out of Albert Ave northbound on Pacific frequently fail to identify that Centennial is a separate intersection. The illusion is made substantially worse by the fact that as the lead cars out of Albert turning right into Pacific Hwy are almost at Centennial Ave just when the cars in Centennial Ave are given the green light… so the road ahead of those first cars out of Albert appears invitingly unobstructed and free of traffic. I’ve personally witnessed half a dozen near-misses each year (and think how little time I personally sit at that intersection) and several times quite heroic efforts on the part of one driver or another has been all that’s averted a major accident. I raise this point, because in considering the traffic light cycle at Centennial Ave / Pacific Hwy the timing sync with Albert Ave especially could be reconsidered.

    – Additional to improving the safety and operation of Centennial / Albert co-ordination, if RMS are reviewing lights at this strip of Pacific Hwy could they also review the use of pedestrian lights at Victoria Ave to cross Pacific Hwy. I’m sure you (Lynne) are aware of years of efforts by both schools including stretches of police presence to try to persuade especially high school kids but also parents in (a) getting the habit of using the footbridge and (b) safe use of the pedestrian lights. Even so, every single day when the high school kids (especially) start reaching the Victoria Ave / Pacific Hwy intersection at about 3:15 on their way through to Chatswood CBD, they flood across the pedestrian lights and continue crossing dangerously late, often with kids still entering the pedestrian crossing when the pedestrian light has long since gone steady red and the lights for Pacific Hwy cars have already turned green. I’ve witnessed angry drivers “bull rush” the kids who are “blocking their way” with loud horns and heavy accelerate / break “scare” attempts. (More than once.)

    I understand that “the pedestrians have a responsibility to use the lights legally”… but the fact is that years of schools and police efforts have not persuaded them of this responsibility at this particular intersection. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious incident, and such incidents affect more people than just those pedestrians flouting the law.

    I honestly feel the only viable solution is to surrender to pedestrian stupidity in this case and grant longer pedestrian cycles at Victoria Ave between maybe 3:10 and 3:40 pm. (Though on Thursdays the high school kids leave early.)

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