Extend Chatswood Mall to Archer St: Clr. Wright has moved the following motion –
That Council receive a report from officers for the July Council meeting of a strategy, including budget impacts, by which Council could look at extending the Chatswood Mall from Anderson St to Archer St.
Officer’s comments: Extending the pedestrian Mall in Victoria Avenue between Anderson and Archer Streets requires consideration of a number of factors. These include the impacts of the proposed Mall upon traffic flows through the CDB and beyond, including public transport, emergency vehicles and pedestrians; the capacity for the CBD to accommodate further expansion of food premises in the near future and desired urban design outcomes. It is not possible to meet the request within the Notice of Motion by July as the project is more complex than a simple road closure and is unfunded in 2019/20. Officers are also trying to ascertain the impact of government closures on Council’s revenues and 2020/21 budget; the subject of future briefings to Council. Another consideration is that this section of Victoria Avenue is currently being consulted upon in the Draft Integrated Transport Strategy. It would be appropriate to finalise and receive that consultation prior to proceeding with any further concepts or projects.
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item 16.2 of the 11 May 2020 council papers.
If the 11 May 2020 council motion was to consider the recommendation in relation to Victoria Ave between Archer and Anderson from the 2012 Chatswood CBD study, I think there are ways where traffic might be able to be addressed and managed. I do not believe the current council motion is asking for that, I believe it is asking for the entire street to become a raised mall with no through vehicle access to public transport or emergency vehicles.
I read the council motion as complete closure of victoria ave to public transport, emergency vehicles and all cars (2012 Chatswood CBD study only closed eastbound to cars, all other vehicles allowed). I think this will cause traffic nightmare and possibly will be blocked by Transport for NSW. Two options for Transport for NSW under complete closure is diverting buses along penhurst street to ashley street and access the interchange via Anderson Street north of Help street (not a good option based on time, narrowness of ashley street east of Archer and missed bus stops on victoria ave).
Another option would be for buses to turn right at archer street into Victoria ave (or left into neridah, right into albert, right into archer and up to Ashley) and up to ashley street and access the interchange via Anderson street. In the last 3-4 years since vivid and for recent chatswood street fairs transport for NSW have moved away from this route.
The motion is also unclear if they will close Anderson Street east west across Victoria Ave. Cause even more traffic chaos and somehow I suspect Westfield might oppose this as well?
Under the complete closure of the anderson street east west across Victoria Ave and complete closure of victoria ave between Anderson and Archer the following intersection will be impacted by car route changes (dose not factor in bus traffic and how bus routes might change and increased traffic from buses on roads that have previously not carried buses and the additional level of carriage due to closure of Victoria ave for public transport) in my opinion and traffic impact must be considered properly and NO fastracked decision made:
– Archer Street and Boundary Street (SR=State Road) being the left (west bound) and right (East bound) turn from boundary street into Archer Street
– Boundary Street (SR) and Pacific Highway (SR) being right turn from pacific highway into boundary street as a result of vehicles turning left from fullers road onto pacific highway to get to chatswood chase (Currently vehicles go from fullers to help st, right onto Anderson st and left onto Victoria ave.)
– Fullers Road (SR)/Pacific Highway (SR)/Help Street instead of cars travelling east from Fullers into help street, a much higher proportion will now have to either turn left to access Archer Street (chatswood chase) via boundary street or right to access westfield via albert ave. The right hand turn from fullers into pacific highway is already quite short, more traffic will extend wait times down fullers road. The bus replacement of chatswood to epping rail line for 6-7 months during the metro construction identified how limited Transport for NSW has in scope for modifying the traffic light sequence to allow more vehicles to turn right onto the highway at fuller road.
– Albert Ave/Pacific Highway (SR)/oliver road – increased congestion at this already congested intersection from cars turning right onto the highway at fullers to turn left onto albert to access the 3 level westfield underground carpark at Anderson/Albert or turn right at Victor and left into carpark.
– Centennial Ave is a possible loser in traffic flow as a result of increased congestion and intersection of Albert Ave/Pacific Highway (SR)/oliver road. Vehicles already que south bound over the pacific highway/centennial ave intersection making right hand turn from centennial to pacific highway difficult. More traffic congestion may make it even more difficult especially after the redevelopment of the chatswood education precinct gets rebuild and there will possibly be more pick up and drop off traffic on weekdays and weekend sport on centennial ave wanting to exit. Transport for NSW have already said there is no more time that centennial Ave can be given in the traffic cycle due to prioritising pacific highway as a state road.
– Albert/Orchard – There has been a planning proposal for the redevelopment of Mandarin Centre for many years, unclear if the new redevelopment will have vehicles exiting the new centre from either Ocrhard or Victor or both
– Albert/Victor – increased right turn demand albert ave into victor st (south bound to left turn into westfield) from cars that turned right from fullers onto pacific highway some of these cars might also continue to left turn into Anderson street to access 3 level underground westfield car park.
– Albert/Anderson – under this proposal it is likely Anderson street would be closed at the pedestrian crossing linking the two sides of westfield and this street would be made left turn only in and one lane each way. Currently this street has two lanes exiting one left turn onto albert (east bound) and one right turn onto albert (west bound). Consideration would need to be given if this become left turn out only and subsequent traffic congestion on albert ave would need to be considered.
– Archer (south bound) right turn into Albert (heading west) to access westfield multistorey carpark either just west of Anderson street or from victor street – this right turn is already very congested at peak times (Thursday night and weekends) and any additional traffic (from boundary street) due to the closure of Victoria avenue would further delay this area.
– Archer (north bound) left turn into Albert (heading west) to access westfield multistorey carpark either just west of Anderson street or from victor street – these cars mainly come from Mowbray road/archer street. If the intersection is more congested due to more cars turning right and albert ave is running at capacity, it may increase the left turn time and delay for vehicles. Vehicles may increasingly divert onto back streets and access the westfield car park via Mowbray/archer/Johnson/Devonshire or Mowbray/orchard/Johnston/Devonshire.
Further, I think the closure of victoria avenue to all vehicle movements between Anderson and Archer (option 1) would be very disruptive from a traffic impact perspective. I also think the closure of anderson street east west across Victoria avenue (option 2) would be many times more disruptive to local traffic impact.
Much detailed further investigation of the closure of part of the Victoria/Anderson intersection (Victoria Ave part or option 1) or the full closure of the intersection being Victoria ave to archer and Anderson street east west across Victoria ave (option 1 and 2 would create a continuous mall from Station to Archer street) will have an impact on the function of state roads being pacific highway, boundary street, fullers road and a number of council roads including ashley street, Anderson street north of help street, archer street, albert ave and any other local streets cars might find a way through like daisy/tulip/iris/violet (narrow streets parking on both sides usually) or orchard/Johnston/victor/Devonshire.
I think the traffic impacts of the 2012 Chatswood CBD Traffic Study could be managed if the only change to Victoria ave was the recommendation in that report:
“By way of background information, Council completed a Chatswood CBD Traffic Study in 2012 which proposed changes to the traffic management, including in Victoria Avenue between Anderson Street and Archer Street. A specific action for Victoria Avenue between Anderson Street and Archer Street was to convert the eastbound traffic lane of Victoria Avenue to a bus lane.”
Further, if the goal of this motion was to address traffic congestion and not create a pedestrian mall, I think the first change Stage 1 before any road closures would be a trial to remove the parking spaces east bound on Victoria Ave between Anderson Street and Archer street outside Chemist warehouse for 6 months and make that a loading zone where rangers patrol and enforce only delivery vehicles parking.
After the traffic congestion was reassessed after 6 months, if congestion was continued to be noticed consideration should be given to a trial timed no parking/loading zone (8am to 6pm Mon-Sun) Stage 2 of parking on the northern and southern side of Victoria ave between archer street and Bertram street.