HIGH RISE TRAFFIC BEING DIRECTED THROUGH RESIDENTIAL STREETS
Councillors have resolved that the Manningham Infrastructure Services Unit immediately undertake: 1. A new vehicle movement and parking study; and 2. An open space and community amenity study in the area of Doncaster Hill south of Doncaster Road and east of Tram Road. This was after the unit had concluded that the street network would not create any adverse traffic, safety or capacity problems.
Distance and direction websites are now recommending Elgar Road via sides streets such as Frank, Hanke, Boyd and Eildon Streets for city outward bound vehicles accessing Doncaster Hill instead of via the more direct route on Doncaster Road because many of the high rise apartment buildings have no access/exit facility from Doncaster Road, an arterial road without service lanes. Several independent parking and traffic studies on Doncaster Hill had indicated that with the number high rise developments being completed there would be corresponding capacity constraints in the road network with limited opportunities available to accommodate the projected growth in traffic volumes. Congested traffic conditions similar to inner Melbourne were expected.
Increased traffic was expected to increase travel times at slower vehicle speeds in and around Doncaster Hill. There will
be reduced performance of the road based public transport system (Buses Only) within the local area with an increase in stop-start traffic flow, queuing and delays at key intersections and limited gap opportunities for vehicles entering the arterial road network from our haphazard street layout.
Traffic is funneled into a highly loaded single main intersection, with no alternative routes to access high rise developments. It’s a condition caused by not having a interconnected system where traffic cannot rely on Doncaster Road for entry and exit.
An interconnected street network would have ensured that all trips could be as short as possible, to help disperse congestion, and be compatible with walking and cycling if it was made safe
. The grid is the most common form of interconnected street system. Most streetcar cities have this characteristic street pattern, which is generally different than the post-1950 suburban pattern. The higher density of intersections reduces trip distance and reduces use of the automobile. Interconnected streets provide many alternative routes if there is congestion.
One of the problems of using Boyd and Eildon is that Vehicles exiting Eildon Street and dog legging right across Tram Road into Frank Street are impeding traffic flow in Tram Road.
The lack of a street grid/network in Precinct 2 for the efficient dispersion of traffic has been further disadvantaged by the permanent closure of Whittens Lane a main collector road, leaving Frank Street as the only remaining option. Frank Street, which is only seven metres wide, is considered unsuitable because of a bend half way in its length, its steep gradient aggravated by the introduction of double lines.
To further illustrate the difficulty of using this small street as a collector road it should be noted that in the 180 meter length of Frank Street, where many of the new dwellings that have made no provision for visitors parking, making nature strip parking commonplace. The recent council decision, after studies by both Vic Roads and the council officers, suggests that parking be only on one side of the street; that is, No Standing zones on the entire northern side. This has simply forced people to park on nature strips and/or the footpath. The council has turned a blind eye to this illegality because they simply cannot solve this issue. The Hepburn Road extension east to Clay Drive will reduce the burden on Short street for exiting the area and might also provide an alternative option for city outward bound accessing buildings in Doncaster Road via Merlin Street (if VicRoads approved) instead of the longer route via Frank Street, Whittens lane and Walker Street.
The Manningham Council had gambled on the reduction of car use by encouraging the use of public transport and by promoting cycling but unfortunately neither has been successful. With the massive extension to Westfield and the Bunnings development adjacent in Doncaster Road yet to be built it would seem that traffic problem in and around Doncaster Hill is going to get a lot worse.