CRUNCH TIME FOR COUNCIL TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT

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.

Street network precinct 2  Click to enlarge

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.

Frank St a Collector Rd  Click to enlarge

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.

Doglegging from Eildon St Click to enlarge

Doglegging from Eildon St to Frank St  Click to enlarge

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.

Access to Doncaster Rd Buildings via Frank St
Click to enlarge

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.

 

12 Responses to “CRUNCH TIME FOR COUNCIL TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT”

  1. Karl says:

    page 28 of the Council minutes says:
    “The development will not generate any unreasonable traffic congestion within the surrounding street network”. Yet Councillors from wards outside Koonung have moved and seconded the motion for the investigation into traffic movements which is indicative of a wider mistrust of council planning.

  2. Raymond says:

    An exit ramp from the eastern freeway at Tram Road would have avoided the humbug of traffic crossing from Boyd and Eildon Streets into Frank Street.
    South bound vehicles could exit precinct two using the Hepburn Road extension through to Clay Drive which appears to have been widened where it meets Tram Road.

    • David I says:

      The GTA traffic report on a development in Short Street, states: Given that the site is located on a section of Doncaster Road with a divided carriageway, vehicle movements to/from the site will be limited to left-in/left-out only. Which means east bound vehicles from developments in Short Street and the immediate area south of Doncaster Road (precinct 2) will have no direct access to Doncaster Road instead have to navigate south through a network of residential streets to reach Whittens Lane then right turn east.
      It was first thought that east bound vehicles from the south side of Doncaster Road and west of Whittens Lane could u-turn at Council Street.

  3. Toc says:

    I don’t think there will be a problem. The planning department have been able to overcome traffic problems in the past and this will be no different. Contingency plans are already being executed because that is what they are paid to do.

  4. Talford says:

    Doncaster Hill could have been something special but they wanted to overdevelop the area. Four storeys on main roads and dual occupancy projects in side streets should have been the way to go.
    What they are building today will be the slums of tomorrow.

  5. Doug Newington says:

    Manningham Council wants a reduction in the volume of cars passing through the area and for more people to use the bus. They want cycling and walking to increase from about 1 per cent up to 3 per cent in the next two decades. Yet, except for the small area around the Civic Centre, there are no dedicated paths for cycling, so in order to bring the percentage up cyclists will have to ride in the bus lanes or on footpaths. Increased walking will be even more challenging because of the steep topography of the area and the provision of too few pedestrian crossings

    • Grafton says:

      The Doncaster Strategy was foisted on Manningham by the state government in the early part of the previous decade.(2002) It was entirely politically driven as it was one of the first Activity Centres to be approved at a time when the Government’s Melbourne 20/30 plan was struggling.
      Besides it being a gross over development beyond the capacity of the area, there is very little employment and has a poor public transport system. This has resulted in its planning officers hand balling its problems to the next administration.

    • P Stickley says:

      It is illegal for a cyclist over the age of 12 years to ride on footpaths. All the hundreds of thousands of ratepayer resources spent promoting shared path cycling were wasted ….Peter

  6. Bob B says:

    The old 60’s and 70’s housing estates that surround Doncaster Road were not necessarily designed for through traffic, in particular the areas around Doncaster Hill, leaving motorists from the adjacent residential streets with no alternative route in or out except via Doncaster Road or Tram Road.
    It might be a quicker option for east bound PM traffic to access Doncaster Hill via Middleborough Road and enter all the developments on the south side of Doncaster Road by way of left hand turns after leaving the freeway. This would reduce the u-turning that would eventuate if the centre were approached from Frank and Eldon Streets and would take the pressure off Tram Road.

  7. Talford says:

    It is extraordinary when a motion, to conduct an immediate traffic movement study in precinct 2, would be moved and seconded by councillors representing the Heidi and Mullum Mullum wards. More so because Koonung ward councillors, who have only a 33% say on about 80 % of development that is occurring in Manningham, are usually in the minority when trying get planning reform around Doncaster Hill.

  8. Talford says:

    Like it or not, cars are the only mode of travel in Manningham.
    The last five year census indicated an increase of only 14 people per year using buses to get to work.
    These are dismal stats when you factor in the increase in population of approximately 6,000.
    That is why they waffle and don’t address the subject when you raise these issues..

  9. Warren Welsh says:

    These so called studies are usually conducted to pacify residents and generally take up to two years before recommendations are released by which time the community would have forgotten all about the issues.
    In recent years, when community concerns were heightened at traffic congestion and the lack of public off-street parking on Doncaster Hill, council could always silence residents by announcing a comprehensive traffic and parking review which would take up to two years.
    Frustrated at the negative results of previous reviews, residents are no longer deterred from complaining during the study periods and are now demanding that the issue be addressed at once. Stubbornly, council are continuing to respond by employing the same worn out “yes minister” tactic, resulting in a ludicrous and embarrassing situation where these so called reviews are likely to be ongoing

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