In the July Council Meeting Councillor Whitfield put forward a notice of motion that was supported by the Full Council that read –
“That Council DIRECTS the Chief Executive Officer to investigate all options that would make it safer for pedestrians to cross on Settlers Avenue between the Shopping Centre and the Mary Davies Library and present those options to Council for consideration.”
Below in the overview map you will see the current crossing points and many residents felt that is was unsafe crossing at that area which is why this motion was presented.
The City have undertaken research and traffic counts over that time.
Manual pedestrian and vehicle counts were conducted at the pedestrian crossing points.
Time periods chosen for the counts include AM peak 11am-12pm, afternoon school peak 3pm-4pm and PM peak 5pm-6pm on a Thursday.
Pedestrian and vehicle counts have also been conducted on a Saturday to assess the midday peak 12pm-1pm. Main Roads WA (MRWA) has minimum requirements for pedestrian and traffic demand before pedestrian priority crossing facilities can be considered.
A zebra crossing is generally required if in two separate hours on an average weekday, the number of pedestrians exceeds 60 per hour within 30 metres of the site and the number of vehicles exceeds 600 per hour (both directions). Also, the product of the number of pedestrians and vehicles is required to exceed 90,000 in the same hour.
Below is a summary of the count data and calculation on the product of the two counts.
As calculated above, the pedestrian and traffic volumes at all three locations do not meet MRWA requirements for controlled pedestrian crossing facilities.
During the counts, it has been observed that pedestrians were able to cross almost immediately or a few seconds delay in most occasions.
There were no vehicles driving at excessive speed, however a number of people parked across the No Stopping yellow line at the Crossing Point 1. These people were either dropping off or picking up passengers, went out of their vehicle to use the ATM, or went out to get takeaway food. There were also some people undertaking u-turns at this location
Pedestrian signal crossing requires higher demand on both pedestrian and traffic volumes. Therefore this type of treatment has not been further assessed as it would not be supported by MRWA.
MRWA crash history indicated that there is no recorded pedestrian related incidents that have occurred along Settlers Avenue in the past five year period from 2011 to 2015.
All three locations have a Level of Service A, meaning an excellent level for pedestrian crossing opportunity. Pedestrians are considered to be able to cross almost immediately on arrival.
There are 4 Options for consideration based upon this research.
To further improve the safety of pedestrians undertaking crossing on Settlers Avenue at the Crossing Point 1, the following options could be considered.
Option 1 – Existing conditions with enhancements Description: Traffic control devices such as signage and line marking are an effective way to enforce parking restriction. Regular patrol service will assist in enforcing the parking restriction. It is noted that the existing No Stopping yellow lines have started fading and there is no relevant signage to indicate the No Stopping restriction. Therefore it is recommended to repaint the line marking and install No Stopping signage at suitable locations. Pedestrian safety will be improved by increasing pedestrian sight lines by the removal of parked vehicles. Cost: The cost is minimal and is expected to be allocated from the maintenance budget. Impact to the existing layout: It is not expected there will be any impact to the existing layout. Internal requests have been created to undertake the above. This is the Cities recommended option.
Option 2 – Zebra crossing Description: MRWA is the approving authority for zebra crossing. The current pedestrian and traffic volumes on Settlers Avenue are too low to warrant for this type of treatment, and therefore it will not be supported by MRWA for further consideration. This option is not recommended.
Option 3 – Pedestrian refuge island Description: Pedestrian refuge island will avoid people undertaking u-turns and is likely to reduce the number of people stopping for various reasons as vehicles behind will not be able to overtake them with the presence of the island. This will also provide refuge for pedestrians and allow them to cross one direction of traffic at a time. A sketch of the concept design for this option is provided in Figure 2 below. Further investigation and design will be required for the consideration of this treatment. Cost: The indicative construction cost for this option is approximately $150,000, as suggested by the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management Part 8: Local Area Traffic Management guideline. This estimate is based on the concept design only. Further investigation and design will need to be undertaken to get a more accurate cost estimate on the actual works required. Impact to the existing layout: Widening this section of road will be required in order to accommodate the island. Existing structures and landscaping will need to be removed or relocated. This option is not recommended as the proposed kerbline will come too close to the existing structures and the modification does not warrant the expenditure.
Option 4 – Shared zone Description: Shared zone can be considered at the section between Atwick Terrace and Nancy Alley.
Vehicles must give way to pedestrians at all times within a shared zone. This option requires careful design to change the characteristic of this section of road with special attention to the change in driving environment. Common modifications include surface treatment, entrance treatment, landscaping, signage and line marking, speed reduction devices etc. A sketch of the concept design for this option is provided in Figure 3 below.
Further investigation and design including traffic analysis of the surrounding intersections will be required for the consideration of this treatment. Cost: The indicative construction cost for this option is approximately $130,000, as suggested by the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management Part 8: Local Area Traffic Management guideline.
This estimate is based on the concept design only. Further investigation and design will need to be undertaken to get a more accurate cost estimate on the actual works required. Impact to the existing layout: The driving environment on this section of road will need to be modified so that it will carry low speed and low traffic volume. This option is not recommended as the road is already low speed, and has low volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
The Cities recommendation is that Council APPROVES the retention of the existing treatments on Settlers Avenue with minor enhancements to signage, line marking and undertaking enforcement of parking restrictions.
Based upon the research, figures and evidence shown Main Roads would not authorise a Zebra Crossing and the surveying shows that the longest a pedestrian had to wait to cross between the Library and the Shopping Centre was only 10 seconds.
My role as a Councillor is to bring issues on behalf of Residents to the City and to see what action can be taken. In this instance it appears as if the amount of foot traffic does not justify anything other than increasing the signage, line marking and issuing fines for those drivers doing the wrong thing.
As always I welcome your thoughts on this matter as this will be decided at the Council Meeting on Tuesday 25th October.