Traffic and parking problems in King Arthur Terrace, Tennyson

Principal Petitioner Gil Brooks, Tennyson
Date Closed Thu, 27 Mar 2014 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 100 signatures

(View signatures)

In the interests of the safety of children and pedestrians we, the residents of King Arthur Terrace, Tennyson, petition the Brisbane City Council to permanently close to through traffic the section of King Arthur Terrace, between Fairfield Road and Softstone Street.

It is proposed that this be done by closing off the concourse in front of the Tennis Centre to vehicular traffic. It is also requested that the section of King Arthur Terrace, adjacent to Ken Fletcher Park, be designated as a shared pedestrian zone with a speed limit of 10 km/h. If that alternative is not acceptable to Council, then the residents request that Council agree to the installation of signs banning right hand turns out of Fairfield Road, between the hours of 3pm to 6pm seven days a week, to be monitored by enforcement cameras as has been so successfully implemented in Milton Road, Milton, opposite Officeworks. This would provide a suitable solution that could be relaxed, if necessary, during major tennis events.

There is a safety issue with children playing in Ken Fletcher Park being in danger if they stray onto the roadway without realizing it is a busy through-traffic road. This has recently been exasperated by the plan to build a unit for the very credible entity Montrose at the entry into King Arthur Terrace at the Fairfield Road intersection. We now have children-specific developments at both ends of King Arthur Terrace. There is a danger to the safety of elderly residents and children of the Tennyson Reach who are at risk from a high volume and sometimes speeding through-traffic proceeding along King Arthur Terrace in the vicinity of the residential complex. There is a danger to all road users and vehicles resulting from a high volume of through-traffic (including heavy vehicles) using this section of King Arthur Terrace, which is designed for local traffic only. This through-traffic continues to use the road despite the road being narrow, winding, and speed-limited with traffic slow points. The signs showing it is for local traffic only are ignored, especially during the evening peak with a high proportion of Fairfield Road traffic actually turning right into King Arthur Terrace.

 

 

In addressing the above issues the petitioners contend that Council has a duty of care in respect of the safety of all persons using the above section of King Arthur Terrace and this can only be adequately achieved by closing the road to through-traffic or taking our suggested alternative. We humbly petition accordingly.

Council response

The petition has been investigated and it was considered by Council at its meeting held on 11 March 2014. It was decided that the petitioners be advised of the information below.

 Request to close the subject section of King Arthur Terrace to through traffic

The subject section of King Arthur Terrace was built in cooperation with the Queensland Government, during the development of the Queensland Tennis Centre. It is noted that ‘local traffic only’ signs are currently installed at both entrances to this section of road. Council initially raised concerns with the original road layout being a through-route extension of King Arthur Terrace.

Despite the installation of ‘local traffic only’ signage as part of the redevelopment of the site in accordance with the State Government’s plans, it is noted that some motorists may continue to use this road as a shortcut, as the alternative routes between King Arthur Terrace (east) and Fairfield Road are somewhat longer.

Council’s Strategic Transport Planning team recently reviewed the planning and design traffic flows for King Arthur Terrace and have confirmed the road is suitable for through traffic. As part of the review of Brisbane’s road hierarchy, the subject section of King Arthur Terrace was classified as a district access route, given that it services a major sporting centre, residential developments and community facility (Ken Fletcher Park).

A traffic count conducted on the subject section of King Arthur Terrace in June 2013 recorded an average weekday volume of 6,730 vehicles per day. District access roads typically carry between 6,000 and 15,000 vehicles a day, therefore, the existing capacity provided by the subject section of King Arthur Terrace is appropriate to meet the requirements of a district road.

There are seven traffic calming devices including speed platforms, slow points and roundabouts, which are currently installed along this section of King Arthur Terrace, to encourage motorists to moderate their vehicle speeds. A posted speed limit of 40km/h applies to this section of road. The traffic survey undertaken in June 2013 recorded average vehicle speeds of 41 km/h (eastbound) and 42km/h (westbound), which indicates the majority of motorists are complying with the speed limit.

Request to provide a shared pedestrian zone with 10km/h speed limit adjacent to the Ken Fletcher Park

Shared zones are generally only provided on roads in commercial or shopping areas, where the road does not form part of a through route and pedestrian movements predominate over vehicular traffic. As the subject section of road is used by through traffic and vehicular traffic predominates, this location is not suitable for a shared pedestrian zone.

Pedestrian improvements

It is noted that the petitioners have raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians due to the high traffic volumes on King Arthur Terrace and the close proximity to the Ken Fletcher Park.

A zebra crossing is currently located adjacent to the Ken Fletcher Park and is installed on a raised speed platform, for improved pedestrian safety. In addition to the zebra crossing, a pedestrian refuge is also provided through the centre median (garden bed) in front of the Pat Rafter Arena. This crossing is located within a reasonable distance (approximately 160 metres) from the zebra crossing.

Pedestrian warning signs are installed at both crossings to provide sufficient warning to motorists of pedestrian activity. Steel bollards are also installed along the road near the Ken Fletcher Park, which highlight the separation between the footpath and the roadway.

As previously mentioned, a 40km/h speed limit applies to the subject section of King Arthur Terrace, which is supported by traffic calming devices. The recent traffic survey indicates that the majority of motorists are complying with this speed limit, which promotes a safer environment for pedestrians.

Pedestrian and traffic surveys were recently conducted in October 2013 to assess the pedestrian activity in front of the Pat Rafter Arena. The surveys recorded 142 pedestrians crossing the road over a twelve-hour period on Thursday 17 October and 613 pedestrians on Saturday 26 October. The survey reflects the higher pedestrian activity experienced on weekends, generated by the tennis centre and Ken Fletcher Park.

Based on the pedestrian demand, it is proposed to list the site for improvements to the pedestrian crossing facility in front of the Pat Rafter Arena. This project will be considered in a future budget, in line with other citywide projects of a similar nature.

It is also noted that Council’s Field Services Group (FSG) has listed a project to remove all the exposed aggregate and paved sections near the Pat Rafter Arena and replace with asphalt. These works are also expected to improve pedestrian safety, as it will provide clearer delineation between the footpath and roadway.

As funds need to be specifically set aside in a future budget for this work, Council is unable to provide a construction date at this time. Each June, all listed projects are prioritised and assessed against the overall needs of the city.

Request to install an afternoon peak right-turn ban at the Fairfield Road and King Arthur Terrace intersection

As an alternative to the road closure, the petitioners have also requested consideration of a right-turn ban from Fairfield Road into King Arthur Terrace operating between 3pm and 6pm, seven days a week.

Turn bans are generally only installed at intersections for safety reasons, or to improve traffic congestion along a major corridor. The peak period right-turn ban on Milton Road at the Cribb Street intersection, Milton (opposite Officeworks) is an example of a right-turn ban installed to improve traffic congestion along Milton Road.

There is good visibility along Fairfield Road for motorists to judge suitable gaps in traffic and safely turn into King Arthur Terrace. A search of the available crash records over a five-year period revealed there are no recorded crashes from vehicles turning right at the Fairfield Road and King Arthur Terrace intersection.

Site inspections confirmed there is ample storage available at this intersection for right-turning vehicles, and queued vehicles do not hinder southbound through traffic.

A recent intersection count recorded 1,269 vehicles turning right from Fairfield Road into King Arthur Terrace between 3pm and 6pm. Therefore, provision of a right-turn ban would displace approximately 1,300 vehicles to the Fairfield Road and Palomar Road intersection, with traffic continuing along Varley Street, Tennyson Memorial Avenue and Softstone Street to King Arthur Terrace.

Council’s Congestion Reduction Unit (CRU) has advised that the right-turn pocket at the Fairfield Road and Palomar Road intersection would not cope with the increased volume of right-turning traffic, given that an average of 680 vehicles turn right at this intersection between 5pm and 6pm. Banning the right turn would result in vehicles spilling out of the right-turn pocket on Fairfield Road at the Palomar Road intersection. These queued vehicles would block the Fairfield Road southbound traffic lane up to the Fairfield Road overpass which would create safety issues due to vehicles having to stop and weave between traffic lanes.

The afternoon peak right-turn ban is not recommended as it is likely to create safety and congestion issues at the Fairfield Road and Palomar Road intersection, and will not improve safety or traffic congestion at the Fairfield Road and King Arthur Terrace intersection. However, it is noted that prior to the tennis centre being constructed the Fairfield Road and Palomar Road intersection did cater for the entire right-hand-turn traffic volumes.

Yeerongpilly Transit Orientated development (TOD)

The State Government has identified the former CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) land bounded by King Arthur Terrace, Fairfield Road and the Tennis Centre for future transit orientated development.

The State Government is currently undertaking consultation on options for developing this site. It is unknown what impacts the final development plans, including road layout, will have on traffic on King Arthur Terrace.

It would be premature for Council to modify the road network ahead of community consultation being finalised and the State Government making a decision on the development plans for the site.

It is therefore the decision of Council to await the outcome of the State Government’s community consultation process on the Yeerongpilly Transit Orientated Development prior to considering changes to the existing King Arthur Terrace layout.