Council Statement: The Parade and George Street scramble crossing

01/05/2020

The Council has recently become aware of a leaflet being distributed to residents and business operators within the City Norwood Payneham & St Peters, titled ‘Important Notice to Norwood Parade Users’ which has been written and distributed by ‘Norwood Parade Traders’.

This leaflet is not a Council endorsed document nor is it a Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) document and does not form part of any formal community consultation process being undertaken by the Council or DPTI.

Given that the source of the distributed leaflet is unknown, the Council is cautioning residents and business operators from completing the leaflet, particularly through the website listed in the document, as it is unknown how personal details are being captured and subsequently used by an unknown third party.

Council's concerns regarding the distributed leaflet

The Council is concerned that this leaflet has been distributed to residents and business operators as it may cause unnecessary concern regarding the ‘scramble crossing’ and The Parade Masterplan.

The leaflet does not accurately convey the facts regarding the ‘scramble crossing’ nor The Parade Masterplan, which was adopted by the Council at a Special Council Meeting on 15 May 2019 following extensive community consultation.

 

Summary of Council's position on scramble crossing

Given the public interest in this matter, it is important that the facts and the Council’s position are correctly presented.

In summary:

  1. Improving motorist and pedestrian safety is the primary reason for the Council’s proposal to introduce a scramble crossing at The Parade and George Street intersection.
  2. The introduction of a scramble crossing will allow all pedestrians to cross together removing any potential conflicts with filtering turning vehicular traffic, thereby improving safety for all road users.
  3. The Parade is a DPTI owned and controlled road and DPTI supports and has endorsed the Council’s proposal to install a scramble crossing on the basis that additional changes are also implemented to help offset increased queueing and delays that are expected for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists as a result of installing the scramble crossing.
  4. The Council has worked closely with DPTI to identify and test several options for maintaining acceptable traffic conditions, including the option of “short queue right turn lanes with green arrows on The Parade, enabling a designated turning lane into George Street, north and south, in conjunction with the proposed scramble crossing”, as set out in the leaflet.
  5. As a result of traffic modelling which has been undertaken, the “short queue right turn lanes with green arrows on The Parade” option (option being promoted in the leaflet) has been rejected by both DPTI and the Council as it will increase queueing and delays to unacceptable levels.
  6. A scramble crossing that includes “short queue right turn lanes with green arrows” is therefore not feasible.
  7. DPTI and the Council agree that the most viable solution is to introduce right turn restrictions during peak periods together with the introduction of a scramble The proposed restrictions which have been agreed to are:
    • No Right Turns from The Parade into George Street for westbound traffic (i.e. travelling towards the City of Adelaide) only during AM peak (7.30am–9.00am) Monday to Friday; and
    • No Right Turns from The Parade into George Street for eastbound traffic (i.e. travelling towards Portrush Road) only during PM peak (4.00pm–6.00pm) Monday to Friday.
  8. The ‘No Right Turn’ option can be accommodated with minimal changes to existing infrastructure, and these are traffic arrangements which will be trialled over a 12 month period. Following the trial period, further changes to the traffic signal operation can be considered, if recommended by DPTI.

In conclusion, the Council is both disappointed and concerned that this leaflet, which misrepresents the proposed works and the Council’s position, has been circulated. The Council is committed to the introduction of a scramble crossing to deliver the optimum level of safety to pedestrians and cyclists, together with significantly improved traffic flow.

 

For a more detailed Council responses to the information contained in the leaflet’s claims, please see below.

 

Read the Council's detailed responses to each of the claims in the leaflet

Click "More information" to read response.

  • Leaflet claim 1: This intersection has been the site of 21 crashes in the last five years

Council response: The Council does not have crash data for all accidents (only those which have resulted in casualty and property damage) in the last five years. However, DPTI’s crash data for the 2014-2018 period confirms that there were eight casualty crashes involving injuries at The Parade and George Street intersection. Of these eight casualty crashes, five involved vehicles colliding with pedestrian crossing at the traffic signals, one was a right angle crash, and two were rear end crashes.

Improved road safety is the primary reason for introducing a scramble crossing at The Parade and George Street intersection. The scramble crossing operation will separate pedestrians and vehicles. It will allow all pedestrians to cross safely removing any potential conflicts with filtering turning traffic, thereby improving pedestrian safety.

The proposed scramble crossing is similar to these which operate at the intersection of Pulteney Street and Rundle Street and Pirie Street and King William Street in the Adelaide CBD.

 

 

  • Leaflet claim 2: DPTI recommended [the scramble crossing] be accompanied by the introduction of short right turn lanes to manage queueing and traffic.

Council response: DPTI supports the Council’s proposal to install a scramble crossing on the basis that it is not introduced in isolation of other changes. DPTI has requested that additional changes are also introduced to help offset increased queueing and delays that are expected for all road users.

DPTI’s initial recommendation for short right turn lanes was prior to the Council undertaking any traffic modelling to test a number of potential options, including two options comprising dedicated right turn lanes. In a letter to the Council dated 1 November 2019, DPTI advised the Council of the following:

“DPTI has considered the merits of the options and DPTI’s recommendation is for the installation of a scramble crossing that includes pedestrian ramp upgrades and banning right turns on The Parade approaches during peak periods. DPTI understands that this approach was favoured by Council, and its consideration supported at a Special Council Meeting on 15 May 2019”.

 

  • Leaflet claim 3: That solution [short right turn lanes] was rejected by Council.

Council response: The Council considered six potential options for the intersection of The Parade and George Street, including two options comprising short right turn lanes. After undertaking traffic modelling, the results indicated that three scramble crossing options would create unacceptable traffic queueing and delays. Three remaining options had similar results in maintaining acceptable traffic conditions on The Parade. These options include:

- No right turns in both directions during peak traffic periods;

- No right turns in one direction only during peak traffic periods; and

- Short right turn lanes with filter turns (i.e. traffic signals without right turn arrows).

The Council has determined that the ‘No right turns’ in one direction only during peak traffic periods is the best option to pursue at this time. DPTI has supported and endorsed the implementation of this option.

 

  • Leaflet claim 4: Instead [of short right turn lanes] the Council has voted for a ban on right turns into George Street. These are currently proposed for The Parade 7.30am-9am Monday to Friday for westbound traffic, and 4pm-6pm Monday to Friday for eastbound traffic.

Council response:

The ‘No right turn’ option is preferred by the Council over the short right turn lane option for the following reasons:

1. Through The Parade Masterplan the Council is seeking to create a pedestrian friendly mainstreet.

2. The removal or reduction of the central median in order to accommodate short turn traffic lanes will result in the loss of streetscape amenity (e.g. existing median landscaping, flag poles, Christmas decorations), negatively impacting the mainstreet feel and atmosphere which is unique to The Parade.

3. The ‘No right turn’ option is a low cost solution which will be trialled over 12 month period. Subject to the success of the scramble crossing following the trial period, further changes to the traffic signal operation can be considered if needed.

4. Over the next several years, the Council will be undertaking physical improvements to The Parade in accordance with the endorsed Masterplan, including modifications to the kerbs, footpaths and other street infrastructure. As the detailed design for these improvements has not been undertaken, it is premature to undertake any works which may be impacted by the future improvements.

 

  • Leaflet claim 5: We do not believe this ban is necessary and question why it was not raised by Council during their Masterplan consultation process.

Council response:

The Council is uncertain as to who “We” [Norwood Parade Traders] are and represent. The Parade Masterplan is a strategic document which outlines the vision and proposed future improvements for The Parade. Details of proposed physical and operational improvements such as the scramble crossing are not typically determined during the preparation of a masterplan. Masterplans are generally further tested, developed and refined at the detailed design stage prior to construction. In addition, given that The Parade is a DPTI road any proposed changes need to be approved by DPTI.

 

  • Leaflet claim 6: Indeed, we are highly concerned the ban, described as a compromise by DPTI, will lead to more cars and delivery trucks rat running in residential side streets, not designed for such traffic.

Council response:

In relation to the concern of more traffic and “rat-running” in residential side streets, a DPTI traffic survey for the intersection conducted on 15 June 2017, revealed that of the 20,855 vehicles which travelled through the intersection, only 29 west-bound vehicles turned right from The Parade into George Street in the morning peak (7.30am–9am), while 108 east-bound vehicles turned right during the afternoon peak of (4.00pm–6.00pm).

The Council acknowledges that some drivers will need to find alternative routes during the prohibited peak times. However, the traffic impacts are not expected to be significant and will be monitored over the 12 month trial period.

Regardless of which option the Council endorsed, the introduction of a scramble crossing will require some compromise by the community in order to improve pedestrian safety.

 

  • Leaflet claim 7: Short queue right turns lanes with green arrows can be achieved without removal of any trees and in keeping with modern urban design principles, as illustrated below. It remains the right solution for both traffic flow and pedestrian and bike safety and that should not be compromised.

Council response:

Traffic modelling has conclusively determined that short queue right turn lanes with green arrows is not feasible. DPTI will not accept this solution due to the unacceptable traffic impacts (i.e. vehicle queueing and delays) that would result during morning and afternoon peak traffic periods.

It is the Council’s opinion that the artist impression included in the leaflet is not reflective of ‘modern urban design principles’ and does not accurately illustrate the street level impacts and the traffic signal infrastructure that would be required in order to implement short queue right turn lanes.

The endorsed scramble crossing will deliver the optimum level of safety to all road users, which includes pedestrians and cyclists, as well as a better flow of traffic for vehicles.

 

  • Leaflet claim 8: To keep in touch with any developments and to access more information, visit www.keepgeorgestreetopen.com.au

Council response:

The website included in the leaflet (www.keepgeorgestreetopen.com.au) is not a Council or Council endorsed website.

The Council is committed to open and transparent decision making. All Council meeting agendas and minutes for meetings are available on the Council’s website.

Relevant Council meetings in which The Parade Masterplan and the ‘scramble crossing’ have been considered are listed below.

Download:

 

Additional important information

Read more information and facts in relation to The Parade and George Street intersection scramble crossing,

1. Contrary to what the keepgeorgestreetopen.com.au website name may suggest, there are no plans or decisions to close George Street, Norwood. Read Mayor Robert Bria’s statement (30 May 2018) in relation to this matter.

2. At a Special Meeting held on 15 May 2019, the Council resolved that it “supports the consideration of the proposal to introduce a peak period (7.30am–9.00am and 4.00pm–6.00pm) ‘No right turn’ on both The Parade approaches together with the introduction of a scramble crossing at the intersection of The Parade and George Street, in order to manage queueing and traffic during peak periods.

The Council was concerned that the right turn ban restrictions proposed by DPTI were too onerous. As such, Mayor Bria asked the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon Stephan Knoll MP if DPTI staff could reconsider its position on the ‘scramble crossing’ to provide a more flexible arrangement (i.e. not prohibit right hand turns). Read Mayor Bria’s letters to Minister Knoll dated 17 and 24 May 2019.

Download: Letter to Hon Stephan Knoll: 17 May 2019

Download: Letter to Hon Stephan Knoll: 24 May 2019

Minister Knoll agreed to Mayor Bria’s request, resulting in Council staff and DPTI staff working together to investigate further options. This process involved identifying and modelling the six options outlined in The Parade and George Street Scramble Crossing SIDRA Report.

Download: The Parade and George Street Scramble Crossing SIDRA Report

The traffic modelling from The Parade and George Street Scramble Crossing SIDRA Report, indicated that of all the possible options, the option with short queue right turn lanes with green arrows performed the worst, as it did not meet the minimum level of service in the AM or the PM peak periods, and was therefore unacceptable to DPTI.

The traffic modelling also demonstrated that a right turn ban was only required in one direction during the morning and afternoon peak periods. As such, DPTI advised that it would accept bans on right turns for west-bound traffic during the morning peak (7.30am–9.00am) and for east-bound traffic during the afternoon (4.00pm–6.00pm).

At a Special meeting held on 18 December 2019, the Council considered all six options, and resolved to support this proposal which was also acceptable to DPTI.

Download: Council Meeting Minutes: 18 December 2019

3. The Norwood Residents Association and several Parade businesses, including the owner and traders of Parade Central, have expressed support for the Council endorsed scramble crossing option which includes a ‘No right turn’ in one direction only during the morning and afternoon peak periods.

 

 Contact

For further information on The Parade and George Street Scramble Crossing Project, please contact the Council on 08 8366 4555.