Warrant System Inquiry into Traffic Calming

I am responding to your invitation to make a submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Urban Services Inquiry into the possible use of a warrant system to determine whether traffic calming measures are needed in suburban streets and if so what type of calming measures should be introduced.

Mr Rod Power

Secretary

ACT Legislative Assembly Standing

Committee on Urban Services

PO Box 1020

CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

Dear Mr Power

I am responding to your invitation to make a submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Urban Services Inquiry into the possible use of a warrant system to determine whether traffic calming measures are needed in suburban streets and if so what type of calming measures should be introduced.

The Weston Creek Community Council has considered the possible use of a warrant system and does not hold strong views either for or against introducing such a system. This decision comes against the background that most people in Weston Creek are satisfied with the quality of the road system in their area. In the past when traffic problems have been drawn to attention and, have only involved minor corrective works, they have been promptly fixed.

Examples include road islands in Heysen Street Weston to slow down west going traffic as it descends the hill from Woden and the new roundabout in Brierly Street Weston which has slowed traffic in the vicinity of Cooleman Court.

The use of warrants will, in the first instance, restrict consideration of traffic problem sites to the list of factors on the warrant. On the other hand the present system is more likely to be swayed by factors which would not properly be taken into account with the warrant system (eg lobbying). The Weston Creek Community Council hopes that the assessment criteria used on each warrant will be publicly available and uniform for all traffic sites throughout the ACT. Therefore the warrant system has the potential to be more equitable than the present system.

One point of concern about the warrant system is that it may not be flexible enough. As we understand the position the warrant system will allocate points, for example, on the number of accidents that occur at particular sites, on road alignment and other factors. Sites amassing the most points will then receive a higher priority than sites with lower points. The present system takes the same factors into account but is instead an overall judgment of the people involved in making the decision. It may be that the warrant system only gives the appearance of greater objectivity.

It would be interesting to know how the following proposal would rate under a warrant system. The Community Council has put forward a proposal to investigate the installation of an on-road bike path along Streeton Drive to cater for cyclists travelling from south Weston Creek to Civic and elsewhere. The present footpath system is inadequate especially where it crosses Mulley Street Holder and is a disincentive for cyclists to use the footpath. The costs of installing an on-road path, assuming investigation shows that it is possible, are likely to be low and the benefits worthwhile as a result

For these reasons it is difficult for the Weston Creek Community Council to be dogmatic and prefer one system to the other. We can only repeat that, to date, we have been reasonably happy with the road works that have been carried out in our area and we also believe that our roads are equal to anywhere else in Canberra. This is not to say that the situation is perfect. For example, we have already drawn attention to a potential traffic problem on the Cotter Road if the proposed Joint Defence Force academy expansion program goes ahead.

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission to this Inquiry.

 Yours sincerely

 JEFFREY CARL

Deputy Chairman

16 August 1999

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