- Saturday Netball Traffic Issues
- Week-night Netball Traffic Impact
- Failure to Deliver Relief from Saturday Netball Congestion
- Failure to respond to safety issues
- Failure to respond to bus issues
- Parking Issues
- Deficiencies with the Draft Traffic Report
The traffic issues caused by Saturday netball at the Canoon Rd Recreation Area are well understood and documented. The Canoon Rd Recreation Area Plan of Management (PoM) clearly identifies the Saturday traffic issues and the PoM’s stated objective is to provide relief from Saturday traffic congestion. Relieving Saturday traffic congestion is used to justify installing lights for weeknight netball.
Saturday netball traffic congestion has significant impact on the local community and traffic flows through the Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd intersection.
The PoM amendment moves one age group from Saturdays to Thursday night providing very little relief from Saturday traffic congestion while degrading traffic flows during the Thursday evening peak period, as detailed in the August 2017 draft netball traffic report (ask Council to see the Lyle Marshall & Partners draft traffic report). The draft traffic report recommends against moving netball games to Thursday night due to the expected degraded performance of the Comenarra Pkwy-Kissing Point Rd intersection.
- South Turramurra roads become choked with traffic, Canoon Rd suffers from long traffic queues (at times stationary) blocking access to buses, local road users and emergency vehicles. Locals can be stuck in local South Turramura streets for 10-15 minutes before they can exit the South Turramurra area.
- Performance of the Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd intersection on Saturdays is in a failed state (running beyond capacity as per the draft traffic report stating a level of service [LoS] “F” ). Moving the U9 age group to Thursday night slightly improves traffic performance for a single Saturday time-slot. That single time slot remains at maximum capacity (LoS “E”) which is not a satisfactory outcome.
- South Turramurra is a peninsula suburb with a single main access road to service incoming and outgoing netball traffic. The local roads cannot cope with the traffic generated by netball. Maxwell St is a local road providing an alternative route without traffic light access to the Comenarra Pkwy. Maxwell St also gets choked with traffic presenting a serious accident risk at the intersection with the Comenarra Pkwy. The draft traffic report ignores Maxwell St and other local roads.
- The draft traffic report states Saturday netball traffic produces 468 vphr (vehicles per hour) which exceeds the 300 vphr threshold set for local roads as defined by RMS. Exceeding this threshold puts less able and senior pedestrians at risk. It is not acceptable to put the community at risk. See Deficiencies with the Draft Traffic Report below relating to possible under reporting.
- The Saturday traffic impacts from the draft August 2017 traffic report appear to be under stated, however, further analysis would be required to verify this. See the Deficiencies with the Draft Traffic Report section below for details. For example the draft traffic report’s stated Saturday vehicle movements appear to differ significantly to the findings of KMC 2005 traffic study which found each netball court generates 30 vehicles per court which would translate to 1260 vehicle movements (21 courts, 30 vehicles in and 30 vehicles out) per hour if the facility is run at capacity.
The PoM amendment does not deliver its stated objective to provide relief from Saturday traffic congestion.
The only way to provide meaningful relief from Saturday traffic congestion is to reduce the number of courts at Canoon Rd and convert them to additional parking to reduce the parking overflow.
Traffic impact caused by week-night netball games
The draft traffic report released in August 2017 has advised against netball games on Thursday as it will significantly degrade peak week-night traffic flows through the Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd intersection. It appears the KMC is ignoring this advice and rushing the PoM amendment through without due diligence. Local residents and peak hour commuters on Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd are being let down by this rushed process.
The proposed 9 courts with lights across 3 time slots on weeknights adds capacity for up to 27 games per night (for now KNA will only have 21 games). This has potential to generate ~500 vehicle movements per hour (depending on which traffic study, 2005 or the draft 2017 studies). Such significant traffic impact would stop any other development of this scale on a suburban street. To put this in context netball under lights would generate more traffic than the major two story Bunnings at Chatswood.
One has to ask the question, is it worth significantly degrading week-night traffic flows to gain limited traffic improvement on Saturdays? The draft traffic report recommends against it.
Bus timetables would be impacted due to traffic delays caused by the extra traffic load. Transdev were contacted and they expect a timetable change would most likely be required if netball games were held on week-nights.
There is a 52 place long day care centre coming to Canoon Rd with pickups during evening peak hour. Has KMC considered the combined traffic impact? Has the draft traffic study considered it? Unfortunately the answer is no, which means there is insufficient analysis and due-diligence to inform the decision to allow week-night netball.
Traffic impact caused by week-night netball training
The PoM amendment adds netball training on 9 courts Monday-Wednesday 4:30pm to 8pm. Adding training to week-nights does not provide any relief from Saturday traffic congestion (one of the PoMs objectives).
The draft traffic study does not model training so there is no information available to assess the impact. The only information available is the KNA stating training only generates 30% of traffic compared to games. This is not based on robust analysis and is insufficient to inform the community or KMC to approve the PoM amendment.
The KMC and KNA have a long history of broken promises limiting capacity and usage at the Canoon Rd facility and there are no guarantees the “30%” (training traffic 30% compared to games) figure is accurate or that netball games won’t spread to more week-nights.
There is a lack of trust and unsubstantiated assurances cannot contribute to the decision process, only the evidence of a precinct wide thorough traffic study with accurate parameters covering the proposed scenarios is acceptable.
Why was a traffic study not done as part of developing the PoM? Given week-night netball games are not realistically workable on 9 courts why was as it included in the PoM in the first place? Perhaps the objective of the PoM was training only and week-night games under lights was just thrown in to “sell” a promise of Saturday relief to the community with little intention of honouring it.
The PoM’s public exhibition does not adequately inform the community and KMC decision makers.
Given the traffic generated by 9 netball courts under lights it would be more reasonable to light 4 courts. This provides the KNA with additional training in the area while minimising traffic impact. This and other scenarios must be modeled in a traffic study.
Adding lights to 4 courts appears to be the sensible compromise for the community and the KNA.
The Canoon Rd Recreation Area Plan of Management (PoM) notes the significant traffic and parking issues many times throughout the document. Saturday netball traffic congestion is used to justify netball under lights on weeknights to relieve Saturday congestion.
The PoM notes the following Key Actions on pages 39 and 40:
33. Implement sports lighting on a maximum of 9 courts for mid-week use in order to reduce the number of Saturday games so as to reduce local impacts on Saturdays in terms of traffic, parking and noise.
39. Investigate operating some fixtures and training sessions under lights on Thursday and/or Friday evenings, possibly between 5pm and 7.30pm, which would enable times between Saturday fixtures to be maximised allowing for more efficient movement of pedestrians and traffic in the surrounding streets.
Action 39 above is what the PoM amendment changes to increase operating hours from Thursday and/or Friday to Monday to Thursdays and extend times from 4:30pm to 8pm. Why is this change put forward after repeated assurances by the KNA in 2015 they will only ever need 1 or 2 nights? The broken promises and hollow assurances are a constant feature of KNA negotiations.
Herein lies the problem with the PoM amendment:
- The PoM amendment adds training only Monday to Wednesday nights 4:30pm to 8pm which does not remove a single vehicle from Saturday netball games. Netball games are the source of the Saturday traffic congestion.
Reducing the netball traffic volumes on Saturdays is a must to reduce traffic issues, safety risks and amenity impacts.
The recently prepared draft traffic report in August 2017 notes that the intersection of Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd on Saturdays has a level of service of “F” (exceeds maximum capacity). Saturday traffic of 468vphr (vehicles per hour) exceeds the maximum environmental capacity of a local road (300 vphr), after which there are significant safety issues for pedestrians, particularly seniors and less able residents. It is highly negligent for KMC to allow this situation to continue in the full knowledge such safety thresholds are breached.
Moving one age group to Thursday provides very minor traffic relief in one time slot (the hour when U9 games are on), only reducing the Saturday level of service from an “F” (beyond capacity) to an “E” (roads at capacity) for a short period, the remainder of Saturday traffic congestion is unchanged. This is the draft traffic report’s findings despite the report’s deficiencies.
The August 2017 traffic study recommends against moving games to week-nights but instead split Saturday games between Saturday and Sunday. Neither the KNA or residents are in favour of Sunday games leaving the PoM between a rock and hard place where Saturday relief can only be achieved by:
- Degrading weeknight traffic flows
- Move games to Sunday which the KNA and residents don’t want
Meaningful reduction in Saturday traffic congestion can only be achieved by reducing the number of courts in use and allocation them to parking. This will reduce traffic volumes and reduce traffic queues attempting to access the car park. Long car park queues (often stationary) contribute significantly to the congestion, safety and buss access issues.
By failing to reduce Saturday traffic congestion the KMC is failing to respond to safety issues caused by traffic levels running beyond capacity thresholds and safety standards for local roads.
Note: The draft traffic report is based on traffic volumes when 20% of netball courts were not used, so vehicles numbers are typically higher. The KMC traffic study from 2005 reports 30 vehicles per court thus generating 1260 vehicle movements per hour (21 courts x 30 vehicles in + 30 vehicles out).
Serious safety issues caused by netball traffic congestion are:
- Pedestrians unable to safely cross local suburban roads due to constant streams of traffic.
- Pedestrians sharing the roads with cars and buses due to no footpaths around the Barwon Ave and Canoon Rd intersection. The roads around this intersection feature constant streams of moving traffic and queued traffic (unable to access the car park) hindering visibility and creating blind spots (watch the video). The rocky uneven verges force pedestrians onto the roads, including people with prams.
- Bus passengers are forced to board and alight through queued traffic as the bus cannot access the curb (watch the video). This is particularly hazardous for less able passengers who are forced to negotiate the high step up/down to enter/exit the bus. It is highly negligent for KMC to keep ignoring these risks.
- Netballers dropped off in the middle of the congested Barwon Ave and Canoon Rd intersection. Numerous close calls have been observed around this intersection (watch the video). The inadequate infrastructure is causing high risk driver behaviour.
By failing to reduce Saturday traffic congestion the KMC is failing to respond to bus access and accessibility issues.
- Bus passengers are forced to board and alight through queued traffic as the bus cannot access the curb as mentioned above
- (watch the video).
- The buses at times get stuck, unable to negotiate the Barwon Ave and Canoon Rd intersection due to the persistent traffic queues waiting to access the car park. The buses are unable to reverse or go forward. This prompts other vehicles to reverse down Barwon Ave risking collision with pedestrians who are forced to share the road (watch the video).
- Bus timetables are impacted due to the delays entering and exiting South Turramurra.
The PoM has added some parking spaces, however, the parking situation is still very much broken.
Failure to address inadequate parking facilities resulting in high rates of parking overflow on local streets (estimated parking overflow of 180 vehicles on Saturdays). Parking overflow exacerbates safety issues with bus access and pedestrians on the road as there are no footpaths around the traffic pinch at the Canoon Rd and Barwon Ave intersection. It is troubling that KMC considers it reasonable to risk serious injury or worse to residents and netballers so they can rush through this development process.
Vehicles parked along Canoon Rd combine with stationary traffic queues waiting to access the Canoon Rd Recreation Area car park to leave just one lane free for two-way through traffic. Pedestrians also share the road (watch the video) in these conditions.
Residents in Canoon Road cannot have visitors on Saturday in winter as there are no parking spots left in front of their houses or even a block away! Training on week-nights will not help them with this issue:no Saturday relief, no visitors.
Firstly the draft traffic report (Lyle Marshall & Partners draft report August 2017) is a draft, it is not in a state to inform development decisions.
The PoM has an Action Plan on page 37 listing the “key actions to be investigated in order to address the identified issues and meet the core objectives for the site”.
The Action Plan on page 38 action number 18 states:
Undertake a precinct wide traffic study which would identify opportunities to better manage the current traffic movements and parking associated with the multiple sporting fixtures that occur throughout the year (soccer, cricket, baseball, netball).
A thorough “precinct wide” traffic study has not been done. Only a draft traffic report exists that has several issues and probable cases of under reporting.
Here are issues with the draft August 2017 traffic report prepared by Lyle Marshall & Partners for KMC:
- The draft traffic report states Saturday netball traffic produces 468 vphr (vehicles per hour) which exceeds the 300 vphr threshold set for local roads as defined by RMS. The draft traffic report’s stated vehicle movements appear to differ significantly to the findings of KMC 2005 traffic study which found each netball court generates 30 vehicles per court which would translate to 1260 vehicle movements (21 courts, 30 vehicles in and 30 vehicles out) per hour if the facility is run at capacity. It is believed the 468vphr rate reported is in just one direction, not accounting for both the entry and exit movements of vehicles.
- The traffic sampling date was Saturday 29 July 2017 when 20% of the courts were not used. Hence this does not provide an accurate snapshot of impact when the courts are run closer to 100% capacity on Saturdays at selected time slots.
- The modelling for Thursday night games is based on 21 games per night, however, this does not reflect maximum capacity of the time slots which is 27 games. While KNA may say they will only play a certain number of games, the modelling must consider potential maximums as netball court usage rates naturally climb due to growth demands.
- The traffic study scope does not consider traffic entering and leaving via Maxwell St and does not report on Canoon Rd metrics which are local suburban roads.
- There is no current or expected traffic flow metrics for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The study does not model games or training on these days.
- The traffic report does not provide evidence for the number of parked cars impacting safety and amenity.
- The traffic report does not consider the scenarios for netball training, yet the PoM amendment adds training Monday to Wednesday weeknights. The only information available is the KNA stating training only generates 30% of traffic compared to games. This is not based on robust analysis and is insufficient to inform the community or KMC to approve the PoM amendment, especially in the context of historical trust issues. Only the hard evidence of a precinct wide thorough traffic study with accurate parameters covering the proposed scenarios is acceptable.
The PoM states a precinct wide traffic study is a “high priority” requirement. Please KMC follow through with this commitment.
The community does not have access to the required information to make an informed decision on the PoM, thorough traffic impact assessments are a must before this PoM amendment can be accepted.
Only the hard evidence of a precinct wide thorough traffic study with accurate parameters covering the proposed scenarios is acceptable.