Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. WK75/09 Page 0

 

 

Executive Manager's Report No. WK34/09

Works Division

Date of Meeting: 8/07/2009

 

8        CHERRYBROOK - TRAFFIC AND PARKING ISSUES REVIEW    

 

 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Council has received a number of requests for changes to traffic and parking management in the area broadly defined by Greenway Park, the Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre Purchase Road and Shepherds Drive. Forty-one requests for improvements to the operation of the roundabout at the entry to Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre have been received by way of submissions to the draft Management Plan 2009/10 – 2011/12.

 

Recent developments have increased parking utilization and traffic generation, and future development is expected to further increase activity and demand. However, the planning of the road and parking network in Cherrybrook is essentially sound with recent surveys confirming prescribed traffic management standards are being met. Relatively minor changes are required to ensure road safety and traffic flow standards continue to be met, and that equitable access to parking continues.   

 

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE

 

This report has been prepared to review the operation of traffic and parking facilities in the area broadly defined by Greenway Park, the Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre, Purchase Road and Shepherds Drive. Issues considered in this report are:

 

·    The operation of the roundabout at the intersection of Shepherds Drive and Kenburn Avenue.

·    Cherrybrook Shopping Village access and parking.

·    Parking in Shepherds Drive on the approach to the roundabout.

·    Parking within Greenway Park.

·    Parking displaced onto local streets.

·    Pedestrian access to shops.

·    Parking near The Manor.

·    Traffic at schools on Purchase Road.

·    Intersection of New Line Road and Shepherds Drive/County Drive.

   

 

DISCUSSION

 

The area of Cherrybrook referred to in this report was identified as the service centre for the precinct when it was planned and subdivided over thirty years ago. Since then Cherrybrook has been subject to steady increases in activity as infill development has increased the population to levels able to sustain locally based services. Until recently Cherrybrook residents have experienced the benefit of forward planning where roads, parks and other facilities have operated at reduced capacity. Now that the population and traffic are reaching ultimate planned levels, some residents are concerned that Cherrybrook is being over developed. However, ongoing monitoring has verified that the road and parking networks are operating within prescribed standards. Traffic flow on local roads during peak periods meets traffic management performance standards for the Sydney metropolitan area. Parking is available within the range considered desirable by pedestrian planning guidelines during parking peaks.

 

·    Roundabout at the intersection of Shepherds Drive and Kenburn Avenue.

 

The redevelopment of Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre in 2005 resulted in increased traffic delays in Shepherds Drive. Traffic attempting to enter Cherrybrook Shopping Village from the direction of New Line Road is now delayed by vehicles slowing to access parking spaces within the centre. However, while queuing did occur during traffic peaks, the extent and duration of the queuing fell below the level justifying major reconstruction according to prescribed traffic management standards. Despite site observations and traffic modelling confirming that Shepherds Drive was operating satisfactorily, Council, at the Ordinary Meeting of 8 August 2007 (WK49/07), resolved to investigate improvements to the roundabout.

 

The Local Traffic Committee considered two proposals to provide a left turn slip lane from Shepherds Drive into the shopping centre in May 2008 (LTC Item 12/2008) and recommended that the low cost left turn lane proposal using minimum design standards was acceptable and should be provided. A full report on the roundabout design options and related issues are included in Attachment 1.

 

The approved design was developed using Australian Standard vehicle templates and allows two cars to enter the roundabout at slow speed. The additional left turn lane was provided to store vehicles waiting to enter the shopping centre car park without obstructing through movements during traffic peaks. The lane widths in and approaching the roundabout are sufficient to allow through vehicles to slowly pass stopped vehicles. Where the left turning vehicle does not keep left, or either vehicle is larger than the design vehicle, the other vehicle has the option of using the mountable portion of the roundabout which is designed specifically to allow vehicles to cross at slow speed. This creates a low speed environment which is appropriate for the level of traffic congestion and pedestrian conflict occurring during peak periods. Whether or not the queue forms is dependant on motorists behaviour within the car park. Observation of the roundabout operation also shows through traffic is delayed by vehicles queuing in the roundabout when queues in the shopping centre car park limit entry opportunities. This in turn delays south bound vehicles. There is not a design solution possible on Shepherds Drive or the roundabout which can influence queuing within the car park.

 

There are two identified options to increase the road width. Firstly, further widening of the roadway (refer to Attachment 2) and secondly, narrowing of the roundabout island (refer to Attachment 3), have been investigated. However, neither option is considered suitable as such work would decrease the deflection path of the kerbside lane to the point where through vehicles may travel at an unrestricted speed through the roundabout, thus negating the road safety benefits of the roundabout when traffic is light. In addition, through vehicle speeds in the area of the pedestrian refuges at the roundabout would increase during peak periods if the lanes are wider. Such action cannot be supported on road safety grounds.

 

A comparison of typical queue lengths before and after the roundabout improvements completed in August 2008 are shown in Attachment 4. Further details of traffic count data are provided in Attachment 1. The lines shown in Attachment 4 represent the end of queues resulting from traffic travelling at less than 10 km/h, not necessarily stopped. The longer queue represents Level of Service C and the shorter Level of Service B. Level of Service C is considered acceptable for new traffic facilities in the Sydney Region. Observations of queuing at this roundabout consistently show that queues form readily at times of high activity in the car park, but also dissipate relatively quickly.

 

Other options would be to signalise the intersection, either by signalising the roundabout or removing the roundabout and reconstructing the intersection. The cost of either option would exceed $200,000. Neither option is recommended as queues entering the car park would continue to form back into the intersection, preventing vehicles from entering the intersection. In addition, signals would result in vehicle delays occurring outside of peak periods as well as during peak periods. Signals may however, improve pedestrian access during peak periods. As the roundabout does not have an established crash history and the Level of Service is better than F, the site does not meet the RTA threshold for traffic signals. Consequently, the RTA would not contribute towards the work.

 

The Traffic Officer, Eastwood Police advises that the Police would not support providing a wider circulating roadway as it would result in higher speeds through the roundabout. Other sections of Shepherds Drive have a history of after hours speeding complaints and the roundabout in its current form has proven to be an effective speed management device with only one significant collision reported in the last 12 months.

 

Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management has advised that it is currently unable to consider financially contributing to further roadworks as it considers the left turn slip lane has reduced delays and complaints significantly. However, centre management will consider further changes to the internal layout of the car park to improve circulation and further reduce queuing into Shepherds Drive, as detailed later in this report. Council staff will continue to work with centre management on this issue.

 

Changes to the roundabout or approach lanes are not recommended as the roundabout is operating in accordance with the design brief and meets prescribed traffic flow and road safety standards. Widening the roadway at the roundabout would decrease road safety without improving access to the shopping centre and is also not supported. 

 

·    Cherrybrook Shopping Village access and parking.

 

As stated above, the key to improving traffic operation at Kenburn Avenue roundabout relies on preventing queuing in the car park extending back into Shepherds Drive. To manage the problem, Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre has retained a traffic consultant to investigate and recommend changes to the layout of the car park to reduce delays and queuing. As a result, a number of changes have been made in consultation with Council since late 2005. Angle parking at the shopping centre car park entry was removed and replaced with a community bus stop. Later, diverging aisles near the entry were blocked off. Parking restrictions introduced earlier this year created more on site parking by removing commuters. Staff parking has been consolidated in specific areas. The traffic consultant is continuing to develop proposals involving low cost changes to pavement marking and pedestrian access to improve traffic flow within the car park.

 

Centre management has also attempted to influence driver behaviour by giving away shopping vouchers to attract customers into the underutilized multi-deck section of the car park. However, the initiative has only had moderate success as many motorists appear to prefer to wait for a space to be vacated near the main entry rather than drive further into the car park to access a vacant space.

 

While the changes to the car park have collectively provided useful improvements, many residents writing to Council have suggested a second entry via Greenway Park, near the Caltex Service station. Centre management has stated they will consider a second access over the longer term, however, recognize that it will be an extremely expensive project involving a long time frame to deliver. This matter was considered in more detail in Report WK2/09 considered by Council at the Ordinary Meeting of 11 February 2009. In that report Council’s Manager Parks and Landscapes Team supported a shared pedestrian bicycle link however was unable to support a vehicle link due to its greater adverse impact on the operation of Greenway Park. Those comments highlighted concerns regarding the loss of community open space and lack of alternative sites available to relocate affected sport facilities. 

 

In addition to considerable construction costs, a second entry proposal would require extensive public consultation to determine whether the community would support changing the Plan of Management, reclassifying Community Land and subsequently rezoning the land. Council could fast track the process by initiating public consultation and reclassification, however, this would involve considerable Council resources. As the Centre management has stated that it is unable to consider funding a second entry in the short term, Council would have to bear the full cost of consultation and reclassification with no guarantee that current or future property owners would complete the process. A second access driveway would follow a similar alignment to the proposed pedestrian cycleway as shown in Attachment 5, however, due to the greater width, it would have a greater impact on Greenway Park.

 

A review of the traffic data indicates that a second entry/exit to Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre may not completely solve nor sufficiently improve the queuing problem occurring at the Kenburn Avenue roundabout. Of particular concern is the volume of traffic entering the shopping village from the direction of the County Drive roundabout (300 vehicles per hour), and returning the same way (242 vph) during peak periods. Furthermore, substantial promotion and financial inducements by shopping centre management failed to attract motorists to use the underutilized multideck car park. Therefore the likelihood of motorists entering the area from the County Drive roundabout changing their behaviour to use the second entry to access the multideck car park area is unknown and cannot be reliably estimated. Committing Council to a relatively expensive course of action of a second car park entry, that involves rezoning and the loss of public open space and sports facilities, cannot be recommended where the benefit or outcome is uncertain.    

 

The relatively minor changes to the operation of the car park made by Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre have resulted in significant reductions to delays.  Additional proposed internal works also appear feasible. While a second vehicle entry via Greenway Park may be seen as an improvement, it could be difficult to justify given current traffic volumes and the loss of open space and recreational facilities. Due to the costs of public consultation and reclassification of land, the need to plan for a second entry is effectively a decision for the Centre management unless Council is prepared to fund advance planning consultation and rezoning, which would in turn require Council to consider the budget implications. This work is currently unfunded.

 

·    Parking in Shepherds Drive on the approach to the roundabout.

 

Some residents have requested that parking restrictions in Shepherds Drive on the approach to the Kenburn Avenue roundabout be extended to allow more queuing during peak periods. When the Local Traffic Committee (LTC) considered the roundabout design in 2008, the extent of parking restrictions required to allow the roundabout to operate properly was assessed using traffic data. The LTC was concerned that excessive removal of parking would result in higher speeds in the vicinity of Shepherds Lane, the main access to Greenway Park. Therefore, peak period parking restrictions were only provided for approximately 60 metres between Shepherds Lane and the roundabout and about five vehicle parking spaces now remain during peaks. With parking removed all the way to Shepherds Lane, two lanes may queue across this intersection, making ingress and egress from Greenway Park more difficult as turning traffic would be required to judge the intentions of two lanes of moving traffic. Removing more parking from Shepherds Drive will also result in those vehicles relocating elsewhere in other sections of Shepherds Drive, Kenburn Avenue or Greenway Park and should only be implemented after assessment of these implications. This is discussed elsewhere in this report. 

 

Site observations confirm that the duration of queuing falls short of the warrant required to provide an “It is Illegal to Queue Across Intersections” pavement marking, which cannot be installed without RTA and Police approval. As queues across Shepherds Lane are almost constantly moving such a facility would be unworkable and unenforceable.

 

The extent of queuing in Shepherds Drive will continue to be monitored and if queues increase to levels experienced prior to the changes to the roundabout in August 2008, changes to traffic or parking management will be further considered and proposals referred to the Local Traffic Committee for consideration.

 

Given the volumes of traffic accessing Shepherds Drive during peak periods, and the relatively infrequent queuing past this point, it is recommended that the current parking restrictions be maintained. The current delays in Shepherds Drive meet prescribed performance standards and removing parking to achieve a slight reduction in delay does not justify the increased road safety risk of having two lanes queuing across Shepherds Lane.

 

·    Parking within Greenway Park.

 

The Manager Parks and Landscapes Team, is responsible for the outdoor facilities in Greenway Park and has provided the following comments.

 

“Greenway Park is a large park with a number of facilities each capable of drawing high levels of visitors. Facilities and activities occurring in the park include a community centre and a soon to open attached child care centre, an aquatic centre, sportsgrounds for AFL/baseball, and rugby league/cricket/athletics, netball courts, a tennis court, a skate facility, a dog off leash area and a surrounding path for cycling and walking.   Greenway Park is, however, better provided with off-street parking than any other park in Hornsby Shire. There are times when this parking capacity is exceeded but this appears to occur on only about 12 days each year and then for only a part of these days.   

 

In other words, the parking capacity at Greenway Park is adequate more than 95% of the time, which is likely to be better than the performance of most busy car parks whether in public reserves or elsewhere. The problem is that, as at most car parks, drivers seeking parking feel inconvenienced if they cannot find a parking spot very close to the particular facility that they wish to use.  Most of the users of Greenway Park co-exist well despite times when parking demand stretches the park’s capacity.   

 

 The parking is divided between unlinked upper and lower sections accessible by separate entrances to the park off Shepherds Drive.  The most sought after area for parking spots is the car park in the upper section to the east of the community centre and to the south of the AFL/Baseball field known as Greenway number 1 oval.  (‘the middle car park’)  Even so, most of the time this car park has the capacity to cope with the demand. This middle car park reaches capacity when: 

·      AFL has a home game on Sundays (up to 12 per year)

·      AFL weekday evening training coincides with heavy use of Cherrybrook Aquatic Centre and Cherrybrook Community Centre ( up to three evenings a week from March to August )

·      Cherrybrook Probus Club’s Thursday morning meetings attract large numbers (several Thursdays per year).

Observations by the Parks and Landscape Team show that this middle car park is also used by various groups using the community centre (but particularly the Anglican Church congregation), overflow parking for the aquatic centre, and some parking probably associated with the shopping centre. Most of the time when this middle car park is full, there is still capacity in the lower car parks accessed by a second (northern) entrance to Greenway Park off Shepherds Drive. The problem for drivers seeking parking is that in order to access this parking, drivers are required to exit the park via the same southern entrance that they used and re-enter the park after travelling along Shepherds Drive.

 

It would be possible to link the upper and lower car parks to allow movement between them at times of high parking demand but this would be undesirable from the viewpoint of preserving the amenity of the park.  A road would need to pass through a pinch point that already contains a popular pathway for walking and cycling and also contains the surrounds to the skate facility. A road here would create user conflicts and result in more hard surfaces in this already highly-developed park.

 

Alternatively it may be possible to install advisory signage at the southern entrance to the park advising motorists of the capacity of the car parks however this would be expensive to install and maintain. 

 

The lower car parks are mainly for the use of visitors to the lower Number Two Oval – cricket, athletics and rugby league and the adjoining netball and tennis courts and skate facility  This oval generates lower peak traffic demand than the much larger Number One Oval. The parking patterns for the users of the two ovals seems to indicate that users of Number One Oval  use the middle car park accessed from the southern park entrance and the Number Two Oval visitors use the northern park entrance and associated car parks. These car parks reach capacity less often than the upper car parks though it does occur for part of the day when both AFL and rugby league host home games on a Sunday. This occurs only about five days per year.  They may become close to capacity when both rugby league and netball training is on during midweek evenings between March and August.  

 

Another problem that has been brought to Council’s attention is the difficulty posed for some community centre users when they cannot find parking close to the community centre at busy times ie during Sunday church services that coincide with AFL home matches and during Probus Club meetings. Many of these visitors are elderly and some also frail. Due to repeated representations made by the church congregations and supported by former Councillor Horne, in 2008 the church was given informal permission to reserve up to 30 car spaces near the community centre by placing witches hats and providing a parking marshal to oversee the use of these spaces. Such reservation does not and cannot have any official status as the parking in Greenway Park and other reserves should be equally available to all members of the public. The procedure is an imperfect solution and has led to:

·      occasional objections by AFL visitors in which case the church representatives do not resist parking in the reserved space by the objecting AFL visitor

·      unconfirmed reports of AFL protecting or attempting to reserve its own parking spaces at the expense of other visitors such as aquatic centre visitors 

This demonstrates that any steps to reserve spaces for a particular class of visitor to the park is likely to lead to resentment and an expectation from other classes of visitors that they too should have reserved parking. Any trend towards more widespread reserved parking would be likely to cause very inefficient use of parking capacity in the park and a breakdown of regard for the reserved parking.  Already there is an issue of parking contrary to ‘no parking’ notices around the internal roads in the park and this can impede traffic movement and pedestrian safety in the park.

 

Investigations together with the Traffic Branch during 2007 showed that there is capacity to increase the number of parking spaces within Greenway Park by 15 spaces in the area between the community centre and aquatic centre. This would come at a cost both financially and to the amenity of the park. Because the additional spaces would be in an area of high demand they would be likely to be well utilised however most of the time this would result in less utilisation of existing spaces elsewhere in the park. The marginal benefit of the additional spaces would not justify the expense estimated at over $80,000 and amenity impact.

 

Regarding the proposal to develop a school sportsground for community use, Council has commissioned a traffic and parking consultant who investigated the capacity of the school car parks to meet sportsground parking needs. The report found that despite existing regular after hours use of various school facilities there would be sufficient capacity in the car parks and in the bus bays on Purchase Rd to meet sportsground needs, except on about 20 weeknights per annum when training would not be possible because larger school events would require all the parking. The schools would advise Council of these dates early each year and the sportsground would be unavailable to sports clubs on those occasions. Apart from that, it is expected that all parking needs can be accommodated without the need for additional parking spaces at Greenway Park.

 

In conclusion, while parking at Greenway Park is such that not all users can always find the parking space most convenient to their particular needs, it is nevertheless adequate for all users to find a space within the park almost all the time, and allowing for a little inconvenience. To overcome this inconvenience would impact on the budget available for Parks capital works, the amenity of Greenway Park, and equity among visitors to the park. Therefore, the Parks and Landscape Team does not support measures to provide greater parking convenience for visitors to Greenway Park that would involve creating more parking spaces, linking upper and lower car parks, creating reserved parking or providing technology to advise of parking capacity.  

 

There may be potential to reduce some of the congestion with better coordination of scheduling at the various sportsgrounds, aquatic centre and community centre but the reality is that for the most part, each has the same or similar period of peak demand on weekday evenings and weekends.”

 

Following comments from the public that commuters are parking near the community centre in Greenway Park, surveys were undertaken during May 2009, comparing vehicles parked prior to 9.00am with those vehicles parked after 3.00pm. The number plate surveys indicate that commuter parking is insignificant with fewer than seven vehicles (other than construction workers engaged with the child care centre) parking all day out of the 113 spaces. The survey confirmed that the number of vacant spaces is more than adequate to service the proposed child care centre at the times they will be required by parents, which is before 9.00am and after 4.00pm.

 

On one Thursday a month, the Probus Club almost completely fills the carpark between 9.00am and 12.00pm. Buses parking illegally across parking bays have on occasion reduced parking availability in that car park, however, other parking is available within 400 metres. Disabled community centre patrons have access to disabled parking spaces or a parking exemption permit issued by the community centre enabling patrons to use the “No Parking” Zone adjacent to the centre. Council’s Traffic Rangers regularly patrol the car park to ensure that vehicles park in marked spaces and buses do not park on site.

 

Before bookings at the community centre are taken it would be appropriate for community centre management to liaise with Council’s Parks and Landscapes Team to ensure that large groups that are seeking to use the community centre are aware of other activities. Advice regarding such likelihood can be readily provided if required.

 

·    Parking displaced onto local streets.

 

Residents in Shepherds Drive, Kenburn Avenue and Tallowwood Avenue have contacted Council concerned by the number of vehicles parked in their streets. It appears that within the last twelve months bus patronage has increased, particularly on the Citybus service, resulting in commuters parking near the bus stops. To deter commuters from parking within Cherrybrook Village, Council commenced enforcement of 3P restrictions, displacing commuters and workers without dedicated parking spaces on to local streets. 

 

Roads throughout Cherrybrook are designed to allow the safe movement of traffic concurrently with on street parking in accordance with their status in the road hierarchy. For example, Shepherds Drive, Purchase Road and other collector roads allow two directions of traffic to travel unconstrained with both parking lanes occupied. Minor roads such as Kenburn Avenue require reduced speeds when both sides of the road contain parked vehicles. Therefore, given that planning requirements do not generally provide for all parking to occur on site, it is appropriate that visitors have the option of on street parking near schools, recreation facilities and shops.

 

Local streets are regularly patrolled to ensure parking regulations are obeyed to maintain the safe movement of traffic. In addition, when bus companies experience running problems with traffic or parking, Council is contacted and requested to take action. Currently there are no outstanding issues regarding bus access in Cherrybrook.

 

Regarding commuters using Greenway Park, the Manager Parks and Landscapes Team comments that:

 

“Greenway Park would appear to have some capacity to receive commuter parking on most Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Probus Club make heavy use of the carpark on Thursdays at present. This appears to have been a recent development and a rise in parking demand from other activities on other weekdays cannot be ruled out. The users of the facilities of Greenway Park should have first call on parking without the need to compete for parking with non-visitors to the Park.

 

There is nothing preventing non-visitors to Greenway Park using car park spaces at present. However, anecdotally, such use appears to be low, indicating a lack of demand from commuters and others probably because of the ready availability of more convenient alternative car parking capacity.

 

I would be concerned if a measure was introduced to encourage the use of Greenway Park for parking for non-visitors. This would tend to reduce the parking available to genuine park visitors. It would require a change to the Plan of Management for Greenway Park to allow the facilities to be used for off-park purposes. This may be in contravention of the legislated core objectives for the relevant categories of community land in the Local Government Act 1993. These core objectives strictly prescribe the uses to which community land may be put.”

 

While there is some evidence that commuters are using Greenway Park, to promote or otherwise manage commuter parking within the park will require a review of the Plan of Management. In any event, it is unlikely to resolve the operation of the Kenburn Ave roundabout.  As the road network is designed to allow safe on street parking there will be no net benefit for residents, motorists or commuters if commuter parking is relocated.

 

In summary, the local road network was designed to provide on street parking concurrently with anticipated traffic volumes, and recent investigations have confirmed no specific road safety problems. Although Greenway Park appears to have excess capacity suitable for commuter parking, encouraging certain categories of users to park in set locations would be difficult to manage as regulations used to enforce parking on road and in public areas do not distinguish between categories of users. Currently, parking appears to be managing itself, even during peak periods, and further management by way of parking restrictions or information signage is not appropriate as it would benefit one group over another.

 

·    Pedestrian access to shops.

 

Report WK02/09 considered by Council on 11 February 2009 dealt with issues relating to providing a shared pedestrian bicycle access from Greenway Park near the Caltex service station. Council resolved not to contribute to this facility and it remains a matter for Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management to consider. The same report considered a direct connection between the bus stop on Shepherds Drive and the shopping centre, however, due to the level difference and requirement to provide disabled access a direct connection would not be any shorter than the current arrangement via the shopping centre driveway.

 

Pedestrian refuges have been provided to cross Shepherds Drive at the Kenburn Avenue roundabout, and about 150 metres east of Kenburn Avenue. Pedestrian volumes currently do not meet the RTA requirement for the safe operation of marked foot crossings, therefore zebra crossings cannot be provided as the RTA is the consent authority for these facilities. The relatively low speed environment and congestion during peak periods creates opportunities for pedestrians to cross using the median islands on the roundabout.

 

Pedestrian access could be improved by signalising the intersection of Shepherds Drive and Kenburn Avenue. However, as stated above, the cost would exceed $200,000 and would have adverse impacts on traffic flow and residential amenity outside of peak periods. Currently, signalising the intersection is not justified given the relatively low demand pedestrian demand, number of alternative pedestrian crossings and the overall expense.

 

A direct shared pedestrian/bicycle connection through Greenway Park is feasible. This matter was considered in more detail in Report WK2/09 considered by Council at the Ordinary Meeting of 11 February 2009. Council resolved that should this project proceed, it should be fully funded by the shopping centre. The concept design report prepared for Council has been referred to Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management for their consideration as per Council’s resolution.

 

·    Parking near The Manor

 

On 18 June 2009 Council, received a petition organised by the Strata Manager of The Manor, signed by residents representing fifty households, requesting that Council provide parking restrictions near the driveway to The Manor similar to that provided at intersections. The petitioners appear unaware that Glamorgan Way is a private driveway and not a public road. As such, the operation of the driveway cannot be compared with a public road as different design guidelines and traffic regulations apply. Generally, Councils do not provide parking restrictions at private driveways unless there is a documented crash history or the site characteristics indicate the location is a high risk.

 

Under traffic regulations, the driveway crossing is effectively a ’Stop‘ facility, requiring motorists entering and leaving driveways to stop and give way to all road traffic, as well as pedestrians on the footway. In recognition of the driveway’s status in the traffic regulations, the developer has provided a gutter crossing and footpath crossing to reinforce the need for motorists to give way to pedestrians as well as traffic on Shepherds Drive. The need to stop to check for approaching traffic is an integral part of managing speeds across a footway area. Council has investigated the location a number of times in recent months and determined that parking near The Manor occurs sporadically and when it occurs, sight distance remains satisfactory. This has been checked by reversing into the exit driveway when large vehicles have been parked nearby. Sight distance at driveways cannot be compared with intersections, which unless signposted otherwise are considered to be ‘Give Way’ facilities.

 

Nevertheless the driveway to The Manor is exceptionally wide, over 15 metres at the kerb, with separate carriageways. Sight distance at this driveway without parking restrictions is superior to most in the Shire, and easily exceeds that of a typical 6 or 7 metre driveway serving a medium density development with one adjacent parking space restricted. At 12 metres width, Shepherds Drive allows over a metre clear space between a parked car and a travelling vehicle, which again provides additional sight distance. Random surveys at various times, including weekends and after hours, has confirmed that parking near The Manor occurs sporadically and when it does sight distance is satisfactory for the speeds encountered on Shepherds Drive. Overall, the driveway at The Manor poses a relatively low risk compared to other driveways serving medium or high density developments in the Shire which experience almost constant on street parking.

 

This year, Council’s Traffic and Road Safety Branch will develop a draft policy regarding parking restrictions at driveways. If adopted, this will be a new policy which will require liaison with other councils, the Police and the RTA, review of driveway related crash data across the Shire, the development of a risk assessment matrix, consideration of benefits and disbenefits including costs. The policy will provide guidelines on whether Council should provide parking restrictions at private driveways, and if so, how to rank priorities given the large number of driveways involved. On adoption, this access will be assessed and any action considered appropriate in terms of the policy will be further considered.  

 

·    Traffic near schools on Purchase Road.

 

Council has received requests from residents concerned about traffic congestion in Purchase Road outside the schools. Requests include additional pedestrian crossings near Hancock Drive roundabout and more parking enforcement.

 

Each year Council writes to all school principals in the Shire with road safety information for distribution and provides the contact numbers for Council’s Traffic Rangers and the Road Safety Officer. Each school principal is the responsible contact for road safety matters around their school and Council refers all school related road safety requests to principals for comment.

 

Following a request from the Cherrybrook Technology High School Principal about four years ago, Council met on site with the principal, the RTA, the Police and the bus operator to discuss the operation of the roundabout and parking management. All at the meeting agreed that providing pedestrian crossings at the roundabout (including the school driveway) would lead to Purchase Road grid-locking during school peaks and as a result cause other problems further reducing pedestrian safety. Council’s Manager Traffic and Road Safety telephoned the Principal in May 2009 to discuss this issue. While road safety outside the school is a concern, it was agreed that the traffic congestion is typical of schools and there are no specific issues with either traffic or parking management that require further consideration by Council.

 

As of May 2009, Council's Traffic Rangers have attended Purchase Road thirteen times this year and issued a moderate amount of infringements compared to other schools. The Police have also attended a number of times and state that driver behaviour and congestion is typical of a school environment. Both Council Rangers and Police need to balance their limited resources across the Shire to ensure all areas are treated equitably and neither agency considers that the problem in Purchase Road is significant enough to withdraw patrols at other schools to resource extra patrols at this school as this time.

 

Purchase Road is one of the busier school precincts in the Shire. However, the available crash data, regular enforcement patrols and monitoring indicate no unusual problems compared to other schools. Council will continue to monitor the location and provide the school with parking and road safety information.

 

·    Intersection of New Line Road and Shepherds Drive/County Drive

 

Requests continue to be received regarding pedestrian access across New Line Road near the Shepherds Drive/County Drive roundabout. New Line Road is a State Classified Road and therefore operation of the road and its intersections is the responsibility of the RTA. Council has written to the RTA on a number of occasions in recent years requesting that pedestrian access near the roundabout be improved. In addition, on 3 May, 2006, a delegation from Hornsby Shire Council and The Hills Shire Council, together with the Member for Hawkesbury, met with the (then) Minister for Roads, the Hon Eric Roosendaal MP, to urge progress implementing the recommendations of a Route Development Strategy for Old Northern Road and New Line Road, completed in 1998.

 

Council wrote to the Regional Manager of the RTA again in 2007, urging progress on the matter, and continues to refer letters from the public to the RTA endorsing the requests. In addition, Council wrote to the Local Member for Hornsby in April 2009 requesting representations to the Minster for Roads regarding the status of the Route Development Strategy. Council received a response from the Local Member in June 2009, enclosing an acknowledgement letter from the Office of the Minister for Roads. To date, no substantive response has been received from the Minister or the RTA.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Ongoing monitoring and data collection indicate that generally traffic flow, road safety and parking provision in Cherrybrook meets the required standards for local road management used throughout the Sydney metropolitan area. A summary of the outcome of the investigations into the issues follows.

 

Operation of the roundabout at the intersection of Shepherds Drive and Kenburn Avenue

 

Changes to the roundabout completed in August 2008 improved operation from Level of Service C to Level of Service B, and there are no design deficiencies requiring further attention. Council will continue to review the traffic flow and crash data in consultation with the RTA and Police.

 

Cherrybrook Shopping Village access and parking

 

A second entry cannot be justified at this stage but should be considered with any major refurbishment in the future. The need to rezone part of Greenway Park may need to be considered however this may not be required if the refurbishment involves significant changes to the car park layout. Council staff will continue to work with the Shopping Village management to further improve traffic flow within the car park.

 

Parking in Shepherds Drive on the approach to the roundabout

 

Complete removal of parking between Shepherds Lane and the roundabout will have an adverse impact on the operation of the driveway to Greenway Park. Given that delays are currently of short duration, removal of parking during peak periods cannot be justified.

 

Parking within Greenway Park

 

Sufficient parking is available within Greenway Park to cater for other than infrequent instances of heavy multiple useage, in which case additional parking is available within convenient walking distance. Recent parking surveys confirm that parking is available during the times required by the Child Care Centre. Additional parking management is not considered necessary, however co-ordination between Branches when taking bookings for activities in the community centre and the park (including the proposed use of the school ovals) will ensure major events are staggered to ensure access to parking on site where possible.

 

Parking displaced onto local streets

 

Shepherds Drive, Kenburn Avenue and other local roads are designed to allow safe parking on street and the amount of parking now occurring reflects the range of services and facilities attracting patronage. Council will continue to monitor on street parking to ensure traffic flow and road safety remains at acceptable levels.

 

Pedestrian access to shops

 

Crossing facilities and paved paths provide a variety of pedestrian routes to local schools, Greenway Park, bus services and Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre. A direct pedestrian/bicycle connection through Greenway Park into the multideck area of the shopping centre is feasible and the concept report prepared for Council in February 2009 has been referred to Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management for their consideration.

 

Parking near The Manor

 

The matter of whether it is appropriate to provide parking restrictions at private driveways, and what factors should be considered, will be the subject of a new “Parking near driveways” policy to be prepared later this year in consultation with the RTA and Police. The issues raised by the residents of The Manor will be considered when preparing and/or implementing the policy.

 

Traffic near schools on Purchase Road

 

Additional marked foot crossings near Cherrybrook Technology High are not considered appropriate. Council will continue to maintain contact with the principals of John Purchase Public School and Cherrybrook Technology High School to ensure road safety matters are dealt with and Traffic Rangers will continue to visit this school in accordance with the school patrol roster.

 

Intersection of New Line Road and Shepherds Drive/County Drive

 

The operation of this intersection is the responsibility of the RTA however Council will continue to lobby for improved pedestrian access.

 

BUDGET

 

There are no budget implications if the recommendations are adopted.

 

POLICY

 

A new policy for the management of parking at private driveways will be developed by Traffic and Road Safety Branch. There are no other policy implications in this report.

 

CONSULTATION

 

The Executive team, Manager Design and Construction, Manager Parks and Landscapes Team, Traffic Officer Eastwood Police, Principal Cherrybrook Technology High School and Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management were consulted in the preparation of this report.

 

 

 

 

 

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE SUMMARY

 

Triple Bottom Line is a framework for improving Council decisions by ensuring accountability and transparency on social, environmental and economic factors.  It does this by reporting upon Council's strategic themes.

 

As this report simply provides Council with information and does not propose any actions which require a sustainability assessment, no Triple Bottom Line considerations apply.

 

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

 

This report was prepared by Council’s Manager Traffic and Road Safety, Mr Lawrence Nagy telephone 9847 6524.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

 


 

THAT

 

1.   Council note the roundabout at the intersection of Shepherds Drive and Kenburn Avenue is operating satisfactorily and no further action be taken regarding changes to the roundabout.

2.   The need for a second driveway access to Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre be a matter for the shopping centre to further consider.

3.   Council continue to liaise with Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre management regarding improvements to traffic flow within the shopping centre carpark.

4.   Additional parking restrictions in Shepherds Drive near Shepherds Lane not be considered at this stage, but monitoring of traffic flow and road safety continue.

5.   Council note that on street parking is operating safely on Shepherds Drive and other local roads in Cherrybrook.

6.   Council note that parking provided in Greenway Park is generally sufficient for users of the park and that during activity peaks additional parking is available on street within convenient walking distance.

7.   Parks and Landscapes Team and Community Services liaise regarding bookings at the community centre and Greenway Park (including the proposed school oval) in a co-ordinated manner to ensure that, where possible, large events do not coincide.  

8.   Council note that pedestrian access to Greenway Park and Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre via local roads is considered satisfactory.

9.   Traffic and Road Safety Branch develop a “Parking restrictions near driveways” policy later this year, to be referred to the Local Traffic Committee for a recommendation prior to further consideration .

10. Council continue to liaise with the school principals and police regarding traffic and parking enforcement in Purchase Road near the schools.

11. Additional marked pedestrian crossings across Purchase Road or at the Kenburn Avenue roundabout are not considered appropriate.

12. Council continue to lobby the Minister for Roads and the Roads and Traffic Authority regarding pedestrian access across New Line Road between Boundary Road and Purchase Road, and the operation of New Line Road and Boundary Road generally.

 

 

 

 


  

 

 

 

 

Maxwell Woodward

Executive Manager

Works Division

 

 

 

Attachments:

1.

Roundabout Review Report

 

 

2.

Plan - roundabout Option 1

 

 

3.

Plan - roundabout Option 2

 

 

4.

Plan - queue lengths

 

 

5.

Plan - carpark second driveway alignment

 

 

 

 

File Reference:           F2004/09848

Document Number:   D01164324