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Eastern Hill Traffic Study update

By Manly Community Forum
September 15, 2022
3 min read

Council recently adopted the Northern Beaches Road Safety Plan which follows the NSW Government’s Safe System model and incorporates safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, and safe people into a local Plan.

Manly’s Eastern Hill will now be subject to close scrutiny under this process. Council staff from the Transport Network team will be commencing a study of the traffic on the Eastern Hill and develop a Plan for consideration by the Traffic Committee.

The primary role of the Road Safety Plan is to address behavioural issues relating to road safety. A safe, integrated, practical and efficient road network can be built but it needs to be understood by those who use it. Information, training and education are needed to ensure that all road users recognise their personal responsibilities when using the road and footpath network and how to model low-risk behaviour. A clear theme is to emphasise the shared responsibility by all road users.

At the August Forum meeting senior Council staff discussed with residents the proposal for a Road Safety Plan for the Eastern Hill Under consideration is declaring the entire Eastern Hill area a 40kph zone, noting the CBD is already a 30kph zone. There appears to be considerable community support to see the speed limit reduced on several local Eastern Hill roads including Darley and Addison Roads as well as several feeder streets.

To support this action Council will complete the studies over the busy summer period on Darley Road and elsewhere on the Eastern Hill to determine vehicle types, including trucks, buses, cars and bicycles, speeds, and direction, as well as pedestrian movements including where they cross on the various roads.

Apart from signage, various other road safety treatments, such as raised pedestrian crossings, pedestrian safety refuges and assorted road markings will likely follow to encourage and then ensure compliance. All recommendations will be put to the community for comment and then the Traffic Committee for determination before installation.

The community provided an overview of the situation as it is now and raised a variety of issues for the Council to consider.

  • Traffic, bicycle and pedestrian use has increased on Darley Road in the past 10 years. The Wastewater Treatment plant has increased its capacity and thus truck movements, and visitation to North Head has increased, St Paul’s College has doubled its student population and consequently its bus and vehicle traffic. The ICMS student population will increase, the Roast Office has become a very popular cafe servicing the local community, and whilst the Manly Hospital may have closed, the traffic to the new Hospice and future construction site will be constant and likely increase.
  • Bicycle use and rider compliance with the cycling laws such as dismounting when going across pedestrian crossings and helmet wearing are largely ignored. The community expressed concerns regarding the increased number of electric bikes speeding on roads and footpaths with impunity and little apparent regard for pedestrians. E-scooters and e-skateboards were singled out for particular criticism. It is noted that escooters and e-skateboards are illegal by virtue of the fact they are considered vehicles but do not comply with vehicle licence requirements for use of footpaths or roads in NSW.
  • The speed and number of large trucks and buses traveling down Darley Road and other adjacent residential streets.
  • Regular failure of traffic to slow and then stop at the pedestrian crossing on Darley Road at Ashburner St. This pedestrian crossing needs repainting and more timely maintenance.
  • Too much signage, resulting in visual pollution, both on the road and signposts between Ashburner and Victoria Streets and elsewhere
  • Specific concern was expressed regarding the intersection of Scenic Drive, Bluefish Drive and Darley Road, with vehicles, large and small, conflicting with cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Staff assured the community that there would be no parking spaces sacrificed as part of this program. Narrowing roads at various points to encourage reducing speeds, speed humps would be a last resort to slow down the traffic.
  • Staff agreed to immediately discuss speeding and other road safety issues, for which data has already been collected, with some identified groups of regular users of the Eastern Hill roads. This includes speaking directly to the garbage collection contractors, bus operators and the North Head Wastewater Treatment plant sludge truck drivers to improve the amenity and safety on our local roads.

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