Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Council must consider Westgarth alternatives

With Council yet to put forward any Route 86 options that do not use the High Street service road as a sliplane for traffic turning left into Westgarth Street, residents themselves are coming up with options that might well solve the problem.

The option above, produced by a local resident, shows how three lanes can be accommodated south of Westgarth Street on the northbound western side of High Street. This would allow left-turning, northbound and right-turning lanes without using the service road as a sliplane.

The first slide uses the Nicholson Street-Alexandra Parade intersection as an example. The following two slides show the changes necessary in Westgarth - including early signage down the hill, the distance needed for the approach, and the slight re-alignment of tram tracks that could be accommodated by making High Street one lane in the city-bound section south of Westgarth Street. As locals will know, the two lanes there as you cross the intersection rapidly converge to a single lane anyway.

I understand that this option would retain the central tram stop of Council's preferred Option 2.

Council should seriously consider this and other ideas that may emerge to meet what are clear resident concerns about this proposal. Their consideration of such community input - including technical advice - must also be completely transparent. What we need at next week's Westgarth roundtable discussion aren't further options thrown up on a screen for the first time, but further discussions on refined options that go up on Council's website this week in advance of the roundtable.

If this happens and the options show clear signs of meeting resident concerns about the sliplane, parking and cycling, then we might well see some positive movement in advance of Council's next meeting on 6 April.

A larger version of the presentation can be viewed using the control next to the slide number, or on Google Docs.

See all posts on the Tram Stop Route 86 Corridor Project.

Details of next week's roundtable discussions, and how to make a submission by the 14 April deadline are now available at the Route 86 project page.

Update: See Council's Westgarth residential access page for the options presented at last Wednesday's public meeting, together with some additional information.

One thing that should be noted is that it's confusing to have the tram stop options listed as options 1 and 2 on the main route 86 page, and then use the same terminology for the options regarding residential access on this new page.

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