Larch Street & Great North Road, Avondale - Intersection Improvements Larch Street & Great North Road, Avondale - Intersection Improvements

Proposal status: updated 23 November 2018

Reference number: BYL-297

We're proposing changes in your area

We are proposing to install a new right-turn bay, parking restrictions and road markings at the intersection of Larch Street and Great North Road, Avondale.

Download the proposal drawing for Larch Street & Great North Road (PDF 1.9MB)

Why the changes are needed

These changes are expected to improve safety and efficiency at this busy intersection as well as improving visibility. Traffic volumes on Great North Road are often high and parked vehicles obstruct visibility for road users.

Proposal outcome

This project will proceed with minor changes to the next stage of detailed planning.

Download the updated drawing for Larch Street & Great North Road (PDF 743KB).

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback.

Feedback received

A summary of feedback and answers to community questions and concerns:

  • This proposal received positive responses from community members and stakeholders who supported the changes and highlighted the improved visibility from driveways, access for rubbish trucks to waste bins and ease in turning into Larch Street without disrupting traffic.
  • Requests to extend broken yellow lines to improve visibility and access by a few meters south along the eastern edge of Great North Road (around the shared driveways of 2102, 2104, and 2106 Great North Road). Based on feedback, we will extend broken yellow lines. We expect that this will discourage motorists parking at this location and obstructing traffic flow and/or driveway visibility and accessibility.
  • Concerns that drivers will continue to encounter difficulties when attempting to turn right out of Larch Street. Suggestions to install traffic lights or a roundabout at this intersection instead of the proposed changes.
    During the investigation phase, we assessed a number of alternative options for this intersection and determined that based on existing traffic flows, crash records, and road type that traffic lights and a roundabout would be inappropriate. Crash records do not indicate that there is significant safety concern for traffic turning right at this location, or into or out of Larch Street.

    It is important we undertake this type of assessment because we are able to determine:

    • Installing traffic signals where unnecessary may cause excessive delays, driver frustration and non-compliance of the signals, 'rat-running' in an attempt to avoid the signals, and an increased crash frequency, especially rear-end type crashes.
    • Overall, we need to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety are not negatively impacted, as a result we will not be signalising this intersection.
    • Roundabouts are typically best suited for intersections where traffic is relatively evenly balanced across all legs. We believe that the changes we have proposed will improve the flow of traffic here.

    We will also continue to monitor the driver behaviour and safety in this area.
  • Concern of high traffic flow in the area creating a high crash risk particularly to traffic accessing Great North Road and that the proposed changes would cause drivers to be put into risk by stopping in the middle of the road and rear-ending. When there is no raised median island on the main road through an intersection it is considered standard to create a space in which right turn drivers can reduce their speed. This is one of the aims of the right turn bay.
    A right turn bay is less likely to obstruct traffic following straight though the intersection and gives protection and a buffer-zone to the right turn queue, which is especially desirable in high volume areas.
  • Suggestion for pedestrian crossing on Great North Road to be moved onto Larch Street as there is no current lighting system in place. Following the feedback we have received we will be monitoring pedestrian activities at this intersection. We only can justify installation of pedestrian crossing facility if pedestrian numbers at this location are sufficient.

    A pedestrian crossing should only be installed where pedestrian numbers and traffic volumes suggest that it's warranted. Unless the crossing facility is well used by pedestrians, drivers will not expect pedestrians at the location concerned, and their awareness and attention of the pedestrian crossing will decrease. Alongside this, people naturally feel more confident crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing and take less care than they would were there no facility. The combination of these two factors can create an unsafe and infect dangerous crossing facility.

    This concern is supported by research and as a result it is a recommended practice that pedestrian crossings only be installed where pedestrian numbers are at an appropriate level.

Next steps

This work will happen between now and June 2019, but we will let you know if there are further changes or delays. Our contractors will send notices to affected residents prior to construction starting.