Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street Intersection
Why does the intersection of Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street need upgrading?
This intersection, which is located in the heart of Blackwood’s busy residential and commercial precincts, was identified as a priority in the Road Management Plan undertaken for Main Road and Shepherds Hill Road in 2015.
There were 25 crashes at the intersection over a five-year period (2014-2018) including 13 casualty crashes. Right turn movements onto Shepherds Hill Road and straight through movements from Waite Street and Brighton Parade contributed to the majority of these crashes. A community survey undertaken in 2020 as part of the planning study identified safety as a key community concern at this intersection, with a number of local residents also reporting ‘near-misses’. Other issues raised by the community included:
- the need for safe crossings and access for people walking and cycling;
- concern about traffic delays and travel times at the intersection; and
- the importance of access to local streets and businesses.
Initial community suggestions about how to improve this intersection included banning right turns, adding traffic signals or adding a roundabout
What upgrade options were considered?
Three key intersection upgrade options were investigated at this location:
- Option 1: Movement Restrictions
- Option 2: Traffic Signals
- Option 3: Roundabout (not preferred)
Concept designs for options 1 and 2 have been developed and the Department is now seeking feedback on these designs. While Option 3 (installation of a roundabout) would address some safety concerns, it is not a preferred option due to the impact it would have on private land, utility services, access and safety for people walking and cycling, and property and business access. Further information about each option is detailed below.
Option 1: Movement Restriction
Option 1 (Movement Restriction) would prevent right turn and straight through movements from both Brighton Parade and Waite Street. These movements currently make up only 2.4% of the total movements at the junction but contribute to the majority of crashes at the intersection.
This option would:
- improve safety at the intersection by removing the lowest demand/highest risk movements;
- reduce delays for left turning traffic from Waite Street and Brighton Parade;
- improve access for people walking with the installation of an unsignalised pedestrian refuge in the median on Shepherds Hill Road to the west of the intersection;
- maintain existing access for people who cycle; and
- be implemented in a short timeframe and with minimal disruption.
This option would also:
- require right turn and through traffic from Waite Street and Brighton Parade (typically 580 vehicles per day between 7am and 7pm) to choose alternative routes, most likely via Woodleigh Road, Gladstone Road, Main Road and Melton Road.
OPTION 1: Movement Restriction (to view Movement Restriction in full screen)
Option 2: Traffic Signals
Option 2 (Traffic Signals) would involve the installation of traffic signals and extension of the right turn lane on Shepherds Hill Road from the western approach. Brighton Parade would have a dedicated right turn lane as well as a shared through and left turn lane. Signalised pedestrian crossings would be provided on all four approaches to the intersection and bike lanes would be installed on Shepherds Hill Road.
Several respondents to the 2020 community survey suggested relocating the existing signalised pedestrian actuated crossing on Shepherds Hill Road to reduce congestion caused by its proximity to the roundabout and service station. This was considered as part of Option 2, but pedestrians would still likely cross at the existing location, creating safety concerns. Instead, coordinating the timing of the two sets of traffic lights is preferred.
This option would:
- improve traffic safety at the intersection for all users;
- maintain all traffic movements at the intersection including right hand turns (right hand turn arrows will be provided for right turns from Shepherds Hill Road whereas right turn movements from Brighton Parade and Waite Street will be allowed by filtering through opposing through movements);
- improve access for people walking by installing pedestrian crossings on all four approaches of the intersection; and improve access and safety along Shepherds Hill Road for people cycling by extending the bike lanes.
This option would also:
- slightly increase average travel time through the intersection;
- potentially increase queuing on Brighton Parade and Waite Street due to the attraction of the traffic lights (this may encourage some left turning traffic, from Brighton Parade in particular, to choose alternatives route such as Woodleigh Road, Sherbourne Road or Gladstone Road);
- take longer to construct and cause more disruption than Option 1 (although work impacts would be minimised where possible); and
- require the marginal widening of Shepherds Hill Road and Brighton Parade which would likely result in the removal of some existing road side vegetation, removal of the on-street parking on the western side of Brighton Parade near the intersection (the parking on the eastern side would be retained), and some minor impacts within private property boundaries.
OPTION 2: Traffic Signals (to view Traffic Signals image in full screen)
Option 3: Roundabout (not preferred)
While a roundabout would improve safety at the junction by slowing traffic and removing turning movement conflicts, the disadvantages of this option are considered to outweigh the benefits. The key disadvantages include:
- a larger project ‘footprint’ than Options 1 and 2 with more significant impacts to private property on each corner of the intersection;
- significant impacts on utility services;
- reduced safety of access and egress for properties closest to the roundabout;
- increased difficulties getting in and out of Waite Street during peak periods due to the close proximity to Blackwood roundabout and queuing on Shepherds Hill Road; and
- no additional benefit for people walking and cycling.
Community feedback is important to the success of this project. The Department recently sought feedback on the proposed upgrade. After consideration of all feedback, a decision will be made as to which upgrade option is preferred.
DIT COVID-19 Response
The Department will continue to tailor community engagement opportunities in line with the latest COVID-19 advice from health authorities.
Face-to-face engagement opportunities may be restricted and we will continue to be guided by the advice of health authorities, with the health and safety of our stakeholders always our highest priority.
Engagement with community and industry is crucial and we will facilitate information sessions when possible to enable face-to-face engagement. It is important to register to attended events as requested to enable physical distancing as much as possible.