FIXING FOSTERS ROAD
There is no other single issue I have spent more time on, nor worked on for as long, as trying to ‘fix’ Fosters Road.
It is the spine of our Council Ward, and it is the main road I travel on more than any other since moving into Oakden in 1994.
Council handed over control of Fosters Road to the State Government in 1994, seeing that it would inevitably become a very busy arterial road in the future, and the staff who recommended this move, who are still with Council, have been proven correct.
The problem is that everything has changed with the road, but little work has been done to improve its safety since that time apart from the resurfacing work done on the road a few years back.
This has to change. The traffic count is now exponentially heavier, a lot of side streets are being used to avoid the North East Road intersection (understandably) and the issues with the road are getting worse by the month.
The main issues are:
- Volume of traffic
- Speed of (some) traffic
- No safe place to cross
- Allegedly poor street lighting
- Poor road verge amenity
- Impossible to turn right onto NE Road
Some of these matters are State Government matters, and some are Council, and all will need both levels to work together to fix.
I am glad to say that Member for Torrens, Dana Wortley MP, is working hard to alleviate these problems as well. I have had many discussions with her and she has already done a lot of work behind the scenes to have the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) to investigate possible fixes to the above issues.
Council is heavily involved in doing what it can. It has written (at my behest) numerous times to the State Government and DPTI over the years and I am planning to ask Council for its next budget to set aside money to improve the streetscape of Fosters Road.
Further, to improve the streetscape, I moved at the August 11th 2015 meeting of Council: “that a report come back to a subsequent meeting of Council on how Council can improve the streetscape on Fosters Road, Hillcrest.”
What do you think? Have your say below.
Stay tuned, there will be a lot more to travel on this road.
UPDATE APRIL 16th 2016
I am proud to report that Council staff have brought back a report to the April 12th meeting of Council proposing a major upgrade of the streetscape along Fosters Road after I raised this matter last year.
In a report to the meeting, the Parks & Gardens Manager outlined a significant change to the Fosters Road streetscape, including creating ‘avenues’ of like trees so that the whole portion of the road will look a lot better, with uniform tree plantings.
Unfortunately, it will also mean the removal of a large number of current trees, but these trees are either past their prime or causing other issues, and the newer trees will be welcome.
However, we will still complete public consultation on the tree removals so adjacent residents can have their say on each tree to be replaced.
As part of this report, Council had investigated receiving funding to remove the power lines that had not been removed, as promised, on the eastern side of Fosters Road as part of the Hillcrest upgrade, almost 20 years ago, and had been stopped part way through its work.
Since that time, other priorities have taken over and the PowerLine Environment Committee (PLEC) have advised that this is not on their radar. As the cost of undergrounding the powerlines in this area runs into the millions of dollars, Council cannot afford to fund it on its own, so the stobies and powerlines will have to stay, for now.
As part of the streetscape upgrade, your 3 Ward Councillors met with the Parks & Gardens Manager on site earlier this year to talk about potential verge improvements to Fosters Road. This will take some more research but I am hopeful that funding for further verge improvements on Fosters Road will be forthcoming in the 2017/18 budget.
If you would like a copy of the Council report or the report from our Arborist on the tree removals, please contact me. And of course, I welcome any feedback on these proposals.
UPDATE OCTOBER 3rd 2016
I am delighted to say that some action has taken place at last on Fosters Road. DPTI this week has written to residents (sorry do not know how the catchment area for this) advising that a Draft Road Management Plan for Fosters Road has been released for public comment until November 30th 2016.
Apart from ensuring Council has its say on this, I ask that every affected resident also does, so that we have the opportunity to push for positive changes for this road.
At the date of writing this I have not read the report due to a family bereavement, but residents who have contacted me already are disappointed that the draft plan is proposing very little in solutions.
The copy of the letter sent to residents is here:
The link to the DPTI page for this is here:
If you wish for a copy of the proposal, you can download it from the above, see one for reading only at the Greenacres Library, or I will drop a copy off to you, free of charge, on request via message below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can send your feedback to:
Phone – 1300 794 880
Draft Road Management Plan Fosters Road
Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
Reply Paid 1533
ADELAIDE SA 5000
UPDATE NOVEMBER 26TH
A lot has been happening on the Fosters Road front.
Council has written to DPTI with its own submission from its November meeting:
Cr. Osborn moved that Council resolves the following:
1. The Director Technical Services’ report titled “Draft Road Management Plan for Fosters Road” be received and noted.
2. Council Administration provides Technical feedback as outlined below to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) for their consideration and continues to lobby DPTI to upgrade Fosters Road, especially the intersections with North East Road and Sir Ross Smith Boulevard / Folland Avenue.
3. Council support a signalised intersection at the corner of Fosters Road and North East Road and pedestrian activated crossings at appropriate locations.
Cr. Hubycz seconded CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
DPTI’s feeble and meagre Clayton’s response to over twenty years of need for fixing of Fosters Road is very disappointing, to be polite.
Some residents have sent their submissions on Fosters Road to myself as well as DPTI, and I welcome this, so please include me in on your submission. I will post mine here.
Some work has been done to improve Fosters Road – former Torrens MP Robyn Geraghty was successful in having Fosters Road relaid, which was welcome, and current Torrens MP Dana Wortley worked miracles to have the new pedestrian crossing adjacent at Cedar College constructed within 12 months of its proposal by a group of parents.
Having watched Dana in action on the above matter, I look forward to her tackling Fosters Road as a whole. If anyone can get some real action on this, it is Dana Wortley.
With 900 more homes going in the area of Oakden north of James Nash House, an unknown but probably even larger number going on the land where the Strathmont Centre is now (when it closes), about 300 on the former IMVS land in Gilles Plains, and the ever expanding Lightsview, the amount of traffic on Fosters Road will only increase, substantially.
This will happen as Fosters Road is a sub-arterial road now. There is no going back on that. The traffic will increase, and all that can be done now is to design the road to make the traffic slower, and the road safer for pedestrians, gopher drivers, cyclists and vehicle drivers alike.
DPTI’s suggestions, some of which are quite good, but some of which are counter productive, will see little improvement over all.
Their infatuation with a bicycle lanes continues, but suggesting a permanent one on the western side will rob residents of Greenacres an area to park on the road for the whole day, and as most of us would know, there is plenty of room there now for cars to park.
I cannot recall the last time I saw a bicyclist on Fosters Road, but I am sure there are some, but there is no demand for a whole day bicycle lane.
So, what do we need?
In my opinion, and after consulting a traffic engineer (non-Council), the following changes are required to make Fosters Road safer, from the north down:
- Turn left slip lane on Grand Junction Road into Fosters Road (DPTI proposed);
- Roundabout at Swanbourne Drive;
- Improvements to The Promenade/Hilltop Drive roundabout (DPTI proposed);
- Roundabout at entrance to STE car park;
- Traffic lights at Sir Ross Smith/Folland Avenue corner including pedestrian actuated crossing;
- Roundabout at Redward Avenue;
- Roundabout at Rellum Road;
- Ban parking on eastern side about 150m from North East Road (DPTI proposed);
- Install Traffic Lights at North East Road;
- Install painted central medians length of Fosters Road with sheltered turning lanes for turning right (DPTI proposed);
- Install pedestrian refuges in other locations where pedestrian demand is high (DPTI proposed);
- DO NOT install all day bike lanes along the western side.
The estimated cost of this is about $15M which is probably a tad more than DPTI would probably be wanting to spend, which is estimated to be $1.5M. This is not budgeted for.
The only way we will get a pedestrian actuated crossing at the very busy Sir Ross Smith/Folland Avenue intersection is if traffic lights are installed. A pedestrian refuge as to the north of there now, even widened as DPTI is proposing, is just not safe enough for the many elderly and disabled people who use that as it is, let alone those playing human Frogger along other nearby stretches.
And to put one furphy to rest, the proposed traffic lights at the Northgate Shopping Centre on Folland Avenue/City View Boulevard intersection will have no impact on putting traffic lights at the nearby Sir Ross Smith/Folland Avenue intersection as DPTI has machinery which automatically adjusts the traffic lights operation depending on the situation of the traffic at the time. Yes, we can have two sets of lights near each other, the ones at Lightsview are NOT preventing any lights or other required safety changes to Fosters Road.
The so called Lightsview traffic lights are completely paid for by PEET, the developers of Lightsview, and they have the legal approvals to put them in, so unless they change their mind, they will be constructed, along with new pedestrian crossings and a bus stopping area and shelter. All of this is a good thing for all people that use that area, but again, will not impact on Fosters Road.
DPTI’s proposals will not slow traffic over all, nor will it help take ‘rat run’ traffic out of back streets when North East Road is closed off, entrenching the short cut through the back streets of Greenacres, or slowing traffic in the southern bend.
Torrens MP Dana Wortley has wisely called for a public meeting on this matter for Monday November 28th at 6pm, at the Oakden Salvation Army Hall, notification of which you should already have. I shall be there.
Council, at my behest, is about to spend a lot of money upgrading the streetscape of Fosters Road by replacing old trees and improving the verges. It would be great if we could have an improved Fosters Road streetscape and safer road within a couple of years, I think everyone wins.
Of course this is just my opinion, and you are welcome to yours too. Can you improve on my ideas? As the Member for Croydon once said, “You don’t have to be a traffic engineer to have an opinion on traffic matters.”
Please have your say on what you think needs to be done to fix Fosters Road:
Phone – 1300 794 880
Draft Road Management Plan Fosters Road
Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
Reply Paid 1533
ADELAIDE SA 5000
My flyer on Fixing Fosters Road is here:
UPDATE DECEMBER 6TH
And we have a bit to update.
Firstly, on November 28th Dana Wortley MP, Member for Torrens held a public meeting at the Salvos Hall in Oakden, with representatives from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), the three Northfield Ward Councillors and over one hundred local residents.
It was one of the best public meetings I have ever attended, with Dana Wortley running the meeting masterfully, with important, relevant questions and points raised by residents.
If anything, after two hours of the meeting, it appeared the DPTI reps felt that they hadn’t had their say, but everyone else had!
Even though the meeting was meant to receive feedback from residents, and not to try and resolve matters on the night, I think it is fair to say there were some clear consensus on the following issues:
- Support for traffic lights at Fosters/North East;
- Removal of virtually unused zebra crossing near Princes Road;
- Construction of (long overdue) slip lane on Grand Junction Road;
- Support for a pedestrian activated crossing somewhere on Fosters Road;
- Removing traffic from side streets and put it back on main roads.
There was also a lot of other relevant issues raised other than the above, such as the speed of traffic at the southern bend on Fosters, turn right lanes, lighting and speeding traffic.
There was a lot of disagreement on the main roundabout at Fosters/Sir Ross Smith/Folland – whether or not it should stay a roundabout or be changed to lights.
Both the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and myself believe that the installation of personally activated pedestrian crossings in the area for the safety of pedestrians are required, and therefore lights are the way to go in place of the roundabout.
However, speaking to Mr Paul Gelston, the COO of DPTI, after the meeting, he believes that DPTI has a design ‘in the bank’ which could achieve the aim of safe pedestrian crossings near the roundabout, without removing the roundabout or the added problems of traffic lights.
So, I will place my support for traffic lights on hold, as I am only supporting them for the sake of pedestrian safety in the area; and wait for further designs to come from DPTI.
Another welcome message from Mr Gelston was that he unilaterally extended the consultation period on their draft Fosters Road Management Plan to December 16th, so if you haven’t had your say yet, you still have time. Thanks for that, Paul!
You can email your suggestions to: email@example.com
and I would appreciate it if you cc’d me in on your submission, but you don’t have to.
Thank you to all who have contacted me, to those attended the meeting, and to our own Senior Traffic Engineer, Kerry McConnell, who attended at short notice; DPTI reps and Dana Wortley and staff who put on such a great opportunity for residents to speak.
Can you guess where I was sitting?
I understand the process from here is that DPTI will go back and review the submissions, and rework their designs. The only problem with their designs, regardless of good they are, is that there is no funding for it.
We need our local MP Dana Wortley, and if the proposed new State Electorate boundaries are confirmed, the Hon John Rau MP, who will become the new member for the western side of Fosters Road, to lobby State Cabinet for the money in next year’s State Budget.
There is a State Election in early 2018, and I think this is our best opportunity yet to fix Fosters Road.
I welcome your feedback, as always, below, and anything added below I shall pass onto DPTI as part of my own submission if received before December 16th.