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What congestion? Adelaide CBD traffic shrinks


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Traffic through Adelaide’s CBD has dropped over the past four years and the take-up of public transport and cycling continues to grow, new figures show.

According to a new Adelaide City Council report, between 2010 and 2015 traffic has reduced:

Overall, daily traffic volumes have reduced along many city streets but increased along the city ring route.

The figures begin to fulfil the long-held ambition of traffic planners to have South Australians travel around the city, rather than through it, on their way to destinations outside the CBD.

During the same period, traffic numbers on the city ring route rose by 13 per cent on Fitzroy Terrace, 12 per cent on Park Terrace and 5 per cent on Dequetteville Terrace.

According to the RAA’s senior manager of road safety, Charles Mountain, the Britannia roundabout upgrade – completed last year – had been a significant factor in pulling through-traffic out of the city and onto the ring route.

“The new (roundabout) has tended to gain wider support, so as a consequence there has been an increase in traffic,” he told InDaily.

“It’s important to ensure that the network can operate as efficiently as possible.”

He said long-term roadworks on North and West terraces may have had an impact on traffic flow.

He was pleased with figures contained within the report showing no slowdown in economic activity to correlate with reduced traffic flows in the CBD.

Bus lanes were introduced on Grenfell and Currie streets in 2012, presumably acting as a deterrent to vehicle traffic.

“The bus lanes in Grenfell and Currie street have achieved more reliability in bus times (however) there certainly have been some issues in loss of accessibility,” said Mountain.

Bus trips to the CBD have also increased – by 29 per cent since 2002 – according Adelaide Metro figures cited in the report.

The report also shows cycling in the CBD has nearly doubled since 2003.

In that year, around 5000 cyclists took city roads on the average day. By 2014, that number had grown to more than 9500 cyclists.

A spokesperson for Adelaide City Council said the figures on CBD and ring route traffic flow come from manual day counts at intersection over a 12 hour period or tube counts – where a counter is laid midblock on a street section for a week. The data has been collated from traffic analyses related to projects such as the O-Bahn, the Frome Street Bikeway, the Hindley Street upgrade, the 40km/hr Hutt Street trial and New Royal Adelaide Hospital. The council spokesperson said the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure applies an algorithm to the data collected to estimate average daily traffic volumes.

He said the majority of traffic volume comparisons undertaken by the council in the north-west and north-east of the city had indicated reduced or similar daily traffic numbers.


InDaily approached Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan for comment.

Image: Nat Rogers/InDaily

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