Conversations with the community

about 1 year ago

A staged engagement approach is progressing to explore design options for improving pedestrian and cyclist access at the Cliff Road and Bourke Street intersection. This summary covers the outcomes of the second stage of engagement. Community feedback was sought to identify the road and traffic safety issues in this location. This feedback will be used to inform a proposed traffic management solution at the intersection. Community feedback will be sought on the proposed solution as part of the third stage of engagement.

The public exhibition period ran from Monday 3 September until Friday 28 September 2018.

External stakeholders previously engaged through the first stage of engagement were directly invited to provide input. Information, including a copy of the Frequently Asked Questions sheet and feedback form, was sent to Council’s Customer Service Centre, Council libraries, and Neighbourhood Forum 5 on Monday 3 September 2018. On-site signage displaying infographics about the intersection’s traffic and accident data, as well as information about how to provide feedback, was installed during the week commencing 3 September. A public notice was published in the Advertiser on 5 September 2018. Social media promotion was posted on Twitter on 21 and 23 September 2018. The community were invited to have their say via Council’s website, Customer Service Centre, and Council libraries. Intercept surveys were conducted on Tuesday 11, Thursday 20 and Friday 21 September 2018.

A total of 86 submissions were made throughout the engagement period:

  • 7 were open submissions
  • 8 were hardcopy form submissions
  • 31 provided feedback via the online mapping tool and survey on Council’s engagement website
  • 1 was a group submission from Neighbourhood Forum 5
  • 1 was a petition with 285 signatories
  • 38 intercept surveys were completed; 26 were completed by pedestrians, including 1 with mobility issues, 9 were completed by drivers, motorbike riders or vehicle passengers and 3 were completed by cyclists.

Neighbourhood Forum 5 made a late submission requesting a staged action plan focused on improving pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure between Stuart Park and Lang Park, to be created in collaboration with the community.

A petition with 285 signatories including residents from the Wollongong LGA and those that do not reside in the area was submitted via the Member for Wollongong’s office calling for Council to re-open the intersection now that the Blue Mile Tramway works have been completed.

The most commonly reported safety issues included pedestrians and cyclists not crossing safely at the intersection, cycling north and turning right along Cliff Rd being unsafe, near misses involving vehicles, cyclists speeding or not riding safely, difficulty seeing around the bend and cyclists disobeying road rules/signs. The most commonly noted unsafe crossing point was Bourke St between the Novotel and A.M. Rutty.

The most common suggestions for safety improvements at the intersection were to install a pedestrian crossing, make Cliff Rd out the front of the Novotel a pedestrian/cycle zone only and to make Cliff Rd one way.

Overall, the ability of all ages and mobility levels to cross the road safely was the top priority for the intersection.

Of the 86 submissions received, 78 made reference to the temporary closure:

  • 52 were supportive of the temporary closure
  • 13 were unsupportive of the temporary closure
  • 7 were unsure/undecided about the temporary closure – one example included a visitor to the area saying they hadn’t seen it before, so they didn’t know if they supported it or not
  • 4 were neither supportive or unsupportive, but noted some issues with the temporary closure such as not enough signage alerting drivers to the closure and insufficient space for turning around, e.g. “Put in a proper crossing, make a u-turn space and put signage at the bottom so people know it’s blocked off”.
  • 1 was the petition with 285 signatories requesting that Council reopen the intersection now that the Blue Mile Tramway works have been completed
  • 1 was a late submission requesting that the intersection be reopened now that the Blue Mile Tramway works have been completed

Following the close of engagement, additional feedback was submitted by Novotel Northbeach and Destination Wollongong in support of the intersection closure.

We will be coming back to the community in 2019 to invite their feedback on the proposed concept design for a pedestrian crossing point at this intersection.

Consultation has concluded