About the project
As part of Council’s commitment to improving pedestrian safety in our town centres, Council is excited to announce the Oak Flats Town Centre pedestrian safety upgrade project will soon proceed to tender and ultimately construction pending the final community consultation.
Over the past few years, the Oak Flats Town Centre has been subject to a number of customer requests raising concerns over pedestrian crossing safety. One of the key crossing locations within the Oak Flats Town Centre, the intersection of Central Avenue and Fisher Street, has also recorded a number of pedestrian crashes in the past five years, two of which being pedestrian fatalities.
Council recently secured funding under the 2021/22 NSW Federal Road Safety Program to improve pedestrian crossing safety at the intersection of Central Avenue and Fisher Street, Oak Flats.
Council can now share with the Community the detailed design for this project. The comments, questions and feedback received during the first consultation round were considered during the detailed design phase.
Once the final round for community consultation has closed, Council will proceed with a Public Tender for the construction works. Construction is anticipated to commence by March 2023. Works will be staged to minimise disruptions to businesses and the community. Key priorities during construction include maintaining traffic flow, car parking, pedestrian access and minimising noise during construction.
To improve pedestrian crossing safety at the intersection of Central Avenue and Fisher Street, Councils Transport team are proposing the installation of 4x raised pedestrian (wombat) crossings. Through consideration of many factors and collaboration with Transport for NSW, the proposed installation aims to:
- Physically reduce vehicular speeds at key crossing points of the Oak Flats Town Centre
- Give priority to pedestrians at a location with high pedestrian activity
- Minimise the impact to existing on-street parking (particularly the angled car parking areas)
- Reduce maintenance costs through the installation of low maintenance grass at the centre of the roundabout
The project scope for the Oak Flats pedestrian upgrades is to improve pedestrian safety in the town centres by installing four raised pedestrian (wombat) crossings.
Changes to current timed parking have not been included in the project scope.
(link in e-services)
Footpath upgrades, shared path lighting, extra seating and amenities have not been included in the project scope.
There will be impacts to on-street parking.
As part of the project, there will be an additional accessible car space added.
Council aimed to limit the loss of on-street parking, however, the installation of traffic blisters and wombat crossings will result in the loss of 3 regular parking spaces. This is to ensure compliance with pedestrian 'sight distance' requirements, manage vehicular queue lengths, and make way for the upgrades.
Can the roundabout island treatment located at the intersection of Central Ave & Pioneer Dr be used at this location instead of just low maintenance grass?
Yes – the low maintenance grass is intended to continue the theme from Central Avenue and Pioneer Drive. The details are subject to detail design and any design must ensure the treatment does not obstruct sight distance
Can the design be disability compliant and consider holding rails for the elderly near the crossing points to assist pedestrians?
Disability compliance (including audio tactile marking for the visually impaired) will be considered at detail design. The design intends to ensure disability compliance where existing grades permit. All raised pedestrian crossing points will be designed to at a similar height with the footpath (minimal change in slope).
A raised platform has been selected to offer a physical means of reducing vehicle speeds in accordance with a ‘safe systems’ approach to road safety. A standard level crossing does not physically reduce speeds.
Can High visibility painting be used to ensure that the crossing points are clear particularly for those vision impaired?
Colour scheme will be designed in accordance with the universal white (zebra) paint. To further increase awareness of the crossing, signage will be installed at each leg to warn motorists and the installation of “flashing pedestrian lights” will also be investigated at the detailed design phase (if funding permits).
The current site has four crossing points already. To provide amenity for all pedestrians and consistency at the intersection, the project will provide improved crossing points at all four legs.
Pedestrian signal crossings have been considered. The roundabout combined with raised platform are preferred due to their ability to reduce vehicle speeds on all approaches at all times.
The aim of this treatment is to reduce vehicle speeds through a heavy pedestrian area of Oak Flats. This will ensure the safety of all users in the Town Centre (of which is a priority).
This was considered during the concept design stage however was not a preferred option due to the number of parking spaces removed to accommodate design and pedestrian desire lines at location.
Police are aware of the speeding concerns on Central Avenue, Oak Flats and undertake regular patrols at this location.
Shellharbour Council receives many request for footpaths across the local government area. To ensure a fair and equitable use of public funds, Council will be preparing a Pedestrian Access & Mobility Plan (PAMP) in the 2022/23 financial year. The PAMP will identify existing footpaths and shared paths across the Shellharbour local government area and highlight any gaps within the existing network. As part of the PAMP process, it will also identify vulnerable user hubs and link these hubs to key centres such as Shopping Centres, Schools and Aged Care facilities, so that Council can priorities projects that link these centres. This will ensure that the limited funding for these facilities is allocated to those areas of greatest need.
A raised pedestrian (wombat) crossing is a raised threshold (i.e. speed hump) with a pedestrian (zebra) crossing painted on top. The speed hump physically slows down vehicles whilst the pedestrian (zebra) crossing gives priority to pedestrians over vehicles.