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 start construction.
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, two of which being pedestrian fatalities.
As part of the 2023/24 Capital Works Program, new pedestrian crossings will be constructed at the roundabout intersection of Central Avenue and Fisher Street Oak Flats, after Council received funding through the Australian Government Infrastructure Investment Program.
The works will include:
- Removal of existing pedestrian crossing infrastructure in the roadway.
- Construction of ramped concrete pedestrian crossings.
- Landscaping of new traffic islands.
Works are planned to start on Monday 31 July 2023 and be completed by late October 2023. Weather permitting.
Construction will take place between the hours of 7am to 6pm week days and 8am to 1pm Saturdays.
To ensure the safety of commuters and pedestrians, the construction will be carried out in two stages while implementing road closures.
The approximate schedule of work will be as follows:
Stage 1: August through to mid-September.
Stage 2: Mid-September through to late-October.
Yes, there will be road closures during the construction period, resulting in traffic detours and changes to on-street parking. Some parking spaces on Central Avenue will be inaccessible due to these closures. However, it's important to note that side street parking will still be available for use.
The following road closure will be implemented;
Stage 1: Closure of Central Ave northbound between Kingston Street and Griffiths Street
Stage 2: Closure of Central Ave southbound between Griffiths Street and Kingston Street
During the first half of the project, drivers will be able to travel southbound along Central Ave past the work site. In Stage 2 and until the project is completed, drivers will only be allowed to travel in the northbound direction.
Due to the closure of Central Avenue, two bus stops will undergo temporary changes and buses will follow detoured routes around the work site. These bus stops will be relocated to Kingston Street, close to their original locations. One relocation will occur during Stage 1, and the other during Stage 2. Passengers will find clear signage and directions on the affected bus stop signs to assist them in navigating the changes.
The bus timetable will remain the same.
Stage 1 traffic detours: August through to mid-September
Stage 2 traffic detours: Mid-September through to late-October
Yes, you will have uninterrupted access to the shops along Central Ave during the construction period. Both footpaths on either side of the street will remain open for pedestrians. Additionally, designated pedestrian points will be temporarily established to ensure safe crossings for pedestrians during works.
Yes, the rear lanes will remain open as usual.
To improve pedestrian crossing safety at the intersection of Central Avenue and Fisher Street, Councils Transport team are installing 4x raised pedestrian (wombat) crossings. Through consideration of many factors and collaboration with Transport for NSW, the 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
There will be impacts to on-street parking.
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.