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BCC Candidate Q3of8 - Traffic Issues

Submitted by webmaster on Sat, 31/03/2012 - 7:59pm

What is your proposed plan for reducing traffic volume and or delays on Oxley Road including the bottlenecks at the Corinda Railway Bridge, the Walter Taylor Bridge, and the Oxley Road/Sherwood Road intersection?

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The Legacy Way Tunnel will provide a link from the Toowong Roundabout to Kelvin Grove and will greatly reduce the amount of traffic travelling into the city on Milton Road and Coronation Drive. When it is completed, it is estimated to cut travel time by up to 44% and will allow motorists to travel from Jindalee to the Airport without a single set of traffic lights.
 
Meanwhile, other projects like the upgrade to Sumners Road between Dandenong Road and Wacol Station Road as well as other intersection upgrades along Seventeen Mile Rocks Road which all contribute to reducing local traffic congestion.
 
Some of these improvements will flow-on reducing the overall traffic in Oxley Road. While the projects mentioned in the question are within the Jamboree Ward, our team has a track record of delivering and a balanced approach to tackling traffic congestion.

I have a three pronged plan to reduce congestion around the Walter Taylor Bridge. Firstly, I support the extension of the successful City Cat service upstream as far as Chelmer. This would provide commuters and students with an additional public transport option. Secondly, I believe Council should trial peak hour vehicle access on the Eleanor Schonell Bridge for University traffic as an alternative to the Walter Taylor Bridge. Thirdly, adjustments to the intersection of Coonan St and Westminster Rd are needed to improve right hand turn capacity and reduce bottlenecks. I do not support the Lord Mayor Graham Quirk's proposal to upgrade Oxley Road to four lanes without addressing the choke points at the Corinda Rail Bridge or Walter Taylor Bridge.
 
I support widening but not raising of the low Corinda Rail bridge. It is a huge traffic bottleneck and safety issue in our district. I do not support raising the Bridge height as it would allow more freight trucks to access local neighbourhoods. I lobbied hard to get the warning signage and devices installed, through the then Minister for Transport and through meetings with QR officials. Council has recently announced upgrade plans for Oxley Rd (widen to 4 lanes) and as part of that investigation I believe that the options for the low rail bridge should be reviewed and this may provide a valuable way to implement improvements.
 
With hundreds of buses a day now operating, the Bus Depot is clearly placing greater pressure on the Sherwood Rd/Oxley Rd intersection and should simply not be there. Hundreds of buses are now running through the Sherwood Shopping precinct because they cannot make the right hand turn into Oxley Rd due to their length. The capacity constraints, traffic issues and environmental impacts were all canvassed with Council by me and local residents, but ignored. Worse still, not a single one of these buses is providing an additional or new service to our district.

This year, almost 70% of Council’s entire transport budget for roads will go on toll tunnels. The remaining funds are being thinly spread between local road projects. That’s not balanced and it’s certainly not taking care of the basics.
 
You only have to go for a quick drive through the local area to observe that our local roads have been neglected. There are more pot holes and they’re taking longer to be filled but we’re also missing out on action for Oxley Road, the Corinda Railway Bridge and the Walter Taylor Bridge.
 
Our approach to solving traffic will be about a lot more than just building expensive toll tunnels and will see more money spent on local roads projects.
 
A Ray Smith Council Administration will invest $800 million for local road projects across our city – including in Tennyson Ward.
 
However, upgrades can only go so far and I’d like to think out of the box and work with other levels of government to develop other possibilities for reducing traffic congestion around the Walter-Taylor Bridge and Oxley Road. We may be able to look at things like reviewing the location and capacity of river crossings and improving bus services to areas not serviced by rail. I’d also like to speak with the State Government about the viability of reopening Tennyson Railway Station.
 
These possibilities potentially offer a far more comprehensive solution to our traffic problems. However, three things are needed for any of these projects – vision, community engagement and financial discipline.

Traffic congestion has been a long term problem for residents of Brisbane. Simply building toll tunnels will not solve the problem and we need an integrated approach with local roads and public transport as well. I’ll work closely with Translink to deliver more frequent bus services to transport hubs like Oxley, Corinda and Darra Stations.

Council is delivering the Legacy Way project to take traffic from the Western freeway to the City, which can only have a positive impact on traffic from the Ipswich Motorway onto Oxley Road. Intersection and road upgrades on Oxley Road to increase capacity and reduce congestion can only happen with widening - which is constrained by property. While a long term possibility, I think it is important to increase public transport usage in our area to reduce congestion.