Urban design guidelines and planning instruments of the 1990s adopted a two-level road hierarchy which resulted in no domestic frontage to streets carrying more than 3,000 vehicles per day (vpd). Since the turn of the century, developers and regulators have challenged the car focus of the two-level road hierarchy having a desire to provide direct frontage to streets carrying more than 3,000vpd. However, this desire does not resolve the conflicts which arise within a street reserve.
For roads carrying up to 10,000vpd it is now accepted that direct access can be provided safely and efficiently. However, rear laneways are recommended for access to development fronting roads carrying over 10,000vpd. Rear laneways do not require as much land as service lanes, allow activation of the road frontage, and separate conflicts between access and through traffic.
A pedestrian’s experience of streets was assessed in terms of pedestrian density, driveway conflict and delays crossing carriageways to access a pedestrian path. It was concluded that pedestrian activity can be promoted by providing a path on at least one side of streets fronted by development. Pedestrian facilities on streets with no frontage may be underutilised due to pedestrians feeling a reduced sense of safety, security and place.
The level of service (LoS) for cyclists decreases with increasing operating speed for cars except on streets which provide off-road cycle facilities. Therefore, shared paths or segregated facilities should be provided to accommodate cyclists off carriageway on streets operating above 50km/h.
Public transport (PT) quality was assessed in terms of availability, frequency, travel speed and accessibility. It was concluded that PT stops should be located on streets with fronting development and a pedestrian path. PT quality improves with increasing vehicle operating speed.
The LoS for cars improves with increasing vehicle operating speed resulting in a positive correlation with PT quality and a negative correlation with cyclist LoS. Cars are provided for best on arterial and sub-arterial roads, and in rural areas. The worst LoS for cars occurs in shared zones and access laneways where the through movement of motor vehicles is not the priority.
By Bradley Jones, Traffic Engineer at UDP