Background

We consulted with our community in 2018/19 on the Military Road and Main Street Streetscape Project and developed the final concept plan, which was endorsed by Council on 26 August 2019, subject to:

1. a median island on Military Road being included to prevent right turns at the York Street intersection, and

2. further analysis of the operation of the intersection of North Street and Military Road and South Street and Military Road for discussion with the community and Ward Councillors.

As part of the concept design stage, we have addressed and included the median to prevent right turns at the York Street intersection.

Intersections with Military Road

The project initially proposed to remove the roundabouts on Military Road at North Street and South Street for the following reasons:

  • The community told us (in the first 'Imagine' consultation stage) that they wanted the project to provide safe crossing points across Military Road for pedestrians, people with prams, gopher and wheelchair users and cyclists.
  • Our Transport Plan 2016-2031 lists this precinct as a 'high pedestrian area', including the intersections of North Street and South Street.
  • At roundabouts, drivers are looking to their right and may miss pedestrians crossing on their left, having to stop suddenly to avoid a collision.
  • The pedestrian refuges at the roundabouts are too narrow to fit a pram, bicycle, gopher or wheelchair safely.
  • Roundabouts are difficult places for pedestrians to cross the road as the Australian Road Rule that ‘a turning driver must give way to pedestrians who are crossing the road that they are turning onto’ does not apply at roundabouts.
  • To improve the pedestrian connection between the Henley Library and the bus stop (on North Street).
  • The road layout at the Military Road and South Street intersection means the roundabout is tricky to negotiate, with slip lanes currently installed on two approaches.These also encourage high driver speeds.The slip lane on the north-western side of the South Street intersection cannot be removed if a roundabout remains here.
  • To ensure low driver speeds through this section of Military Road.

The following infographic shows the existing roundabout as well as the two new options against these project objectives:

Existing roundabout v's new options

Consultation to date

During the second round of community consultation, we heard some concerns from the community about the removal of the roundabouts. Primary concerns were that drivers would find it difficult to turn from North Street or South Street to Military Road. Some concerns were also raised about crashes and speed at the intersections.

With regard to vehicle crashes and speeds, standard roundabouts and raised intersections perform similarly. A raised intersection is a plateau that slows drivers and has an advisory 20km/h speed sign. Standard Give Way signs would be installed. Both treatments slow drivers, reducing the chance of a casualty or fatality resulting from any crash that might occur. The benefit of the raised intersection over a standard roundabout is that it increases safety for pedestrians, as drivers are looking both ways and pedestrians have right of way over a driver turning into the street they are crossing (under the Australian Road Rules). This pedestrian priority does not exist at roundabouts.

With regard to drivers finding it difficult to turn right from North Street or South Street to Military Road, we have undertaken traffic counts and modelling to compare the existing roundabouts with the proposed raised intersections. It found that, from a driver's perspective, the raised intersections improve the overall intersection performance for all peak traffic times, but with a minor reduction in the level of service for traffic on North Street and South Street. In the worst-case scenario, the average extra delay to a driver turning right from North Street to Military Road in the Saturday peak is 11.4 seconds with a raised intersection.

Intersection Proposals

Given that a standard roundabout won’t enable the project objectives to be met, we are now proposing two alternative options for the intersections of North and South Streets with Military Road. Option 1 is the raised intersection initially proposed, and Option 2 is a pedestrian priority roundabout, which is a roundabout with zebra crossings incorporated. Either option will still enable us to achieve most or all of the project objectives.

If a roundabout is desirable from a driver access perspective, it must have additional pedestrian safety features installed on all four approaches.These types of roundabouts have been installed interstate however not yet in South Australia. This may result in a small level of driver confusion and at times, minor queuing across the roundabouts.

We have summarised the advantages and disadvantages of the two options in the table below.

Proposed Option 1 - Raised Intersection

Proposed Option 2 - Pedestrian Priority Roundabout

Military Road and Main Street, Streetscape Project

View the full Military Road and Main Street Streetscape Project information here