SA bus helps ease traffic

Improved public transport citied as a key reason for traffic relief in Adelaide CBD

An assessment of average daily traffic volumes shows congestion has decreased across Adelaide’s city streets over the last five years.

This interesting trend was highlighted in an Adelaide City Council feasibility report on the proposed extension of the Frome Street Bikeway project and tabled in an Infrastructure and Public Space Committee meeting this week.

Adelaide’s biggest traffic losers were Grenfell Street with a 30 per cent reduction, Currie Street with 25 per cent less traffic, Montefiore Road shaving 20 per cent and West Terrace had 15 per cent less.

Council staff put this down to the gradual execution of a cunning plan to divert traffic away from the CBD combined with better public transport services.

The traffic has not disappeared altogether, but has rather been intentionally diverted onto the city ring route, resulting in a 13 per cent increase.

"This is reflective of the evolving city environment, where a greater focus has been to improve infrastructure on the city ring route, encouraging traffic to go around the city rather than through it and to improve the city’s accessibility by public transport," it is written in the report

New traffic modelling using the Bluetooth technology installed in the north east of the city as part of the O-Bahn City Access project made this analysis possible.

Despite the general decrease in traffic, more people are now visiting, living and working in the city and bus trips to the CBD have increased by 29 per cent since 2002.

Bus lanes on Grenfell and Currie streets in the CBD have been operational since 2012 and Adelaide Metro’s O-Bahn service has also made public transport a viable option for more people in the city.

More than 500 buses that currently use Frome Street each day will be removed on completion of the OBahn City Access Project in late 2017, and will result in additional reduction in traffic.

Along Frome Street North there have been 195 accidents between 2009 and 2014, 15 per cent of which involved cyclists and this has since prompted the creation, and now extension of, a dedicated bikeway.

The Frome Bikeway South section opened on the May 14 last year, the total cost to extend it from Pirie Street to the River Torrens is yet to be determined and depends on which design option is endorsed by council.

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