Fears of traffic chaos if Kings and Commonwealth Avenue development plans progress

Some community councils fear the Kings and Commonwealth Avenue redevelopment plans could bring traffic to a halt across the city if they are implemented.

The National Capital Authority in May unveiled plans to reconfigure the roads as grand boulevards for easy cycling and walking.

The plans would see clover leaf on and off ramps on Kings and Commonwealth Avenues dismantled, speed limits reduced to 60km/h and opening up land either side of the avenue for development.

In submissions made during the community consultation period, the Inner South Canberra Community Council and Griffith/Narrabundah Community Associations said the plans ignored the critical transport roles of both avenues.
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South Canberra council chair Marea Fatseas said she feared traffic would come to a standstill across parts of Canberra.

“I’m envisaging traffic all the way from Civic to Woden,” she said.

“We’ve got them saying we’re going to make a lovely grand boulevard … which is all very well in theory but then you’ve got this massive bottle neck coming along.”
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Ms Fatseas said she was concerned the authority had developed a design for the area without working out the impact for people who currently use that corridor.

She claimed the NCA had based its work on inaccurate figures when it suggested Commonwealth Avenue carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day.

A Griffith/Narrabundah associations analysis of ACT Roads figures concluded the actual daily traffic flows on Commonwealth Avenue was about 67,000 vehicles a day.

“When I rang the NCA and asked for traffic modelling report, they said it was a concept plan and one hadn’t been done,” Ms Fatseas said.

“The problem is it’s already effectively been legislated and included in the National Capital plan.

“In other words, we have both a legislated, very specific precinct code for West Basin in the National Capital Plan, and also a full blown City to the Lake development being implemented by the ACT government, without evidence of traffic modelling and integrated transport/land use planning.

“It’s a very strange way to make public policy with multi-million dollar expenditure implications.”

The NCA has been contacted for comment.

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