On 3 April 2020 the GCC were advised via email that:
“the speed limits on the Barton Highway and Pialligo Avenue will be permanently reduced to 80 km/h at the following locations:
- Barton Highway (between the Gundaroo Drive roundabout and Bellenden Street), Crace”
This information was posted on the GCC Facebook feed, and many residents asked the question … “why” ? We have chased some answers and after being verbally briefed a couple of weeks ago, today received a written explanation from Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS). Please take particular note of the last few points, and also remember that changes in speed limits can be confusing and there is already an 80 km/h section of the Barton Highway adjacent to Gold Creek Village.
“As was discussed with you, the works on the Barton Highway originated from the Federal Government’s Black Spot program and were committed to in 2018. The project was based on five years of reported crashes prior to the study in the midblock section of the Barton Highway between the signalised roundabout at William Slim Drive/Gundaroo Drive and Bellenden Street. It is important to note that the crashes in the study did not include the adjacent intersections (ie. the signalised roundabout). This data met the black spot criteria of three casualty crashes in five years.
As you will be aware, the land adjacent to the Barton Highway has seen a significant increase in urbanisation (particularly with the creation of Crace) as has the whole of Gungahlin. In addition, this section of the Barton Highway is classified as a principal cycle training route and a main on-road cycle route. There is an existing connection to the main community route on the northern side of the road approximately 1.7 kilometres south of the signalised roundabout as well as an equestrian trail crossing the Barton Highway near to the Bellenden Street intersection. The previously posted 100 km/h speed limit was set many years ago and given today’s road environment, traffic volumes, crashes and the national Safe System approach, it no longer reflected the needs of the network.
The works have been completed and as well as the reduction in speed limit they also included upgrades to line marking, signage, guide posts and narrowing of the median lane to shift traffic away from the median’s edge and improve the delineation of the travel route. The following benefits are associated with these works:
- one speed limit from the urban fringe near Hall, all the way through to Northbourne Avenue
- smoother and consistent travel speeds, improving the operation of the road network especially during the morning and afternoon peak periods
- reduction in risks associated with crashes at speeds of 100km/h
- reduction of traffic noise benefitting those residents in the adjacent suburbs of Kaleen, Giralang and Crace as well as lower emissions generated by traffic.”