BUG leads way in Subiaco traffic count

By Robert Hunt

Traffic using Hamersley Road in Subiaco as a “rat run” was likely to increase if a roundabout was built at the intersection with Rokeby Road, according to Subiaco Bicycle User Group member Lee Hemsley.

Currently, drivers in Hamersley Road crossing Rokeby Road or turning right into it must wait at the STOP sign for a gap in the traffic going both ways on Rokeby Road.

With a roundabout, it would be much easier for vehicles in Hamersley Rd to cross Rokeby Road because they would have to give way to only one lot of traffic.

The BUG did a morning peak hour traffic count on April 5 from 7am to 9am.

Mr Hemsley said the BUG decided to do the count because the Subiaco council declined to do one before it built the roundabout, scheduled for June.

“It needs a study of traffic now to give a baseline to compare the amount of traffic after the roundabout is built,” Mr Hemsley, also a City of Subiaco councillor, said.

The statistics would take a lot of analysis.

The count of motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians was done in eight 15 minute blocks.

Another factor was that pedestrians were not included in traffic planning because it was very expensive to count them, Mr Hemsley said.

Vehicle counting was automated and did not need people.  The software in the machines could be set to differentiate between bicycles, motorcycles, motor cars and trucks because of the differences in wheelbases.

Counting pedestrians had to be done by people – one counter on each corner of an intersection – which was expensive for councils and other traffic planners and road engineers.

Pedestrians had no right of way at a roundabout, he said.

“Pedestrians do not get counted, they’re not reflected in policy,” he said.

Mr Hemsley said he had spent a lot of time researching roundabouts and traffic on the internet.

There were heaps of studies on crash rates but he could not find any doing the type of statistical count that the BUG was doing.

The BUG wanted to do a follow-up study after the roundabout had been in use for some months to see the effect it had on car, cyclist and pedestrian numbers.

Primary school children on their way to school.

A cyclist waits in the centre of Rokeby Road.

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