NORTH / SOUTH CONNECTOR /  relating to the Drysdale Bypass Intersection

Prepared in conjunction with and on behalf of our concerned community by Bellarine Community Council Inc. ( herinafter referred to as BCC ).

BCC proposes an urgent review of the proposed North / South Connector and intersection to ensure that it is world’s best practice and maximizes optimum safety and traffic efficiency over the 50 year life of the intersection.

Critical aspects of concern for the proposed North / South Connector are as follows –

  • Movement and Access Principle 22:

No development or infrastructure in or adjacent the Jetty Road Growth Area is to in anyway compromise the potential to re-introduce heavy rail or light rail on the existing railway reserve, currently denoted as the “Bellarine Rail Trail”. BCC is concerned that the construction of an “at grade” crossing, carrying up to 600 vehicles per hour, severely compromises the re-introduction of rail and as such is contrary to Principle 22 .

  • Movement and Access Principle 23:               

Provide access to a safe and convenient public transport service in order to promote transport options for all residents, encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport and reduce car reliance.

BCC is concerned that the location of the associated bus-stop to Geelong,  more than a kilometre from the Curlewis development, on the opposite side of a busy highway that carries over 2000 vehicles per hour during peak periods and as such is contrary to Principle 23.

  • The proposed installation of an additional signalized intersection will cause further unnecessary traffic delays, especially being only 800 metres from the planned signalised Jetty Road/Grubb Road intersection.
  • There are no slip lanes and designated left turn lanes with their associated safety and efficiency benefits …… even with traffic lights.
  • Limited room for the proposed intersection alongside the east border of the Curlewis Golf Course with Portarlington Road.
  • Potential collision points for buses turning left out of Curlewis having to pass into through traffic before entering the proposed bus stop.
  • Geelong bound traffic must stop to allow traffic exiting from Curlewis. Furthermore, the bus stop for Geelong bound buses is sited at a potential collision point with traffic exiting from Curlewis and U turn traffic.
  • Compromises local landowners and the 6th hole of the Curlewis Golf Course.

The proximity of queuing traffic approx. 20 metres adjacent to the 6th green is highly undesirable. The first image of the proposed intersection showed the connecting road and intersection to be located straight through the 6th green and even if the road had been drawn in the correct location, traffic is too close to the green.

  • The recently opened Curlewis Golf Driving Range and Golf Academy has significantly increased traffic movements at the intersection, particularly merging, intersecting and U turning traffic . Hence, upgrading the Hermsley intersection to a well-designed roundabout is now all more imperative..
  • The long‐term (50year) development of Curlewis, Hermsley, Clifton Springs, Drysdale, and The Bellarine in general urgently requires far more careful consideration.

BCC  is concerned that the location of the proposed North South Connector and intersection is unsuitable for the following operational reasons.

NORTH / SOUTH CONNECTOR /  relating to the Drysdale Bypass Intersection ( Contd )

                                            

Operational challenges & disadvantages:

  • Traffic is subject to excessive sun glare during peak am & pm travel times.

There is excessive sun glare during peak am travel times due to the inclination of the road

being aimed directly at the sun when higher in the sky. This severely compromises

visibility of drivers travelling both eastwards and westwards from seeing the vehicles behind them

in the rear vision mirrors.

  • Location towards the bottom of the incline is potentially dangerous for the high concentration of trucks and school busses mixed in with passenger vehicles and cyclists.
  • Signalized intersections are accepted to be less safe and less efficient as regards traffic flow in preference to roundabouts. Large, heavy vehicle drivers will not appreciate having to stop towards

the bottom of an incline and try to avoid stopping at an amber light where possible.

Traffic signals require drivers to make instantaneous decisions that are dependent on the changing of the traffic lights and actions of the vehicles around them. Any compromise of vision increases the

likelihood of  collisions especially with a mix of light and heavy traffic and considerations such as medium and large trucks taking 40% longer to stop than passenger vehicles.

Collisions likely to occur & due to :

  • Nose to tail west bound – A passenger vehicle pulls up at an amber light but the truck behind

is unable to stop on the downhill incline Due to sun glare in the rear vision mirror, the driver of the passenger vehicle has limited opportunity to see the danger and take evasive action.

  • Nose to tail east bound – Sun glare compromises drivers’ ability to see the lights change and

brake lights of vehicles ahead.

  • T‐Bone ‐ Sun glare compromises drivers’ ability to see the lights change and consequently proceed

through amber & red lights.

  • T‐Bone – Heavy vehicle drivers chance beating the light changes.
  • Signalized intersection with bus stops and pedestrian activity creates potential for unnecessary pedestrian and cyclist to vehicle collision points.

BCC therefore proposes that serious consideration be given to the following alternative connection via Coriyule Road from the Jetty Road Growth Area to Portarlington Road.     

Alternative Connection  / Jetty Road Growth Area to Portarlington Road

This alternative called the Coriyule Connection provides  –

a) Replacement of the proposed additional traffic light controlled intersection on Portarlington Road for the proposed North / South connector with its associated traffic safety concerns and delays.

b) A  safer, more efficient, less costly  traffic wise route with no impacts on the Golf Course and the Rail Trail as well as maintaining the ambience at the Drysdale entry point.

c) Support an upgrade for the current Hermsley/Curlewis Road intersection .

d) Scope for future options, consistent with the long‐term vision of the Jetty Road Growth Plan, for the Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Curlewis, and Hermsley communities, and  The Bellarine overall.

Alternative Connection  / Jetty Road Growth Area to Portarlington Road ( Contd )

Operational advantages & benefits:

  • Reduces the amount of traffic passing through the complex Jetty Road/Grubb Road/Education, Potato Shed & Sports Precinct intersection and along Grubb Road.
  • Many Curlewis / Clifton Springs residents currently travel this proposed route and will during construction as well as to bypass the proposed 3 new sets of traffic lights.
  • The current Hermsley/Curlewis/Portarlington Roads intersection is an uncontrolled intersection and is becoming ever more dangerous as traffic flows increase.  A well‐designed roundabout at this intersection will help remove potential traffic hazards.
  • Reduction of travel times to/from Geelong for Portarlington, Drysdale, Clifton Springs and other areas of The Bellarine along with significantly improved traffic conditions.
  • Ensures less wasted fuel usage hence air pollutants and be more environmentally friendly.
  • Ensure improved safety for road and Rail Trail cyclists (the current proposal requires a significant amount of traffic to unnecessarily cross the Rail Trail twice at signalized crossings).
  • The cost / benefit will be upgrades to existing roads with the upgrade of  Hermsley/Curlewis / Portarlington Roads intersection to an appropriate roundabout.
  • Provision of a safer location adjacent to the existing “car‐pooling” area at this intersection.
  • Provision of an alternative link through to Grubb Road as an additional route to Ocean Grove / Barwon Heads as well as reducing the amount of through traffic passing through Ocean Grove / Barwon Heads and beyond.
  • Provision of safer north/south travel for The Bellarine with the increasing amount of traffic passing between Drysdale and venues such as  Adventure Park, Flying Brick Cider and beyond.

BCC therefore seeks in endorsement for the Coriyule Connection as the preferred road connection from the Jetty Road Growth Area to Portarlington Road