Buses needed to beat traffic crush

Traffic building up mid-afternoon on Chapel Road, Keysborough South. 184467_04 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Greater Dandenong councillor has called for more bus services and bus shelters in the wake of the council’s updated draft Keysborough South traffic study.

Cr Rhonda Garad said at a council meeting on 23 August that the study showed that with increasing traffic congestion, four in five residents drove most days.

Residents had told her they would use public transport if there were more frequent bus services and shelters at every bus stop.

She asked the council to lobby Keysborough MP Martin Pakula in that vein.

The draft study, an update from 2019, focuses on bug-bears such as congestion, parking and truck volumes.

The study blamed Chapel Road’s traffic snarls on poorly performed traffic signals at Dandenong Bypass.

The Department of Transport had made minor adjustments to signals but not “any significant changes which could compromise through-movements on the Dandenong Bypass”.

Chapel Road was found to be “significantly” congested for only short periods of the day such as between 8am-8.15am, the report stated.

Either side of that period, there was “some queuing” at signals with good traffic flow.

Meanwhile, truck volumes have increased on Chapel Road from 100 to 120 a day since traffic calming was installed to deter heavy vehicles on Perry Road in 2020.

The report stated that the council introduced the raised platforms on Perry Road to protect resident amenity.

“We anticipate Perry Road truck volumes will continue to decrease following the installation of traffic calming in 2020.

“On Chapel Road, measures which incorporate vertical displacement (such as raised platforms) may be installed in future.”

The study was monitoring whether trucks were using local streets as “rat runs” to and from Dandenong South.

Car parking on streets was also contributing to congestion in “some locations”, the report stated.

Last week Star Journal reported on the difficulties of fire trucks accessing narrow streets clogged with parked cars.

The soon-to-open Mordialloc Freeway was expected to divert trucks and other traffic from Dandenong Bypass as well as remove up to 20,000 vehicles off Springvale Road, the report stated.

The council stated that it would continue advocating for state and federal funding to upgrade the intersection at Cheltenham, Chapel and Corrigan roads.

The report proposes a left-turn lane from Chapel Road and increasing the length of the left-turn lane from Cheltenham Road into Chapel Road.