SEVENTY household representatives from the upper part of Goyder Street, Narrabundah, have signed a petition calling on the ACT government to take urgent steps to fix the street’s traffic issues.
Residents living on the top part of the street, which sits between Jerrabomberra Avenue and Dalrymple Street, have been there since before the new developments, and have united to raise frustrations around planning, traffic, speeding, noise, and even safety fears.
One resident, Daniel Harrison, has a seven-year-old daughter, and says she’s absolutely not allowed past the front gate.
“It’s a shame because it’s a residential street but she can’t go past the front gate because of the speeding traffic on the street,” Daniel says.
He’s not alone when it comes to these concerns, with another family saying they’re looking into moving because of concerns for their two young children.
The petition claims that the excessive volume of traffic on Goyder Street is “seriously affecting [their] ability to enjoy living in [their] neighbourhood”.
“These issues affect the safety, enjoyment and amenity of our street. It has made our street unsafe for families,” according to the petition.
Making the issue worse, the ACT government has permitted three developments on the street since 2017 (one finished, one underway and one planned), bringing 220 new homes which the residents fear has worsened, and will continue to worsen, the traffic issues.
“It stems from a lack of planning from the outset,” Daniel says.
“You’ve got a whole bunch of new developments that are going to significantly increase the amount of traffic but there’s not been any infrastructure improvements to handle it. These residences are not even at capacity yet.”
Daniel, who doesn’t believe there’s any government funding to fix these issues, suggests that the building developers could contribute money towards the new infrastructure needed to support their expansions to the street.
“The solution isn’t speed cameras or police,” says Daniel, who has a background in projects and risk management, and from that perspective, suggests that a bus bay could be more effective, and could improve the flow rate of the street.
“People are breaking the rules. They try and get around buses and cross on the other side of the road quickly to avoid getting stuck behind them,” he says.
“When you put all of the issues together, with inadequate traffic solutions, people start to get frustrated, they make rash decisions and someone gets hurt.
“It’s absolutely a safety concern when you’ve got traffic that’s backing up and taking about 20 minutes to clear at the intersection.”
Lacking proper planning from the outset, Daniel says Band-Aid solutions have been used in an attempt to fix the problems, and he worries that the government will use more.
Another resident, Elizabeth Wetherill, who’s been living on the street for four years says the traffic has got much worse.
“A lot of it seems to be people using Goyder Street as a shortcut,” she says.
“There’s families that fear that their children will run out on to the street.
“During the planning stages for the retirement villages I don’t think that the government had really paid attention to the amount of traffic that they would generate.”
After speaking with the government earlier in the year, Elizabeth conducted a survey asking the street if they were happy with the government’s response, and out of the 34 people who participated, 74 per cent of participants said they weren’t happy, 21 per cent said they weren’t sure, and five per cent (two people) said they were happy.
Out of all the issues 70.5 per cent of participants said they want measures put in place to improve traffic flow at the top of Goyder Street (near Dalrymple), which Elizabeth says can often be congested and hazardous.
About 68 per cent said they want a ban on trucks once the developments are complete and about 44 per cent want the speed limit on the street reduced.
At the “hazardous” intersection between Dalrymple Street and Goyder Street, resident Jinglong Chen recommends that the government put in a traffic light or roundabout.
“I have been living in Goyder Street since 2012 [and] the traffic volume has increased dramatically in recent years,” he says.
“With the completion of the Marymead and [another] new retirement village, the traffic is likely to be increased rather than decreased.”
Jinglong also proposes that a new speed limit of 40km/h is implemented on the section of Goyder Street between Jerrabomberra Avenue and Dalrymple Street to reduce the noise and increase safety.
He wants there to be rules or signs to divert the traffic to Hindmarsh Drive via Jerrabomberra Avenue, too.
Elizabeth says the street would welcome a meeting with government officials to address these concerns.