PTA offers to build Hester Ave-Baltimore Parade roundabout to reinstate Merriwa bus route

Where the new roundabout will be built.
Where the new roundabout will be built.

HESTER Avenue could get another roundabout, with the Public Transport Authority planning to build one this financial year.

The plan for a roundabout at the Baltimore Parade junction is on the Wanneroo Council meeting agenda this month.

Within a 2.5km stretch of Hester Avenue, there are already three roundabouts – as well as a dog-bone pair of roundabouts at the Mitchell Freeway off and on ramps.

At Tuesday’s briefing session, the City’s assets director Harminder Singh said PTA had offered to build the roundabout, which would allow it to reinstate bus route 483 on Baltimore Parade.

PTA deviated that bus route to Marmion Avenue for safety reasons when the freeway extension opened last year.

RAAFA Cambrai residents submitted a 228-signature petition for traffic signals last August and the council decided to accept $2.4 million from Main Roads WA if it could use it for traffic signals rather than a roundabout.

In March, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti sent the City a letter rejecting the traffic signals option.

MORE: Calls to change Connolly Dve speed limits, Hester Ave traffic signals

Ms Saffioti said since the freeway extension opened, vehicles exiting Baltimore Parade experienced average delays of 46 seconds in the morning peak and 67 seconds in the afternoon peak.

“Modelling shows that a roundabout will reduce the delay to an average of eight seconds,” she said.

“Traffic signals will have delay times ranging between 17 to 38 seconds on Hester Avenue with an average of 36 seconds at Baltimore Parade.

“A roundabout may take longer to construct than traffic signals, however, both Main Roads and PTA concur that it represents the most efficient and safest treatment.”

Mr Singh said while a roundabout offered slightly better level of service than signals, the City’s main objection related to the risk it would face during construction.

However, he said PTA’s offer to deliver the project eliminated the risk to the City, hence the recommendation that the council accept the offer at its July 24 meeting.

Asked about the implications of refusing it, Mr Singh said the City would have to bear the future cost of upgrading the junction as traffic demands increased.

When elected members raised concerns about community consultation, asset operations and services manager Jim Duff said PTA and the City would work together on community engagement following council approval.

Mayor Tracey Roberts foreshadowed an amendment to include pedestrian and cyclist crossing facilities.