RMS Set to Introduce Controversial Centennial Avenue Clearways

This week Centennial Avenue residents were shocked to receive details of extensive plans to change traffic conditions along Burns Bay Road/Centennial Avenue and Epping Road. The proposed plans are wide-sweeping and will impact Burns Bay/Centennial Avenue residents and Lane Cove West Residents who live near Burns/Bay Centennial Avenue.

Proposed Plans

RMS is planning to:

  • Widen and change the lane configuration on Centennial Avenue and Epping Road; and
  • Introduce clearways on Centennial Avenue (including all day clearways on weekends).

These improvements are part of the State Government’s $300 million Urban Roads Pinch Point Programme (URPPP).  This is a fancy name for a programme aimed at improving traffic congestion and travel times.

Centennial Avenue and Epping Road Intersection

There is no doubt traffic flow needs to be improved at this intersection.  People now rat run through Lane Cove West and enter Epping Road via an illegal left-hand turn at Munroe Street.  ITC has been told about many pedestrian and cyclists near misses when cars turn left illegally.

Source: RMS

The plans include:

  • Widening Centennial Avenue to provide a left turn lane for motorists travelling north on Centennial Avenue onto Epping Road;
  • Changing the bus lane merge line markings to move the westbound bus lane merge on Epping Road further away from the intersection;
  • Expanding the traffic island on the Centennial Avenue northbound approach to Epping Road;
  • Adjusting the footpath on the northern side of Centennial Avenue and around Turrumburra Park (yes that is what that park on the corner of Centennial Avenue and Epping Road is called!!);
  • Relocating a swing set to another position in Turrumburra Park ; and
  • Some Tree Removal

The RMS has not discussed any of the above with the Lane Cove Council. This would be an ideal time to look at Turrumburra Park and upgrade the park and make better use of this green space.  The play equipment has looked very tired and unloved for years.  Lane Cove Council could introduce a tree planting scheme to replace any trees that are being removed.

Photo Source Andrew Greer Google

This intersection is on the list of top 10 accident hot spots in Lane Cove.

Burns Bay Road/Centennial Avenue Clearways

RMS plans to introduce new weekday, weekend and public holiday clearways on Centennial Avenue and Burns Bay Road from Epping Road, Lane Cove to Victoria Road, Huntleys Point.

Residents have contacted ITC expressing their concerns about the clearways times.  The proposed clearway times remain in place much longer than any other clearways in Lane Cove.  Weekend restrictions are from 9 am to 6 pm.  The clearways operate on both sides of the road.


Residents have expressed the following concerns

  • Visitors will not be able to park on Centennial Avenue (particularly at times you would be entertaining like weekends and public holidays);
  • Couriers will not be able to make deliveries;
  • No parking available for tradespeople, removalists or any other person providing services to your house;
  • No parking available to visit Charlish Park (located on Centennial Avenue – this is a wonderful playground with a roll hill for the more adventurous);
  • In some cases, the distance between side streets is over half a kilometre making it difficult for elderly residents, parents with prams, residents with shopping and guests to park and walk. The land is not flat making the walk even more difficult;
  • Many of the homes in this area are from the 1920’s and do not have driveways or garages;
  • There is no ability for pedestrians to cross Centennial Avenue between Epping road and Fig Tree Street. This is a distance of over 1 kilometre. At least with some parked cars you are crossing two lanes, not the proposed four lanes;
  • Burns Bay Road/ Centennial Avenue sidestreets will become carparks. These residential streets are narrow and will be reduced to one lane creating unnecessary pedestrian safety and congestion;
  • The RMS has not investigated the reasons for the congestion, all they have done is looked at number of vehicles travelling along the road; (see below for reasons for congestion);
  • The RMS has not taken into consideration resident’s needs. They specifically state they have only looked at businesses (on Centennial Avenue after Burns Bay Road 2 businesses are located between Centennial Avenue and Epping Road.  Many more residents will be impacted.  RMS state:

    Clearway hours have been determined based on a traffic. We have limited the clearway hours to operate only in the times where there are peak traffic volumes, in order to balance the needs of both local businesses and road users.

  • RMS did not consult with the Lane Cove Council on their plans.


Reasons for Congestions and Alternatives

RMS needs to look at why there is traffic congestion and look at alternatives.

Badly Designed Intersection at Penrose Street and Burns Bay Road

Traffic flow would be improved at this intersection if, at Penrose Street, there was a dedicated combined turning lane right northbound and straight ahead for better access to Burns Bay Road. This can only be achieved if the RMS resumes a small portion of the land at the Shell Petrol station to allow room for a third dedicated lane (creating two left hand turning lanes and one right/straight ahead lane). Two lanes could then turn left into Burns Bay Road. At the moment, Penrose Street is reduced to one lane when a driver wishes to turn right or go straight ahead into Penrose Street.  The timing of the lights could then be changed to allow more vehicles to cross from Centennial Avenue to Burns Bay Road in correlation with the better left-hand turn movements.  This would improve traffic flow.

Right Hand Turning Lane Epping Road and Centennial Avenue (near Sydney City Motorcycles)

Previously, Lane Cove North Residents could turn right off Centennial Avenue into Epping Road.  The right hand turning lane arrow was switched off.  This needs to be reinstated.  Lane Cove North Residents are now forced to drive all the way down Centennial Avenue to Barwon Road to access Epping Road West.  On the weekend, this creates extra traffic on Centennial Avenue due to drivers wanting to access Blackman Park. This suggestion would provide an alternative entry to Blackman Park and Lane Cove West Public School.

No Right Hand Turning Arrow at Barwon Road, Centennial Avenue and Figtree Road.

This intersection is a notorious accident blackspot.  This has been the site of a least one fatal accident.  ITC regularly receives accident reports relating to this intersection.  Lane Cove Council has requested a right hand turning arrow on numerous occasions.  The RMS has refused to install the right hand turning arrow.  This leads to traffic backing up.  If a right-hand turn arrow is installed, drivers could safely turn right instead of waiting to turn on an amber light.  This will clear the right-hand lane backup and help both lanes to flow smoothly.  If a weekend clearway is introduced Centennial Avenue will become a raceway and there will be more accidents at this intersection. Pedestrian access will also be improved if the above changes are adopted.

Acceptable Clearway Hours

Many Lane Cove West residents accept that clearways help traffic flow, however, they need to be reasonable.  Possible Clearway times are:

  • Clearways Northbound in the Morning Peak Period;
  • Clearways Southbound in the Afternoon Period; and
  • NO Weekend Restrictions.

Community Consultation

The RMS is seeking Lane Cove’s feedback.  Are they really?  the comment below makes it looks like it is a done deal.

We are planning to install the new clearways on Centennial Avenue and Burns Bay Road from Epping Road, Lane Cove to Victoria Road, Huntleys Point in March 2018 and will keep you updated as this project progresses.

The Community Consultation Period has started and will finish on 15 December 2017.   This is the worst time of the year for community consultation.  It is also unfair to provide a 15-day consultation period for such a big change.  The RMS project team will be in the Lane Cove Plaza on 10 December between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm.

Feedback can be provided by:

  • Phone: 1800 572 004 during business hours;
  • Email: pinchpoints@rms.nsw.gov.au;
  • Snail Mail: Roads and Maritime Services PO Box 973 Parramatta NSW 2124; or
  • In person: Lane Cove Plaza 10 December 10.00am to 1.00 pm

What Actions Can Lane Cove Residents Take to Ensure their Voices are Heard?

  • Provide Feedback using one of the methods above;
  • Share this article on your social media platforms (Facebook/Twitter) or by email – just copy and paste this link;
  • Contact our local member, the Hon Anthony Roberts, so he can work with residents/RMS for an acceptable outcome. You can email Anthony here.

These proposals impact residents who live on Burns Bay/ Centennial Avenue AND any residents living on side streets. You can read the RMS proposal in full here.

Cover Photo Source:  RMS

Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at info@inthecove.com.au

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