Transport Canberra and City Services


Study of traffic conditions on Messenger Street, Trickett Street and Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt - updated August 2015

Project background

A post implementation evaluation study of the effectiveness of the speed cushions on Spofforth Street was completed in July 2012. This study found that the installation of speed cushions had been successful in the objective of reducing speed. However, it also identified that a relatively large volume of traffic was now diverting onto other local side streets and in particular Beaurepaire Crescent, Messenger Street and Trickett Street. The community also expressed concerns about excessive traffic speeds, irresponsible driver behaviour and road safety on these streets.

The ACT Government decided to assess the need for additional traffic safety measures on Messenger Street, Trickett Street and Beaurepaire Crescent, in consultation with local residents, with a view to improving the safety and amenity of residents on these streets.

Stage 1 Community consultation/feedback

In November/December 2012, Roads ACT collected feedback about issues of concern from residents of Holt, Macgregor and the wider community. The feedback received included 684 survey responses and 14 written submissions.   

Key areas of concern identified by the community included speeding, increased traffic volumes, 'rat running' through the suburbs and intersection safety issues.

The majority of the wider community generally did not support the implementation of any treatments on these streets. However, the residents of Messenger Street (83%), Trickett Street (65%) and Beaurepaire Crescent (51%) indicated they would support the implementation of traffic calming devices on their streets.

The majority of all respondents preferred the use of linemarking and signs for traffic calming. However, the majority of respondents from Messenger Street, Trickett Street and Beaurepaire Crescent indicated they preferred speed cushions/chicanes, speed cushions and linemarking respectively.

Results of technical analysis of traffic data

The technical analysis of traffic data confirmed some of the issues raised by the community.
Average traffic speeds are above the 50 km/h speed limit on all three streets, with 85th percentile speeds* at or exceeding 60 km/h. Traffic volumes on Beaurepaire Crescent and Trickett Street are also high but still within acceptable limits for the road environment.
(*the speeds at which 85% of surveyed traffic is travelling at or below)

Proposed traffic management concepts

Two traffic calming schemes were developed to improve traffic conditions on Messenger Street, Trickett Street and Beaurepaire Crescent in Holt. The objectives of these schemes were to:

  • reduce travelling speeds
  • improve safety at intersections
  • reduce traffic volumes
  • discourage 'rat-running'.

The technical principles behind the schemes were:

  • to reduce speeds all-day every day (24/7), it is necessary to place physical devices on the road so that motorists must slow down.
  • devices must be spaced evenly along the road to achieve the desired travel speed at, or below, the posted/default speed limit.
  • different devices serve different purposes, have different levels of effectiveness, and vary in construction cost. However, the aim of all these devices is to reduce speeding and encourage through-traffic to use the surrounding arterial roads.
  • slower speeds and devices which create safer crossing opportunities for pedestrians would also help to improve the safety and amenity of residents.

These schemes are shown on the concept plan* (PDF file - 467 KB) and are summarised below..

*Please note: This map contains elements which cannot be made accessible. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact 13 22 81 to request a hard copy.

Option 1 proposed a combination of line markings and kerb extensions to visually narrow the road.

Option 2 proposed a combination of line markings and kerb extensions, combined with chicanes at key strategic points on Beaurepaire Crescent and speed cushions at key strategic points on Messenger Street and Trickett Street.  

For more information, view a brief description of the positive and negative impacts of each of the proposed treatment measures and their indicative costs.

Stage 2 community consultation/feedback

The community was consulted again in March/April 2013 to seek views on the proposed treatments for improvement.

The feedback received included 355 survey responses and nine email/letter/phone submissions. About 50 people also attended the public display/information session at the Raiders Belconnen on 18 March 2013.

This feedback indicated that the community was divided in its support for traffic calming measures, with strong views held on both sides. Among the respondents who supported traffic calming treatments:

  • Option 2 was preferred for Beaurepaire Crescent
  • Option 1 was preferred for Messenger Street
  • Option 2 was preferred for Trickett Street.

Feedback on Spofforth Street 

In general, the community is aware of the need for, and supportive of, traffic calming measures on Spofforth Street to reduce speeding.  However, a number of comments were received regarding the measures recently installed on Spofforth Street(such as speed cushions as the selected measure and the number of cushions installed. 

Roads ACT has now reviewed the traffic conditions on Spofforth Street since the implementation of these measures, and has taken this feedback into account.  In that context, Roads ACT will make some changes to the implemented measures.  A number of speed cushions will be removed and replaced with chicanes to narrow the carriageway and require vehicles to reduce speeds to negotiate these devices.  The removed cushions will be used elsewhere in Holt and as part of other traffic calming schemes in other ACT suburbs. 

The changes on Spofforth Street will be implemented at the same time as the Priority 1 treatments on Messenger Street, Trickett Street and Beaurepaire Crescent.

View a PDF of the proposed modifications on Spofforth Street*.

*Please note: This map contains elements which cannot be made accessible. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact 13 22 81 to request a hard copy.

Final master plan

In view of the results of the technical analysis and the feedback received from the community, and considering the technical effectiveness of the proposed treatments, the final scheme is based on Option 2.

It is important to note that the final scheme is an overall 'master plan' for the area and that not all proposed devices will be installed at once. The 'master plan' will guide the implementation of the scheme over a number of years due to annual budgetary constraints.

View the final scheme for implementation*.

*Please note: This map contains elements which cannot be made accessible. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact 13 22 81 to request a hard copy.

For information on the final scheme view the Executive Summary of the Report (Word 3MB) PDF (847KB).

Priorities and staging 

Priorities have been assigned to the proposed treatments based on the results of the technical analysis and the feedback from the community.

The Priority 1 treatments are:

Beaurepaire Crescent

  • Line markings and kerb extensions
  • Chicane between Southern Cross Drive and Armstrong Crescent
  • Chicane in the vicinity of Holt Place

Messenger Street

  • Line markings and kerb extensions
  • Speed cushion between Higgerson Street and Lindrum Crescent

Trickett Street

  • Line markings and kerb extensions
  • Speed cushion south of Griffiths Street.

These priority 1 treatments were implemented in mid-2014.

Evaluation of effectiveness 

In early 2015, six months after the implementation of the priority 1 measures, the Holt traffic management scheme was evaluated to determine if the measures in place had achieved the stated objectives of reducing travelling speeds and traffic volumes and increasing overall road safety.

The technical evaluation included a 'before' and 'after' comparison of traffic speed, volume and crashes. Community feedback was also sought regarding the effectiveness of the treatments, and a total of 181 responses were received. The key findings from the overall analysis are outlined below.

Beaurepaire Crescent

  • Travelling speeds have been reduced by up to 9.9 km/h. However, the recorded 'after' speeds still exceed the 50 km/h legal speed limit of the road.
  • Traffic volumes have been reduced by between 9 – 17%.
  • About 50.3% of all respondents and 50% of Beaurepaire Crescent respondents are supportive of the measures implemented on Beaurepaire Crescent.

Messenger Street

  • Travelling speeds have been reduced by up to 9.0 km/h in the westbound direction (towards the devices). However, the recorded 'after' speeds still exceed the 50 km/h legal speed limit of the road.
  • Traffic volumes have been decreased by between 24 – 33%.
  • Although only 30% of respondents were supportive of the scheme on Messenger Street, almost an equal number of respondents (32%) were unsure about their support for this scheme.

Trickett Street

  • Travelling speeds have been reduced by up to 6.7 km/h. However, the recorded 'after' speeds still exceed the 50 km/h legal speed limit of the road.
  • There has been no change to the traffic volumes on Trickett Street.
  • About 32% of all respondents and 33% of Trickett Street respondents were supportive of the implemented measures. Feedback received also indicated that the location of the speed cushion was not considered to be effective.

Spofforth Street

  • Travelling speeds have increased by up to 17.2 km/h. However, the current speeds are up to 8.5 km/h lower than the original speeds that existed on Spofforth Street prior to the installation of any traffic management measures.
  • Traffic volumes have increased by between 53 - 106%. However, the current traffic volumes are still approximately 50% lower than the original traffic volumes that existed on Spofforth Street prior to the installation of any traffic management measures.
  • About 37% of all respondents and 67% of Spofforth Street respondents were supportive of the implemented measures.

Impact on other streets

  • Traffic volumes have increased on MacNaughton Street and Starke Street.  However the new volumes are still within the acceptable limits for these streets.
  • Travelling speeds have been reduced by up to 5.1 km/h on MacNaughton Street and 5.3 km/h on Starke Street.
Traffic conditions on the above streets in Holt will continue to be monitored. Any changes to the traffic management scheme will be considered in future programs, when funding becomes available, in consultation with residents of the respective streets. In particular, the repositioning of the speed cushion on Trickett Street will be considered.
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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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