Below is a copy of the letter being forwarded to the ULDA accompanying the recent petition on converting Bellvista Blvd to four lanes. Over 340 signatures will accompany the petition.
16 May 2011
Urban Land Development Authority
GPO Box 2202
Brisbane QLD 4001
Submission re: Development applications (DEV2010/100 and DEV2010/101)
This submission relates to the development applications by Stockland Caloundra Downs Pty Ltd (hereafter Stockland) for the area known as Bellvista 2 located in Caloundra West, Queensland, 4551.
Traffic volumes on Bellvista Boulevard have grown steadily over the past few years with the ongoing development of the existing Bellvista community. The volume of traffic will increase even further during and following construction of Bellvista 2. Therefore, I am requesting the ULDA to require Stockland to make Bellvista Boulevard into four lanes as a condition of the approving the development applications for Bellvista 2. Attached to this letter are the signatures of 332 members of the Bellvista and wider Caloundra communities who have signed a petition in support of this request.
The Traffic Impact Assessment for Bellvista 2 Development Caloundra (November 2010) (hereafter the Assessment) prepared by Cardno Eppell Olsen and commissioned by Stockland, concludes that “duplication of Bellvista Boulevard is not required” (p. iv). The Assessment does not take into account community concerns about road safety, traffic congestion and emergency access. Road safety is a major concern for the community because of the current two-lane configuration of Bellvista Boulevard that creates a major safety risk for people crossing the road and vehicles needing to stop. This is due to the speed at which many vehicles travel along
Bellvista Boulevard, the poor visibility for pedestrians and the lack of space for vehicles to safely stop at the side of the road. The safety risks were highlighted on Thursday 17 March 2011 when a young school boy was almost hit by a truck that was trying to get past a school bus which had stopped at the corner of Bellcarra Place and Bellvista Boulevard. This near miss was largely as a result of the current two-lane configuration which does not allow for buses to safely stop.
Another major concern for the community relates to the traffic congestion on Bellvista Boulevard that occurs during school drop-off and pick-up times at Unity College between 8am and 9am, as well as 2:30pm to 3pm. If the school or the whole Bellvista community needs to be evacuated for any reason, there will be major problems as traffic will not be able to enter or leave Bellvista quickly and safely. Furthermore, the emergency services will not be able to gain access to Bellvista along Bellvista Boulevard as other vehicles will have nowhere to pullover safely.
In response to the conclusion in the Assessment regarding the duplication of Bellvista Boulevard, I would like to make the following additional points:
• The conclusion is based only on quantitative traffic count data and does not consider the road safety, traffic congestion and emergency access concerns discussed above.
• The peak traffic times were determined to be between 8am and 9am, and 4:15pm and 5:15pm. This ignores the afternoon school peak time of 2:30 to 3pm.
• Future traffic growth was based on data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR). This data assumes a growth on Caloundra Road to be 2% due “…a lack of sufficiently up-to-date modelling information available from DTMR” (p. 8). It is also “…noted that this method is a simplistic and conservative approach which does not take account of significant and complex road network changes currently occurring or planned” (p. 8). Therefore, the traffic growth data used in the Assessment appears to be flawed and insufficient on which to base conclusions about the duplication of Bellvista Boulevard.
Therefore, to greatly improve road safety, emergency access and traffic congestion, I strongly urge the ULDA to require Stockland to make Bellvista Boulevard into four lanes as a condition of the approving the development applications for Bellvista 2.
Dr Peter Baxter
Unity College Parents and Friends Association