Rushall Crescent traffic analysis

The traffic analysis for Rushall Crescent was collated over a one week period and consisted of 6x 1 hour observation sessions, collecting data for Rushall Crescent’s car, bike and pedestrian population.

The infographics are designed to be self-explanatory but overall, the results of the traffic analysis underline one significant detail – that the car population of Rushall Crescent is by and large foreign to its local context. Beyond this, no other major anomalies apply. Simply put, the car population of Rushall Crescent relies on it as a means of travel between Queens Parade and St. Georges Road via Park Street and beyond.

20141001 rushall crescent traffic #1

As expected, the above data clearly highlights the car dominance of the street in proportion to bicycles and pedestrians on all occasions. Rushall Crescent is statistically the cars domain. More or less, there is an even distribution in either direction – red bars pertain to traffic headed toward Queens Parade and grey bars pertain to data headed city bound to Park Street. This means that Rushall Crescent doesn’t particularly service cars from one side any more than it does the other. Furthermore, arrival and departure data emphasises car users’ reliance on Rushall Crescent as a major traffic thoroughfare, as only a small percentage of residential traffic (7% total arrivals or departures) make up the overall traffic statistics.

So what does this mean? Rushall Crescent was initially selected for its asymmetric character, variable cross section and for its generous but underutilised 10.5m nature strip on one side. This nature strip, which represents 42% of the total street makeup, was identified as an opportunity to develop “bad” green space. What the traffic analysis brings to the fore however is that while the nature strip lacks value as green space, it works perfectly well as a nature strip by increasing the distance of pedestrians to the high volume of adjacent car traffic.

20141001 rushall crescent traffic #2

Through extrapolation, this image graphically outlines that the only time when there is no more than a single car occupying Rushall Crescent is during weekday nights. Every other time of the week, at least one car enters before the preceding one departs.

20141001 rushall crescent traffic #3

This final image outlines the average stay for cyclists and pedestrians as well as a detailed cross section of the street. The most telling insight pertains to the nature in which bypassing traffic enters and exits the street. In both directions at every observation time, cars more often than not traverse in packs. This further highlights Rushall Crescent as a transitional linkage street for drivers, who access it in time with nearby traffic lights.

Rushall Crescent is predominantly lined with medium density residential dwellings, aside from the lower density retirement village which conveniently sits behind the large 10.5m nature strip. Besides cars, Rushall Crescent also services bus routes #250 and #251 from the city to La Trobe University and Northland Shopping Centre respectively. It is a major traffic linkage, as its consistent traffic survey results show, rather than a convenient rat run for cars. Whilst asphalt does make up 48% of Rushall Crescent’s street makeup, for these reasons as well as a lack of any true anomalies in traffic analysis, it becomes difficult to justify Rushall Crescent as a suitable street for the Streets Without Cars agenda, despite the initial excitement over its wide streets and nature strip.

Image sources

  1. Traffic mapping, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. Traffic analysis.
  3. Traffic infographic.