New High School: traffic estimates

Evelyn Scott School, Denman Prospect, Molonglo Valley, ACT.

The new school planned for Kenny is currently known as the East Gungahlin High School Kenny (EGHS). It will open in 2023. The Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny (November 2020) shows how the active travel guidelines are applied to a school.

When one is building a high school it is necessary to consider how the students are going to get there. Designing community paths for this purpose requires estimates of pedestrian and cyclist traffic volumes. This article sheds some light on the process.

The two relevant standards applied in this example are Austroads AGRD06A and ACT MIS05. Both are introduced here. On the side, comments regarding “desired lines” are included and make a point how easily paths are laid out poorly.

Desired line and an example of how it is done badly and a way to fix it.. Kenny School DA 50520069
Desired line and an example of how it is done badly and a way to fix it.. Kenny School DA 50520069

Main Community Routes and Local Community Routes are included derived from the Active Travel Route Alignments (ATRA) found in Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (ATIPT).

Main Community Routes and Local Community Routes., ATRA from ATIPT. Kenny School DA 50520069
Main Community Routes and Local Community Routes. ATRA from ATIPT. Kenny School DA 50520069

Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (ATIPT) – A web-based user interface that provides access to spatial mapping of the Active Travel Routes for walking, cycling and equestrian routes (ATRA) as well as access to planning and design policies, guides and other information relevant to the planning and design of active travel infrastructure in the ACT. The tool is available for use by all stakeholders including government agencies, developers and consultants and may be accessed at http://activeinfrastructure.net.au/

Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019)

Active Travel Route Alignments (ATRA) – The spatial alignment datasets of the five Active Travel Route types.

Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019)

Estimating traffic

The first estimates with a with the 1.1% mode share for cycling does not look very promising.

Walking & Cycling Demands

We have made an allowance for active travel trips associated with Kenny, based on the following assumptions:

x The overall mode split for Kenny has been assumed to be similar to the mode share identified for the Gungahlin region in the 2017 Household Travel Survey

x ‘Walking’ trips external to Kenny are principally expected to be limited to trips associated with East Gungahlin High School and the primary school …

x ‘Cycling’ trips external to Kenny will be associated with commuter trips at the same times when the school is generating walking and cycling trips. The number of overall cycling trips has been estimated by proportioning the peak Kenny vehicle trips (which make up 55.5% of total trips) with the 1.1% mode share for cycling. This results in the following cycling volumes:
o 2023 Scenario – 3 cycling trips/hour, and
o 2031 Scenario – 34 cycling trips/hour.

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 22

Just three cycling trips per hour left us a little sceptical considering the school would have 1000 students enrolled.

4.5.3 Existing Walking & Cycling Demands

No data is available that quantifies the existing walking and cycling demands on the paths surrounding the subject site. During the peak period site inspections undertaken for this project, pedestrian and cycling volumes were observed to be low, with no obvious preferred routes. On this basis, for the purposes of analysis we have assumed a flat level of 5 pedestrians / hour and 2 cyclist / hour for each linkage surrounding the school site.

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 27

The future primary school has a catchment that this is limited to the adjacent Kenny development. On this basis, we would expect non-vehicle trips for the primary school to be driven by walking / cycling rather than public transport (based on the close proximity).

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 48-49

TCCS seems to have realised that the 1% estimate was not helpful and therefore set aspirational targets.

The likely demand for walking and cycling trips has been estimated based data for existing mode split for schools across Canberra. For sensitivity testing, an aspirational mode split of 30% walking/cycling and 30% public transport has also been assessed, representing the potential upper limit for walking, and cycling trips. This aspirational mode split was agreed at a consultation meeting with TCCS during the development of the Transport Impact.

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 49
Table 31. EGHS Active Travel Volumes. Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 49.

Given the above trips are generated by school children, for the purpose of this assessment it is assumed that all walking and cycling trips will occur on the off-road facilities rather than on-road.

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 50

Having established the numbers the design begins, and outlined on pages 62-68 of Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020. An analysis of the outcome is discussed here.

6.3 ACTIVE TRAVEL

6.3.1 Adequacy of Existing Active Travel Links

The future volume on each existing path linkage in the vicinity of the subject site has been assessed in the 2023 and 2031 scenarios. Two values are provided for each link being a ‘likely’ volume based on the existing mode split associated with existing schools across Canberra and an ‘upper’ volume based on the aspirational active travel mode share for the school (30% walking and cycling).

Transport Impact Assessment Report for East Gungahlin High School, Kenny November 2020, page 62

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