Lights key to traffic hotspots
Slow going: Early morning traffic problems at intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Kooyong and Brighton roads. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

Changes to traffic-light sequences could help alleviate Perth's congestion woes, according to an assessment of some of the city's worst traffic hotspots.

Based on the suggestions of readers, The West Australian has visited several intersections over the past two weeks and found anomalies at some traffic lights that could be affecting car flow.

The suggestions came after new Transport Minister Dean Nalder conceded last month that better sequencing on major arterial roads could be the key to unlocking traffic congestion.

One of the biggest criticisms from readers was that not enough green-light time is being given to the roads with the biggest volume of traffic.

Nicholas Pusenjak, of Wembley, said there were two classic examples of insufficient green-light time - the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Kooyong Road/Brighton Road in Burswood and at Curtin Avenue and Jarrad Street in Cottesloe.

At the Burswood intersection, about 100 seconds of green-light time is allowed for Great Eastern Highway traffic. But the big volumes of traffic have to wait behind a red light for about 60 seconds as vehicles travel from Kooyong and Brighton roads or turn right from Great Eastern Highway.

At Cottesloe, two green-light phases accommodate Jarrad Street traffic but there is only one phase for Curtin Avenue.

Reader Garry Lee said there were several examples in Perth where traffic is stopped at a red light "looking at a vacant intersection and for an excessive period of time".

He said this often happened when turning right into Newcastle Street from Loftus Street in West Perth.

When The West Australian visited the intersection, cars were given 15 seconds to turn right into Newcastle Street. If they missed it, they had to wait nearly two minutes for another green arrow. Another anomaly was identified in the CBD where pedestrians wait for a green walk signal, despite little or no traffic.

Shortly after becoming minister, Mr Nalder said a recent trial of longer and better co-ordinated green lights on a 4km stretch of Canning Highway had slashed travel times from Riseley Street in Applecross to Henley Street in Como by up to six minutes.

Asked if it could be a citywide solution, Mr Nalder said: "If we can replicate that result across the city, I'm keen to do that."

The West Australian

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