Monday, February 02, 2015

Update on Riverside Drive roads issues

Lights near the rail bridge
Last week, along with two local residents, I met with an engineer from the City Council's Urban Traffic Control team about the new pedestrian crossing lights on Riverside Drive, following concerns that these are overly bright and dazzling at night.

One query is why the latest two sets of lights (just west of the Tesco roundabout and just east of Barnetts Motor Group) have a "double header" arrangement, whereas the new crossing at the playing fields further west has single lights in both directions.    It was explained that this is because it was considered two sets of lights (one on each side of the actual crossing each direction) is necessary where the road is dual carriageway.

The brightness of the lights themselves is already able to be dimmed at night (modern LED traffic lights have pretty sophisticated functionality - dimming traffic lights at different times of day was not possible years ago) and it was agreed that the extent of this will be checked to see if the dazzling effect can be removed by further slight dimming of the brightness at night.    A further site visit at night involving the contractor Siemens will be arranged to ensure the lights are working at their best for both pedestrians and drivers.

On the Riverside Drive road changes more generally, I have raised a number of concerns in the past and was promised full feedback on all the points raised about resurfacing and road safety.    A road safety audit is nearing completion.  I am in particular keen to see a permanent solution to the issues about the filter lane from the Network Rail depot onto the main road - it is far too long and currently partly coned off.

On the resurfacing-related concerns, Tayside Contracts has now advised :

"Drainage Points:
In our opinion, there is no general issue with drainage on Riverside Drive following last autumn's carriageway works. During a recent site inspection carried out after prolonged rainfall there was no significant standing water noted. The carriageway has been designed to shed water longitudinally and transversely and is profiled to channel it positively to the nearest road kerb outlet and gully. 

The recent works did include alterations to the method of draining the carriageway with the installation of combined kerb drain which is suitable for this location and as already indicated above, no standing water was observed east or west of the entrance to Tesco during heavy rainfall.

Carriageway Debris:
The carriageway was swept on completion of the carriageway works as is standard. Areas of small stones and other road detritus along the whole length of Riverside Drive is usual and not related to the recent works and will be dealt with as part of normal road cleansing operations carried out by Dundee City Council Environment Department.

Surrounding Works:
Including additional resurfacing in nearby locations may result in cost savings due to having the plant on site however these are minor in comparison to the complete cost of a resurfacing sections of or road which are not programmed or budgeted for. In considering condition across the entire city this section has not been identified for resurfacing and therefore wasn’t in the programme of future works under consideration.   It will however be considered for inclusion in future programmes subject to available funding and other priorities."

Residents have also raised the poor road condition to the west of the rail bridge on Riverside Drive and the vehicle noise from the road.  I have had the following feedback from Tayside Contracts with regard to this :

"With regard the condition/resurfacing of other parts of Riverside Drive, we are aware of the condition of Riverside Drive to the west of the rail bridge and consideration is being given to working this into a longer term treatment plan. With regards addressing road noise levels there are other possible materials to be used which can reduce noise, however they do present other issues. 

The only current alternative is a stone mastic asphalt (SMA), we have used these in the past however, they have a significantly reduced service life compared with conventional hot rolled asphalt (HRA) and we have moved away from these for this reason.    This type of material is being developed to improve the service life, although at a significantly increased cost for a minimal benefit.    I can confirm when it comes to the point of implementing the scheme we will consider possible alternatives."