Wollongong City Council has defended its treatment of congestion in the northern suburbs, saying traffic should be considered separately from individual developments.
But the council has shown little sign it will take any meaningful action over the cumulative effects of increased housing density.
The council had been criticised after the Wollongong Local Planning Panel said it should review the cumulative effects of development around Thirroul, to see how much more the existing infrastructure could handle.
Soon afterwards council planners dismissed this, saying in a development (DA) assessment that traffic congestion should be considered as a separate issue from DAs, and that an impact of 13 car movements per day from a townhouse development was not significant.
This disappointed Thirroul Village Committee secretary Murray Jones, who said the traffic chaos was putting the area's livability at risk, as well as its value for tourism.
In a statement to the Mercury a council spokeswoman defended WCC's actions on congestion, pointing out that a community meeting had been held in 2018 and the feedback was passed on to the State Government.
"We have, and continue to, listen to our community regarding their concerns about traffic congestion," the statement said.
"We will continue to look for engagement opportunities with the community, such as the traffic study in 2018, and also ways to collaborate with government agencies like the RMS and Transport for NSW."
There had also been another traffic study being considered between Thirroul and Unanderra.
"The study, which also considered changing land use patterns and forward projections for increased density, has been under consideration by the RMS, Transport for NSW and the State Government."
The spokeswoman said council would continue to consider DAs separately, with traffic considered "at a strategic level".
"Traffic issues are captured at a strategic level, within the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan, the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan," she said.
"Traffic and transport analysis is used to inform land use planning controls including what is permitted and future scenarios for transport systems and the local road network.
"If council was to receive an application that may be considered as possible significant generators of traffic, or have a close proximity to classified road, it would be referred to the RMS."
Council said high visitor numbers on weekends contributed to traffic congestion over summer.