Perth – urban design framework

Mr Peter Monks

Urban Design Framework Comments

City of Perth, GPO Box C120,

Perth  WA  6839

Dear Mr Monks

Response to City of Perth’s Urban Design Framework

Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) would like to provide a public comment on City of Perth’s Urban Design Framework (UDF).

The UDF document provides some insight into cycling infrastructure in the City of Perth, however, BTA would appreciate the City of Perth providing more details on what cycling (either shared or dedicated) infrastructure is being proposed.  For example, page 47 of the framework provides a diagram of proposed shared paths, of which the only additional shared path being considered is an additional shared path on Barrack St.  In our opinion this is inadequate given the current number of cyclists riding in and around Perth based on today’s numbers, and is certainly inadequate for the UDF’s vision in 2029.

BTA would like to refer you to Public Spaces Public Life Study (PSPLS) (located on this page http://www.perth.wa.gov.au/web/Council/Plans-and-Projects/Current-Plans-and-Studies/ ) which was updated last year by Jan Gehl and his team.  This gives a comprehensive view of potential cycling infrastructure that could be provided in Perth and recommends the City of Perth to adopt or incorporate the recommendations of the PSPLS into the UDF.  For example, the PSPLS recommends dedicated bicycle lanes on William St and Barrack St (running north-south) and St Georges Tce and Wellington St (running east-west), as well as additional other roads having cycling or shared path facilities.

Screen shot of page 47 showing proposed cycling infrastructure.  The only identified new shared path is Barrack St. Screen shot from page 96 from the PSPLS.  Significant differences in the number of dedicated cycling paths proposed in the PSPLS compared to the UDF.

Significant developments are also occurring in Perth including EPRA’s ‘The Link’ and ‘Riverside’ projects which have either started or have significant planning undertaken.  Again referring to the map on page 47, there are no indicated cycling routes through the ‘The Link’ joining up the Northern Principle Shared Path, or to the east where several of the shared paths do not join together.  Why can’t the City of Perth incorporate the planning of these two projects into the UDF and in the event this has occurred, an immediate review of cycling routes is required in EPRA’s two projects as there are no significant improvements, even though the UDF on page 46 indicates ‘Give priority in the following order – pedestrian, cyclists, public transportation, taxis, serve vehicles, and private transportation’.  Again, referring to the PSPLS, the PSPLS has recommended routes through these new projects to allow for more effective and safer routes for cyclists (see page 96 of the recommendations of the PSPLS).  These recommendations have not been incorporated into the UDF.

BTA recognises the attempts by the City of Perth to reduce traffic speed in Perth by the re-introduction of two way road system, but at this time, no additional cycling infrastructure has resulted from this work.  The net impact has been that cyclists are now forced behind buses who are taking up the left lane, with no room to move into the right lane due to congested car movements.  Introduction of dedicated cycling lanes will resolve this issue.

BTA would also be interested in the City of Perth’s idea to sink the freeway near Parliament House, as this would provide additional opportunities for cycling routes, provide easier pedestrian and cyclist access to Parliament House and remove one of the eye-sores in Perth, the freeway.

BTA is also interested in the UDF providing additional bike storage and end of route facilities.  There are several older buildings in Perth which have no or minimal facilities, so a common facility should be provided in Perth and identified in the UDF so that cycling routes can be planned to access the facility.  In addition, new buildings should have significant cycling facilities to cater for the increase in cycling.  Transport’s website http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/cycling/20051.asp shows a 500% increase from 1998 to 2009, so Perth needs to ensure that the facilities are available to support additional increases in cycling by 2029.  An example of what has occurred in Brisbane is Cycle2City http://www.cycle2city.com.au to demonstrate what other capital cities are providing.  Below image taken from Cycle2City website.

The BTA recommends that the City of Perth incorporates the recommendations of the PSPLS into the UDF to allow for more cycling infrastructure in Perth.  In addition, the BTA can also advise how this may be partly funded which includes using the State Government’s Parking Levy which was formed to provide better public transportation and pedestrian/cycling infrastructure in Perth.  The BTA is unaware of any of this grant being used to improve cycling infrastructure in Perth to date.

We welcome a formal discussion with you to discuss these points.

Yours Sincerely

Roland Parrotte

Board Member BTAWA

31 March 2010

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Promoting everyday cycling