Perth Arena and the missing bike path

When the Perth Arena was first mooted the BTA had a meeting with the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) at which they explained the need to remove the ramp leading to West Perth from the Milligan Street railway crossing bridge as part of the Perth Arena construction.  The BTA emphasised  the need to ensure that principle bike route from West Perth, across the railway at Milligan Street and along Roe Street was maintained and the ramp restored when construction was complete.  In particular we pointed out to EPRA that having a principle bike route handling quarter of a million annual cycling movements passing directly in front of the main entrance of the Perth Arena could hardly be classed as good planning. 

EPRA were suitably vague, possibly choosing not to believe the numbers, and talked generally about cycle routes planned along Wellington Street or possibly a tunnel under the railway, neither of which they appeared prepared to accept any responsibility for.

For months the removed ramp lay on the ground beneath the bridge, but has now vanished.  (well I couldn’t see it from the bridge)  So it would seem reasonable to assume that there is no intention of replacing this essential section of the PBN as access for cars to the car park beneath the Arena is considered more important.  Of course the fact that cyclists, and lets not forget the large numbers of pedestrians that also use this route, now have to trapse around the Arena bulk and STILL have to cross the entrance to the Arena car park has been convenently ignored.

Now the bus bridge is finally in operation it is apparent that there is insufficient room between the Arena and the bridge for reinstatement of the cycle route between them, however there appears to be sufficient room between the bus bridge and the railway, even considering it’s planned sinking  realignment. 

A new ramp down from the bridge over the railway (or simply reinstall the old ramp in the new position) and extend the existing path under the bus bridge to meet it, plus a small amount of fencing on the railway side and the problem is solved. Of course there will be the usual drivel about the cost, but compared to the Arena cost, it’s nothing.

The fact that in 2011 we are having to argue for good basic public facilities to be included in this major construction can only be regarded as an indictement of the planning process.

Anyway check it out for yourself.  The BTA will be pressing to have this shorter and safer route reinstated and will need your support.  We’ll keep you posted.

About Peter Bartlett