At a time when commuting cycling is growing (with all the usual environmental and health benefits) rarely has there been a better demonstration of the ‘lip service’ that the State Government gives to cycling facilities than the Perth Arena.
To construct this exposition of colorbond steel the main Perth/Fremantle cycling route was diverted around the construction site with the vague promise of later reinstatement. It is now apparent that not only was there never any serious intention to restore the route, but that no funding has been given to construct an alternative. Certainly EPRA, who created the problem by removing a section of the bike path, have effectively washed their hands of the issue as they consider it to be outside the boundaries of their responsibility.
As if to add insult to injury, the building contractors have this week completely closed the Wellington Street section of the path forcing cyclists travelling into the city into the narrowed traffic stream, and cyclists travelling out of the city to use a complex route through the Milligan/Wellington Street lights, then cut across four lanes of traffic to access the cyclepath. No guidance has been provided just a couple of orange clad work people to tell you where you can’t ride.
I would suggest that to close a main cycle route without providing a safe alternative represents failure of ‘duty of care’. In case of a serious accident, which seems inevitable, the injured party will have the choice of sueing the party who authorised the route closure. That could be the MRD, PCC or EPRA.
Of course if they hadn’t removed the original route along the railway in the first place, this would never have been an issue.