I had a tip off that the long overdue City of Perth Bike Plan was going up to Council in the next couple of weeks, so have been carefully reading minutes of Council meetings for news of it. Unfortuantly this didn’t occur.
It is interesting reading these minutes, and this one caught my eye. Minutes of 16-Jan-2012 – Paper WK20/12 starts on page 48 and titled FIVE YEAR PLAN 2012/13 – 2016/17 – WORKS AND SERVICES (FOOTPATHS).
The paper indicates that footpaths are typically replaced on a 30-year cycle, which is fair enough. However, scroll down to page 51, section on Eastbrook Terrace:
The Eastbrook Terrace road surface and pedestrian access ways were installed in 1996 by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority prior to any buildings in the area
being constructed. As a consequence, the clay bricks utilised throughout this high profile area have been substantially damaged in various locations. Despite
investigation by both the City and various building contractors the style, colour and manufacturer of the pavers is not known. This has resulted in a patchwork of various
colours and styles where building contractors have reinstated after construction with “closest match”.
With all construction in the vicinity now completed it is proposed to replace all paving in the area totalling 3,295 square metres with a suitably colour matched exposed
aggregate 300 mm x 200 mm x 70 mm concrete paver in 2013/14 at an estimated cost of $750,000.
This section would not normally be replaced until 1996 + 30years = 2026, but because it is now a patchwork of various colours and styles, the Council has decided to replace it next year (ie 13 years before it is sceduled to be replaced) at a cost of $750,000. This is not a safety issue, it is cosmetic, and largely is a result of poor hand-over from EPRA to the City.
But it gets worst.
On the same page (ie page 51), there is also a section on Principle Shared Paths.
The City is responsible for 17 kilometres of Principal Shared Paths (PSP). Typically, PSPs are constructed of bitumen on a limestone road base and have an expected
useful life of 20 years.
The condition of these assets is affected by a number of factors including age, tree roots, inundation and the activities of utilities and communication service providers.
Consequently, the City has commenced planning and allocating funds for the progressive upgrade or replacement of PSPs identified as being in poor condition
and requiring either full or partial replacement.
The PSP running parallel to Riverside Drive from Point Fraser west to Victoria Avenue has been identified as requiring replacement in the 2012/13 financial year at
an estimated cost of $250,000. The balance of this PSP from Victoria Avenue to Barrack Square will be replaced in 2013/14.
If you have a look at the City of Perth’s Annual Report, only $286,599 is allocated to ‘Cycleways’, which I have assumed is shared path. Now compared to Eastbrook Terrace footpath ($750,000) which is a cosmetic issue, the shared paths in City of Perth are long overdue to be replaced, but the City has only allocated $286,599 which based on the latest piece of information (Point Fraser west to Victoria Ave) a distance of around 1.7km at a cost of $250,000.
There is something wrong with priorities in this case.
In case you don’t regularly ride the shared paths in the City of Perth, couple of examples below:
The images are 1) – PSP that runs near Parliment House – that is almost a 180deg turn that we have to make 2) – near The Narrows, above image taken prior to the City ‘fixing’ this area but as they have now been out now three times due to additional potholes developing, it is not fixed 3) near The Causeway.
And to make matters worst, these photographs are 2-3 years old. Each item has been reported at least once to the City of Perth and recorded on Australian Cycling Infrastructure Issues website.
Now where can potholes, cracks and poor design on the shared path compare to allocating $750,000 to fix up a cosmetic issue with a footpath. What is the priorities for the City of Perth?