Illegally parked vehicles put cyclists and pedestrians at risk on shared paths

Perth’s northern principal shared path (PSP) is bad enough as a major commuter route with its poor design and poor infrastructure but when you add in illegally parked vehicles, the  pain of any user of any footpath, shared path or cycle path, things just get worse. You could be a parent with a pram on a footpath or shared path but due to the inconsiderate actions of others  you are forced to leave the safety of the footpath or shared path and walk around the illegally parked car, possibly going on to a busy road.  How safe is that?

Locations of illegally parked vehicles

Locations of noted illegally parked vehicles

 

Some repeat locations of illegally parked vehicles for me on my daily commuting cycle are:

 Sample videos of illegally parked vehicles



Now as the above clips show, a lot of the vehicles where illegally parked and these vehicles have been reporting to various councils.  For this first time, the City of Stirling responded this week indicating that they can not use photograph images provided by the general public, as a Ranger from the City of Stirling has to visually see it.  This came as a shock as I had been submitting this information for at least two years, and though I would normally get the ‘Thanks for contacting …’ general response, no local government had previously responding indicating that they could not use the material until now.

The question is why not?  I can submit photographs and video to the Western Australian Police which will be reviewed and on at least three occasions has resulted in action undertaken, including getting regular reports from the Police Officer dealing with the issue.  As demonstrated above, this doesn’t occur in local government and it took around two years for any local government to acknowledge that they couldn’t use the photographs provided. This begs the question.  Has the long established rules of evidence changed or does the City of Stirling Ranger have it wrong?

Local government has to change their procedures on this matter, as there are too many cases of inconsiderate individuals and organisations using paths as their parking lots.

This is then having an impact on the paths themselves.  For example, take the principle shared path in Osborne Park.  This is right next to the depots of the City of Vincent and  City of Perth with the below video taken back in 2008.

This pit hole was repaired, but took six months to get through the red tape to get it done.  The problem is, we are in 2012, and exactly the same issue exists again, with similar time lines of red tape to go through, reported via NeatStreets Feb 2012 and followed up with Main Roads via e-mail:

Telstra cracked pit-hole

Previously I have reported to Main Roads this issue, indicating that large vehicles, potentially visiting the two depots in the area, have some of the wheels on the shared path.  If this damage has occurred in around four years with large vehicles, then have a look at Lilacdale Road, where similar damage is occurring where cars are being parked.  Have a look at the samples provided, there are several cases of repeat offenders.

Lilacdale Rd, Innaloo

Lilacdale Rd, Innaloo

I particular like a response from City of Perth via NeatStreets for a car parked on the PSP:

The issue has been investigated and it appears this vehicle may have been broken down and the owner has done the right thing by pushing the vehicle off the road and onto the shared path. This intersection is the freeway exit to Hay Street and should not be left blocked, so sometimes we need to be more tolerant.

If the owner was with the car, had the bonnet up, or any other visual signs that the vehicle was broken down and warning other users of the path that this was the case, I would have been tolerant, but this was not the case.  The attitude of the “driver has priority” needs to change, as we need more people walking, cycling or using public transport.

None of this should be a surprise to the City of Stirling, as BTA has previously provided feedback in relation to Stirling Alliance Structure Plan back in 2010, where we indicated:

Section 4.1.2 indicates current dwellings in the area being 1,625, and the total target dwellings being 13,900. When a set of three town houses were built on the corner of Odin Rd and Penelope Place Innaloo (aka Lilacdale Rd), the residents did not have enough parking, resulting in them using the PSP as ‘parking lots’.  What preventive measures will be introduced to ensure that this does not occur in the future, in particular, with the significant increase in dwellings (12,000)?

Two years on and we still experience parking issues at the same location, including residents parking on the PSP or the potential ‘dooring‘ of those using the shared path.

Local government is responsible for managing illegally parked vehicles, and they need to adapt to the use photographs provided by members of the public, otherwise, this type of damage will continue, as well as the ongoing inconvenience of users of footpaths and cycle paths.

About Roland

I returned to cycling around 5 years ago, when I decided to start commuting by bike to work. I'm now cycling around 13,500km's annually, and love it.