Perth, 13th of March 2013
Feedback to the Draft Bicycle Plan
Overall this is a comprehensive and authoritative bicycle plan that addresses a way forward for the Town of Bassendean to become a locality with a more people friendly feel.
The plan would be more accessible with an executive summary that expresses the growth potential for cycling in Bassendean, the benefits that would accrue to rate payers and the locality, and the main measures proposed.
The connection of the Principal Shared Path (PSP) to Ashfield is not addressed. The PSP in its current form is of no use to people living in Ashfield. At least there should be planning/lobbying to enable people on foot, gopher cars or bicycles to cross Guildford Road to access the PSP at Coulston and Chapman Roads. The minimum required is a mid-road refuge, but traffic lights would be safer. Considering that 3000 additional dwellings are planned for Ashfield in the medium term, it is important to create a safe environment for people to use active transport to reach local destinations, workplaces and transit hubs such as train stations.
We suggest that the design guidelines are changed to stipulate a maximum 30 km/h speed in environments where people in cars and on bicycles mix. On roundabouts there should be by-pass options for people on bicycles, and all new roadwork should have mountable kerbs to allow people on bicycles to travel closer to the kerb line.
Green paint has been used by MainRoadsWA to highlight conflict zones between vulnerable road users. This should become the standard treatment for crossings where substantial bicycle traffic is planned for.
The maps of the proposed new paths should be enhanced to show schools, trains stations and shops, as connection to these places increases the chance of participating government funding.
The Greenway concept suggested as a trial has been successful in other locations, and there is evidence that property values on Greenways are higher than on similar non-calmed roads in the same locality. The Greenways concept is more than just traffic calming, often it encompasses other “green” measures such as in situ storm water usage to create a road that feels different and invites lower traffic speeds.
The innovative nature of the suggested Greenways opens the possibility that funding for a pilot project could be obtained in part from the State Government beyond the standard grants issued for cycling infrastructure. This prospect is enhanced by the route selection (Whitfield Street) that connects parks, schools and major shopping areas and ends close to a train station. Consideration should be given to raise the street level where the Whitfield street Greenway crosses Bridson and Palmerston streets.
The promotion of Bassendean as a people and cycle friendly locality could be promoted by showing cycling themed material as part of the “Movies by Burswood” initiative.
When riding a bicycle few things are more annoying than a puncture. A caltrop spotting and eradication initiative would remove the most common source of puncture for urban cyclists.
Identified projects (page 37): In our view the projects on page 37 are broadly in the correct sequence, but for financial reasons consideration could be given to have project 4 done after project 5. Projects 8 and 12 are likely to be undertaken by MainRoadsWA in the next three years, and would cease to be of concern to the Town of Bassendean.
Overall we commend the Town of Bassendean for commissioning a Bike Plan, and hope to see its staged implementation starting soon.