The Riverside Drive shared path for cyclists and pedestrians will be replaced late next month by a temporary shared path around the construction work for the Elizabeth Quay inlet, Planning Minister John Day has been reported as saying.
It is the first time that the State Government has said definitely that a shared path will be built and that cyclists will not have to ride among motor vehicles on the road diversion. Previous announcements and maps were not specific.
“The redirection of Riverside Drive will enable a move away from higher volume, higher speed roads to lower speed, shared-use city centre roads that are safer for cyclists and pedestrians and generally more comfortable for city workers, residents and tourists,” Planning Minister John Day said in a press release.
Motor vehicles will be diverted around the inlet works from today, January 28.
The number of vehicles using Riverside Drive has dropped from 40,000 a day to 31,000. Main Roads calculations anticipate that the number of vehicles will fall to 28,000 a day when the diversion is implemented, the West Australian reported.
East-west city streets such as St Georges Terrace, Wellington Street, Roe Street and Newcastle Street are expected to carry more traffic as drivers try to bypass the city, even though the Northbridge Tunnel is being promoted as a city bypass having been changed to three lanes each way from two.
Cyclists will have a shared path across the planned bridges spanning the inlet with an island in the middle, according to Mr Day, who announced the plans on Friday.
At five metres wide, the bridge will be generous enough for cyclists and pedestrians and would maintain the popular “around the bridges” Swan River exercise circuit, Mr Day said in a press release last Friday.
The project is due to be opened to the public in the middle of 2015.
Read Mr Day’s full media release: