City West PSP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the new slow point on the City West PSP. One would expect people to keep left. And roads are safest when they are self-explaining. This slow-down is not finished, but it is interesting that quite a few riders took the ” wrong” route.

 

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Details of the Crash at City West on the 26.5.2011

This crash between two cyclists happened at 0745 on a Thursday morning.. The BTA has been highlighting the dangers of this section of the PSP for well over three years, but MainRoadsWA seem to be unable to act to make it safer.

Here is what apparently happened:

Cyclist A was travelling westward along the bike path towards the first bend and pedestrian crossing at the Eastern pedestrian exit from the City West train station, where Dehli Street intersects the bike path. Some distance from the pedestrian crossing he explored the possibility of overtaking pedestrians travelling westward in front of him along the path on the left side. Cyclist A began to move across to the middle / right side of the path to check for bike path traffic coming the other way before overtaking.

 

Cyclist A saw cyclist B coming directly towards him and they impacted before cyclist A had time to veer left. It appears that he point of impact was  cyclist B’s face into the shoulder of cyclist A. The bike of cyclist A appeared mostly undamaged.The bike of cyclist B had a shattered top tube, cracked forks and perhaps further damage.

 

Most people riding bicycles who use this section of path on a regular basis have some perception that the mix of pedestrians, cyclists and the layout and slope of the path can create dangerous situations. In this case it would appear that neither Cyclist A or B had time to veer away from each other.

 

Cyclist B was admitted to hospital as inpatient, with neck injuries and the front top 4 teeth knocked out/in, and bruising.

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City West PSP (Public Shared Path) will sooner or later require some treatment to facilitate safer interaction between cyclists travelling on the PSP and pedestrians crossing it to get to West Perth or walking along the path to get to Harbour Town shopping area.

Cyclists not giving way to pedestrians. Is this an accident waiting to happen?

Cyclists not giving way to pedestrians. Is this an accident waiting to happen?

Possibilities are

  • flashing lights when the train arrives to alert cyclists to the impending appearance of pedestrians on the footpath
  • the removal of the zebra crossing to make pedestrians stop
  • changed surface treatment (i.e. brick paving)
  • structural measures that create a slow point (as is being trialed near Trigg)
  • or some type of a small mixed use plaza.

Currently the relevant authorities have no design or deadline to tackle this.

Anybody who has relevant photos/video of that stretch and is happy for it to go on this page can send it, preferably as an .avi file on a DVD for video, or .jpg for photos.

The following measurements were taken by MainRoads WA on the 24.7.09 (Friday, in fine weather)

City West PSP Observations of Traffic Measurement (24.7.09)

City West PSP Observations of Traffic Measurement (24.7.09)

  • About the same number of cyclists travel East and West every a day (428 vs 429)
  • Similar numbers of pedestrians cross the PSP (North and South). 359 people in the mornings Vs. 411 in the evening

It would be reasonable to expect a similar number of close interactions between pedestrians and cyclists, but in fact there are only 16 close interactions in the morning, 4 during the day and 8 in the evening. But there are 56 pedestrians travelling the PSP in the morning, whilst there are 211 in the evening.

Cyclists are about six times faster than pedestrians which means that in the evening cyclists commuting West from the city encounter and are slowed down by pedestrians, and therefore approach the crossing slower and with pedestrians in mind. It would be interesting to measure the average speed of cyclist in the morning and the evening.

It would appear that the more pedestrians there are, the safer it is for them. This supports the observations that the more cyclists are on the road, the safer the road becomes for cyclists.


The interactions at the pedestrian crossing can be seen here.

We are trying to get some money towards a possible solution:

Perth, 28th July 2010

The Hon.Simon O’Brien, Minister for Transport, 13th Floor Dumas House, 2 Havelock Street, Perth WA 6005

Re: Use of Parking Levy funds on the expanded Principal Shared Path at City West.

Dear Brian,

The City West Principal Shared Path (PSP) is busy. Well over 1200 pedestrians and 800 cyclists use it on an average Winter Day. (See above)

The high level of interaction between commuters on bicycles and train patrons crossing the path has created problems in the sharing of this section of public space. Depending on the viewpoint the problem is either pedestrians being oblivious to cyclists, or cyclists being inconsiderate.

The situation has led to complaints from all users, and the issues arising have been discussed at the Cyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Group (CPAG) hosted by MainRoads WA for over three years. Finally a tentative design by MainRoads to rebuild the two crossing points in a manner that should make the shared space safer for all users is emerging. The rebuilding is at this stage not funded.

However, the hindrance of pedestrians using the busy PSP to walk to and from Harbour Town is  ignored in the current plans. There is sufficient space along this “Freeway of Cycling” for a three metre wide path next to the PSP, reserved for the many people, including tourists, who take the train to City West and then proceed on foot to Harbour Town. The visitors who are not from Australia are unsure if they should keep to the right or the left, and often do neither.

The Principal Shared Path is the most direct route from the train station to Harbour Town. The current design by MainRoads does not address this problem because of a mix of jurisdictions involved, but mainly because there is no obvious source of funds.

I would like to suggest that this project is eminently suited for the use of the Parking Levy Funds. The main beneficiaries would be pedestrians, and positive publicity resulting from the redesigned crossing points together with safe and convenient access of pedestrians to Harbour Town is likely.

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss this further

Heinrich Benz, Bicycle Transportation Alliance

City West Concept Plan 29July2010

I have written to MainRoadsWA on the 3.8.10 with comments on the above design:

–          The piazza should be more pronounced (when I showed the previous design we talked about on the 15th of July, people wondered why we ditched the round shape). The current design is a path with a medium island. The concept of “uncertainty” has been lost.

–          The surface of the green shaded area should be something “just a notch down from cobblestones”. Brick paving was clearly favoured over paint of the type used at the Claisebrook overpass. If brick paving is used, different colours can be used to emphasize the circle area, perhaps even a spiral.

–          The brick paving should extend for about 20 metres on both sides of the round area.

–          Perhaps the rumble strips could be brick paving as well. Paint alone will not give a tactile signal. Cyclist cycle straight into the sun morning and evening, a safe tactile reminder is needed in addition to the visual clues.

–          Signage saying “pedestrian zone” rather than “shared zone”

–          Do not have signage to close to the piazza area, the more arrows and signs are on the path, the more it looks like a path instead of a piazza. Less signs = more uncertainty.

–          Concerns were expressed about the line of sight, especially worries about pedestrians not seeing cyclists. There is a vegetation problem on the upper approach, and pedestrians crossing at Delhi Street have poor sight lines looking west.

–          Concerns about clients of the Disability Commission not being safe. An accident involving a physically or mentally disabled person would be hard to manage.

–          Is there sufficient light when it is dark to recognise the slow down signage? The train stations gets busy before 0700 AM, in winter it is still dark at that time. Perhaps have flush mounted solar rrpm’s at the rumble strips as well.

–          On the downhill approach before the  Campbell Street crossing could there be a radar controlled sign that says “slow down” if a rider approaches at more than 20 km/h (do not show the speed they are doing, that would encourage some people to go faster …)

–          This is an important trial; we need to set it up as well as possible so we can move the same design to other areas where similar conflicts exist.

In summary, make it look and feel like a piazza, not a path with a middle island. (Perhaps – make it look like it is designed by pedestrians or disabled people instead of road engineers?). After listening to all these cyclists, I think the earlier design was closer to what is needed. I was encouraged by the conceptual support after the initial objections had been addressed. We have to be careful not to try to save a few dollars and lose sight of what we are trying to achieve.

We need  a design that is closer to the original piazza idea.

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Promoting everyday cycling