The Minister for Planning, John Day has recently released a media release updating the Stirling Highway Activity Corridor Study. The main aspect of the study is an examination of transport and land use options with the aim of providing better amenities for residents, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users over the next two decades while retaining the existing suburban environment.
This means in summary that as per the study:
- There is no proposal to increase the number of general traffic lanes from the existing two lanes each way;
- The highway design will be modified
- to accommodate the safety of all highway users
- introduction of bus priority lanes;
- introduction of cycle lanes;
- dedicated right turn lanes;
- median strips for pedestrian safety and landscaping
It is unclear as to what the timeframe if for this development but phase one, the preparation of an ultimate highway design is expected to be available for public comment at the end of 2011. I suspect that this will create a fair amount of debate and hence encourage interested cyclists to make submissions supporting the Minister and the study recommendations to ensure we do get those cycle lanes.
It is a very positive step in my view that the Minister and the Study has recognised cycling and the need for cycling infrastructure. We should be making this known to the Minister as support for such cycling infrastructure does seem to be short on the ground in the current Western Australian government, e.g., where is our WA Bike Plan?
For the public record the Minister’s full press release is published below.
Planning Minister John Day today gave an update on the Stirling Highway Activity Corridor Study which will guide future planning and improvement of one of the major Perth-Fremantle routes.
Mr Day said the study included examinations of transport and land use and seeks to plan for the provision of better amenity for residents, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users over the next two decades while retaining the existing suburban environment.
There is no proposal to increase the number of general traffic lanes from the existing two lanes each way.
â€œStirling Highway and its surrounding area is very important for local residents and the many thousands of people who use it each day and the State Government must plan properly for its future use as Perth and its population grows in the next 20 years,â€ he said.
The Minister said the study consisted of two inter-related phases:
- Phase One (Transport): preparation of an ultimate highway design to accommodate the safety of all highway users, introduction of bus priority lanes, cycle lanes, dedicated right turn lanes, median strips for pedestrian safety and landscaping. This needs to be completed before Phase Two can begin
- Phase Two (Urban Design and Land Use): preparation of a form-based code to guide built form and redevelopment opportunities in a properly planned and sustainable manner.
â€œImprovements to Stirling Highway for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport patrons and drivers and provision of a framework to identify the most appropriate redevelopment opportunities for the area is at the heart of this integrated study,â€ Mr Day said.
â€œIn assisting in the creation and continuance of desirable streetscapes, the study will focus on the retention of character, good access, residential choice, and setbacks for Stirling Highway. To achieve this, transport planning of the highway needs to be resolved first.
â€œThe anticipated outcome will provide clarity for landowners, business people, and service providers, and allow for consistent planning guidance across seven local councils over the next 20 years.â€
The Minister said that, as far back as 1955, concerns have been raised over the
Stirling Highway road reserve with calls for certainty to allow for detailed urban design and land-use planning.
â€œAt times, this lack of certainty has significantly impeded redevelopment,â€ he said.
â€œIt is nearly 50 years since the original reservation for Stirling Highway was put in place and current design standards mean that, for most of the roadâ€™s length, this historic reserve can now be reduced.
â€œThere are, however, certain areas along the highway where increases or minor variations to the current reserve are likely to be necessary.
â€œAny proposed amendments to the reservation will be subject to extensive public consultation as part of phase one of the Stirling Highway Activity Corridor Study.â€
Phase One is expected to be available for public comment at the end of 2011.