A small step in the continued development of the Fremantle – Perth Principal Shared Path (PSP) has taken place recently with the completion of the shared path between the North Fremantle train station and Pearse Street – Tydeman Road in North Fremantle.
Whilst it is always good to get more paths for cycling, there are in my view a few of issues with this path. The lesser issue is the North Fremantle connection. For the commuter/fast Principle Shared Path (PSP) rider having to negotiate the North Fremantle train station to get to the path is possibly going to be a bit of hassle and I suspect some will stick to Port Beach Road or Bracks Street (Cheaters Lane). Maybe we need a challenge to see if one can get through the maze without the need to un-clip!
The second and greater issue of concern is that the path drops cyclists on to Pearse Street and then on to Tydeman Road. Cyclists will then have a choice of riding Tydeman Road to continue on to Fremantle via the Old Fremantle Traffic bridge or Stirling Highway or trying to cross Tydeman Road to get to the shared path on the south side. For confident riders comfortable with Tydeman Road this may not be a major issue but for others I suspect it will and may well discourage use of the new path. In my video you can see I get across quite quickly and safely but I was crossing just prior to the time the traffic picks-up. Maybe in off-peak times this crossing may not be as bad as I initially thought.
Brad Pettit, Mayor of Fremantle has acknowledged the issue and indicated that there are plans for a path behind the Swan Hotel and that a bridge over Tydeman Road is part of the current state government’s unfunded PSP plans. In fairness to the City of Fremantle Brad indicates that they are working to get the state government to change its position on the fly-over. Lets hope they are successful but I suspect with the state seat of Fremantle not being a marginal one or nor a safe Liberal seat it might be a big ask under the current government.
The third issue is for northbound riders. The path comes out on to Congdon Road that exits into the North Fremantle train station car park. Northbound riders must leave Congdon Road and enter the North Fremantle train station car park to gain access to the bicycle path over the rail-line. The small problem is that there are two No Entry signs at this point which means that northbound cyclists must disobey the law here to gain access to the PSP across the railway line. Maybe an exemption needs to be put in place at this point for cyclists.
Edit: February 17, 2013. It has been pointed out to me that the regulatory sign in the first photo is for a bicycle lane, not a shared lane. On being told I went and investigated further and it seems that the City of Fremantle has gone over board in getting the signage stuffed up. Based on the signs both Congdon Road and Pearse Roads are “bicycle lanes” (regulation 3 of the Road Traffic Code 2000) and hence there are specific road rules applying. Really the City of Fremantle should be able to get its regulatory signage correct.
This section of path is a result if I recall correctly of a Perth bicycle network local government grant so it is good to the City of Fremantle applying for grants funds and then completing the funded projects. Thanks also to City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt for the heads-up on the path completion.
* This image has been sourced from Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog.