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SUBMISSION: City of Subiaco Shenton Park Traffic Management Intervention Plan

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The City of Subiaco has released for comment its Shenton Park Traffic Management Intervention Plan [click here for the associated drawings]. The Plan has a number of specific changes proposed which will impact on cyclists. The majority of the proposals are positive, however, there is one proposal which will if adopted have a signifiant negative impact on cyclists: the proposed removal of the cycle lanes in Aberdare Road. This is the main road used to access Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Further changes are proposed to Aberdare Road including new roundabouts and making it a primary distributor road which will have negative impacts on cyclists.The positive proposals in the plan are:

  • Installation of cycling lanes on Nicholson Road and Onslow Road;
  • Connections made to the existing routes on Stubbs Terrace and Thomas Street;
  • Underpasses for Thomas Street near Onslow Road and Nicholson Road.

Of course these proposals are subject Main Roads WA approval so they may not come about anyway. That said, it is important that we as cyclists engage in our community; we cannot reasonably com pain about the lack of infrastructure or changes to same if we do not engage with our decisions makers so please consider making a submission on the Plan. Submissions are welcome up to 5:00 PM Tuesday October 11, 2011.

Submissions can be made via the City of Subiaco’s online form for submissions, via email to city@subiaco.wa.gov.au or via post. Just address your submission to:

Mr Stephen Tindale
Chief Executive Officer
City of Subiaco
PO Box 270
SUBIACO WA 6904

My submission is reproduced below. You are welcome to make use of it as you see fit. Please just consider informing the Council of your views. They are important!

Mr Stephen Tindale
Chief Executive Officer
City of Subiaco
PO Box 270
SUBIACO WA 6904

Dear Mr Tindale

I thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the Shenton Park Traffic Management Intervention Plan. My comments below are specific to the bicycle infrastructure aspects of the plan as I am making this submission from the perspective of a commuter cyclist who regularly rides through and into the City of Subiaco and in particular Shenton Park.

I support the proposed installation of cycling lanes on Nicholson Road in particular as this would go some way to providing good quality infrastructure to access Subiaco and in particular Rokeby Road and the associated business areas. This support is however conditional on the Council not creating killing zones otherwise known as door zones with the installation of the lanes.

The proposed cycling lanes on Onslow Road area also supported but with the same proviso as there is research (see for example Parker, Gustat and Rice (2011) as published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health in) supporting of the provision of infrastructure to encourage cycling a healthy sustainable transport option.

However I do object strongly to the proposed removal of the cycle lane on Aberdare Road. The cycle lane goes some way (with the exception of the dangerous roundabout at Smyth Road intersection) to providing safe infrastructure to allow a connection to the hospital, Kings Park and UWA and of course the river. The proposed removal of cycling infrastructure goes against the principles and established research demonstrating that if you provide good quality infrastructure, you encourage cycling. The removal of the cycling lanes is a short-sighted proposal in my view.

I also draw your attention to two documents. The first being the Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011 – 2016 and I encourage the Council to seriously consider this strategy and how the proposed removal of the cycle lanes on Aberdare Road conflicts with the strategy. I encourage the Council to reconsider its proposal in light of the strategy and look to put in place infrastructure, which encourages alternative transport, not discourages it. The Council has an opportunity to be smart and progressive here, please don’t throw away that opportunity.

I also note that there is discussion in the plan about installing roundabouts on Aberdare Road. Roundabouts are a high-risk area for cyclists. I remind the Council that bicycles are a vehicle and hence road infrastructure should take them into consideration. Installation of roundabouts without proper consideration of vulnerable road users put those users at risk and it would be very irresponsible of the Council, more so in 2011 where the Council should be more enlightened about good quality road infrastructure. I ask that the Council thinks very carefully about the possible negative outcomes of poorly designed roundabouts and ensure that if you must use them as traffic management devices that at least the Austroad guidelines (Cycling Aspects of Austroad Guide) are taken on board in their design.

Once again I thank you for this opportunity to make a submission and I encourage the Council to adopt a forward thinking, a progressive attitude to transport, an approach which is sustainable and encourages healthy alternative transport options into the future.

Yours faithfully

Bicycle Transportation Alliance has also published their response here. Worth a read for sure.

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