SUBMISSION – Town of Claremont Bike Plan – December 2010

The Town of Claremont recently published for public comment its, Claremont Bike Plan – December 2010.  The Plan can be downloaded here. My own personal submission is published below. It may help you with ideas if you are considering a submission and of course you are welcome to use it as you deem appropriate.

I thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Claremont Bike Plan – December 2010 (Plan).  I apologise for the brevity of this submission, but the communication issues previously discussed have limited the timeframe in which to prepare this submission.

In respect to the Plan I wish to make the following comments:

1.    Referring to page 13 and the reference to the 2004 Bike Plan.  It was disappointing to read that the Council has taken no steps to address the capital works issues identified in 2004 and I note that the Council is encouraged to consider the previously identified issues for inclusion in the current plan.  Whilst I support the recommendation it does raise serious questions about the point of the development of such plans if the Council is not going to take them seriously.  I do encourage the Council to adopt a forward thinking and positive view of cycling and to be pro-active in the development of high quality infrastructure and I hope the Council does not once again file this plan in the bottom draw.

2.    Referring to page 26 and the discussion of roundabouts.  Roundabouts as the Plan discusses are a dangerous road infrastructure for cyclists. Their use should be discouraged unless the Council can design them to work in a safe manner. I encourage the Council to adopt a policy in respect to roundabouts that:
(a)    Facilitates the safe passage for cyclists, e.g., properly designed exit and re-entry paths off the road (not ones that require interaction with traffic entering or egressing from the roundabout) or properly marked on-road bicycle lanes;
(b)    To actually slow down significantly traffic approaching the roundabout, rather than designing them as chicanes to facilitate the “thrill of speeding through them;”
(c)    Clear and safe narrowing of entry points which allow cyclists and motorists to merge safely;
(d)    Appropriate signage warning motorists of the need to merge safety with cyclists;
(e)    Education not only for cyclists as referred to in the Plan but also for motorists. As per the road fatality statistics it should be noted that motorists kill cyclists, cyclists don’t kill motorists.

3.    Referring to page 27 and the discussion of Stirling Highway. I support the Plan and the recommendation that “any proposals to improve, reconstruct or widen Stirling Highway should include the provision of cycle lanes east of Claremont.”  I encourage the development of properly signed cycle lanes as per the Road Traffic Code 2000 and hence provide a dedicated lane for cyclist use.

4.    Referring to Section 7.0 Framework and Implementation Action Plan. My comments are as follows:
(a)    7.1 Bicycle Network Plan – Development of any shared paths should be made of red-asphalt and not concrete as has been suggested in some instances. Concrete is not an ideal surface for riding on and often discourages cyclists, rendering low-use of the paths.
(b)    7.2 Capital Works.  All suggested capital works are supported and the Council is encouraged to give priority to these works.
(c)    7.3 Remedial Works.  All suggested remedial works are supported and the Council is encouraged to give priority as recommended in the Plan.
(d)    7.4 Plan Designations. This action item is supported.
(e)    7.6 Maintenance Requirements.  This action item is supported and the Council is encouraged to respond to hazard reports in a timely manner, i.e., two working days.
(f)    7.7 Bike Hub. This action item is supported.
(g)    7.8 Cycling Promotion. This action item is supported.

5.    Finally I encourage the Council to review its Plan to ensure it is inline with the National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016 and ensure where appropriate it puts in place action plans to meet the National Cycling Strategy at the local level. Currently the Plan appears to have minimal to no reference or integration with the National Cycling Strategy.

In closing I again thank you for the opportunity to make a submission and I look forward to the Town of Claremont progressing in a positive manner its focus on cycling at all levels.

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