Curtin Avenue realignment … hope for the Fremantle PSP?

Tim Anderson Memorial Southern Perspective

A reminder of why good quality safe cycling infrastructure is so critical

The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett in a election promise (the question of course is this a core promise or one that will be conveniently put aside after the election?) has announced that Curtin Avenue, south of the Marine Parade roundabout in Mosman Park will be realigned so that it runs along the railway line towards North Fremantle.

According the press release up to $40 million will be set aside for the realignment of Curtin Avenue. The big question for cyclists is how will this impact on Fremantle – Perth Principle Shared Path (PSP)? The press release states that “cyclists, too, have lobbied government for a safer path along the beach to Fremantle.” This does not sound promising as the draft WA Bicycle Network Plan 2012 – 2021, page 25 suggests that the existing PSP will be re-directed from Curtin Avenue to run along the beach front.

The first stage of the PSP extension will continue through to the Beehive Montessori School. The path will then terminate at this point with a road crossing to join the existing coastal Recreational Shared Path. The current planning for the ultimate upgrade of Curtin Avenue will need to be taken into account during the assessment of alignment options. [my bold]

Whilst this is great for recreational riding, it is not ideal for the commuters heading to the city and return. On one hand the Mr Barnett and the Liberas appear to be addressing the concerns of motorists and beach users by redirecting the through traffic away from the beach front but on the other hand they are failing to see that the same needs applies to cyclists. Mixing high-speed commuter cyclists with pedestrians/beach goers is not smart at all and puts everyone at increased risk of injury or worse; a completely unnecessary increased risk in my view.

Therefore I do hope that the any realignment of Curtin Avenue in this area will see the continued policy of putting in place decent cycling infrastructure on major road reconstructions and we will see a high-standard PSP (path, not a shallow) built alongside the rail line/re-aligned Curtin Avenue which in turns connects to the newly built North Fremantle connector path.

This then leaves the issues of Tydeman Road and the crossing the Swan River into Fremantle, but steps even small steps are most welcome.

Is this too much to ask?

Ken Travers the Labor opposition spokesperson on transport has also been asked to comment on this proposal.  I will update the blog posting with his response once I receive it. Ken Travers has replied on January 29, 2013 that he is seeking more specific details before responding.

Update February 5, 2013: The Fremantle Gazette has an article on the proposed realignment. The question is have the Greens WA deserted cyclist over this planned realignment? Attempts to get a comment from the Greens candidate for Fremantle and vice-president of the Leighton Action Group, Andrew Sullivan have been ignored.

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