The City of Stirling has published for community comment, its Scarborough Beach Urban Design Master Plan. Just click on the link to be taken to the documents. In summary the plan as it stands does not appear to in anyway address or consider the needs of commuter cyclists who ride through the Scarborough Beach daily nor does it attempt to create a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists to interact; rather I would suggest it is going to make matters worse, with one possible outcome being a dismount area where the clock tower now exists (this is likely to become a pedestrian zone).
If you ride through this area please consider making a submission before the deadline of September 13, 2010 and have your say on what you consider is ideal cycling infrastructure in the Scarborough Beach area.
My personal submission to the Council made on September 5, 2010 is reproduced below. It will be interesting to see what develops.
Thank you for opportunity to provide a submission on the Scarborough Beach Revised Urban Design Master Plan. My submission is from my perspective as a regular user of this area. My normal bicycle commute is through this area; one that I undertake twice a day four to five days a week as I ride from Churchlands/Fremantle to Joondalup and return. So my comments here are from my perspective as a commuting cyclist whose needs are for a safe and quick cycling environment.
The current situation in the Scarborough area has cyclists of all types interacting with pedestrians from the southern outskirts of the Scarborough Beach precinct until the northern aspects and beyond if cyclists choose to use the â€œshared pathsâ€. This is a notable problem with the high speed decent (north bound) at the southern end of the precinct and of course through the Beach area itself. The current situation puts at risks pedestrians, dogs (often not on leads) and cyclists as the various users so frequently have different focuses and are not often properly aware of each other. I appreciate that the City of Stirlingâ€™s current viewpoint is that cyclists are to blame for this, but as a responsible cyclist I find this view rather short sighted as the nature of the area is not designed to encourage safe interaction and all parties at various times act carelessly.
With these comments in mind, I find the proposed approach does nothing at all to address the needs of commuting cyclists nor the safe interaction of all cyclists and pedestrians; I would go further and suggest that the proposals are designed to create a negative interaction which is very disappointing.
The City has an opportunity to both create a self environment for all users as well as taking a forward thinking approach to this development recognising the changing transport demands and the use of sustainable transport. As it stands this proposed development regretfully does not do this.
There is an opportunity here to extend the existing shared use path which parallels West Coast Drive to the south right through the Scarborough Beach precinct to join the existing the shared path to the north. Ideally this shared path could be extend to bypass the problem area of Trigg Beach as well.
Again this is not the most ideal solution, an ideal solution would be a dedicated separated cycling lane right along the coast but at least the proposed shared path extension would go some way to alleviate the interaction between cyclists and pedestrians as they traverse through the precinct. I therefore strongly encourage the City of Stirling to adopt a pro-active forward thinking approach to this development, one that leads to a safe environment for cyclists and pedestrians (and their pets) and one that promotes and encourages recreation and sustainable transport.