A new bicycle path in Perth’s northern suburbs that separates cyclists from cars in some sections and aims to get more residents cycling through major centres has taken out the road safety excellence category at the National Awards for Local Government.
“It’s really exciting for the City to be recognised for road safety at this level,” City of Stirling Mayor, Mark Irwin, said.
“The Moorland bicycle boulevard is part of a strategic approach to transport across the City and is the first major bike route to be developed and implemented under the Integrated Cycling Strategy.
“The objective was to create a bicycle friendly route that connected the City’s main activity centres – the Stirling City Centre and Scarborough Beach precinct.”
The intention is to make local streets friendlier to cycling and increase the attractiveness of bicycles as a transport option as a four-kilometre cycling commuter route to Stirling train station.
The Council’s spokesperson Jon Offer said the boulevard is based around vulnerable road users and arose from Council’s 2009 Integrated Transport Strategy which had a hierarchy of pedestrians first, bike riders second, public transport and cars third.
“It’s about bike riding and I’d draw a distinction between cycling and bike riding,” Mr Offer, Council’s Special Projects and Support Engineer (Urban Design), said.
“We’re trying to promote facilities for those that don’t cycle at the moment, or would like to cycle, or if they do cycle, it’s much shorter distances than their potential, and tend to hog the foot paths.”
The bike route created a shared road environment that services more than 6,000 properties which are accessible from connecting streets.
Council mapped out a series of primary and secondary routes, with the Moorland Street boulevard the first of the primary routes.
“We really feel the opportunities are there to increase cycling road share significantly,” Mr Offer said.
“If we can do that, and the more cyclists we get on the roads, the safer the roads become.”
Council applied the principle of ‘integrate where possible and segregate where necessary’ and gave priority to the safety of bike riders over movement of vehicles.
Following upgrades to infrastructure and intersection priorities, this route has become safer, more direct and convenient by turning local roads into community streets, which has significantly benefited bike riders and pedestrians.
Mayor Irwin said the City is really pleased with how the boulevard has been received by the community.
“We believe a big part of that is down to the consultation undertaken with the local and wider community,” Mayor Irwin explained.
“They were given the opportunity to have a lot of input and provide feedback throughout the development of the strategy and project.”
Mayor Irwin himself has ridden the new route, along with representatives from other local governments and ward councillors.
“We also continue to participate in the WALGA Cycling Reference Group, which seeks to promote best practice among LGAs,” he said.
“The City also plans to present to the WALGA Reference Group, off the back of the NALG award success.”
Image: cyclists along Moorland St. Credit: WALGA RoadWise