Boule­vard of cy­clist’s dreams

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

RIVER­VALE’S Sur­rey Road will be one of the first streets in Perth to be made into a bi­cy­cle boule­vard.

Planned to be com­pleted in July 2016, a bi­cy­cle boule­vard is a low-speed street where cy­clists have pri­or­ity.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder said the State Gov­ern­ment wanted to pro­vide peo­ple with the in­fras­truc­ture so they could leave the car at home and cy­cle for short trips.

“Bi­cy­cle boule­vards en­cour­age more peo­ple to cy­cle by cre­at­ing slower speed en­vi­ron­ments that con­nect to the wider cy­cling net­work and give bike rid­ers a greater share of the street,” he said.

“About half of all car trips are less than five kilo­me­tres, and many peo­ple drive three kilo­me­tres or less to get to their lo­cal train sta­tion.

“Th­ese trips can be made by bi­cy­cle if the ap­pro­pri­ate in­fras­truc­ture is avail­able.”

Kevin Lof­tus has lived on Sur­rey Road for nearly three decades and said the road had been a cy­cling route for many years due to the un­der­pass at Great East­ern High­way at the end of the street.

“The bike boule­vard seems like a good idea if it slows traf­fic down and makes it safer for kids and cy­clists,” he said.

How­ever, he said, the “devil is in the de­tail”.

“The Depart­ment of Trans­port needs to pro­vide a sub­stan­tial bud­get and con­duct proper com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion to en­sure we get the best pos­si­ble out­come,” he said.

The depart­ment will work with the City of Bel­mont to con­sult with res­i­dents.

Bi­cy­cling Western Aus­tralia (BWA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Jere­mey Mur­ray sup­ported the in­no­va­tive ap­proach. He said bike boule­vards would cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that would make the whole streetscape more peo­ple friendly.

“Not just for bikes but for pedes­tri­ans and the lo­cal com- mu­nity,” he said. “They make the streets more walk­a­ble and more ride­able by cre­at­ing a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages peo­ple to con­nect with their com­mu­nity.

“We would love to see more of th­ese boule­vards in­tro­duced and the three demon­stra­tion projects would help us to bet­ter un­der­stand what will work, and po­ten­tially won’t work, in a lo­cal con­text.

“I am con­fi­dent that once th­ese projects are com­pleted, we will see more lo­cal gov­ern­ments, and their res­i­dents ask­ing for their streets to be con­verted to bike boule­vards.”

The cy­clist un­der­pass at the end of Sur­rey Road.

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