PortAdBUG Blog – Late October Post.

Negotiating Nelson Street's Improved Mid-Road Refuge.

Negotiating Nelson Street’s Improved Mid-Road Refuge.

Improved Nelson Street Loop Pathway Crossing: A few days ago BUG member Dave Case discovered that DPTI have commenced reconstruction of the ‘median refuge’ (mid-road crossing point) on Nelson Street adjacent to the Birkenhead Bridge and the British Hotel.

Readers may recall that back in August the BUG had expressed concern to both DPTI and Port Renewal that, while there are new and enlarged road-side pedestrian ‘standing platforms’ where those crossing can wait for a break in the traffic, the project did not improve the already narrow mid-road or median ‘refuge’ those crossing are frequently forced to wait for traffic to pass.

Original & Inadequate Refuge Design 0 August, 2014.

Original & Inadequate Refuge Design 0 August, 2014.

We pointed out that “this narrow median refuge remains inadequate with limited standing room, no protective rails and no obvious signs alerting drivers to the crossing’s presence. There is barely room for a small family to stand in the refuge and  certainly none to safely accommodate  pushers, bikes or electric mobility vehicles.”

Subsequently in September we were able to report that DPTI would rebuild the crossing to provide safer provision for those wanting to cross over this often busy section of the Harbour Loop Pathway (see plan below).

DPTI's proposed improvements to the Nelson Street crossing.

The blue outline represents DPTI’s proposed improvements to Nelson Street crossing.

Although still not finished, new kerbing around the mid-road refuge is in place. It appears to closely follow the plan posted in September with a much wider and deeper ‘standing’ space provided. The new refuge appears to be over 2 metres long and is certainly now wide enough to accommodate a bicycle safely. We are hoping that there will also be adequate safety rails and perhaps some warning signs as well.

This will be a great addition and improvement to the Loop Path, especially with Summer approaching with it’s many additional visitors to The Port. The Loop Pathway is already frequently enjoyed by people of all ages throughout the day. We note in particular it’s use by adults accompanying young children, encouraging safe and confident bicycle use. The pathway provides an excellent opportunity for this with it’s width and separation from traffic, its view overlooking the scenic harbour and – as always – the prospect of seeing the Port River’s resident dolphins.

The BUG understands that the work has been overseen by DPTI’s Namal Weerasooriya. Thanks Namal – we’ll follow the completion of this reconstruction with interest!



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