The PortBUG was recently involved in discussions with Charles Sturt Council – along with WestsideBUG and BISA – about proposed changes to the Outer Harbor Greenway path at the junction of Belmore and David Terraces, Woodville Park.
PortBUG has long been a critic of this section of the Greenway pointing out the awkward and (we thought) hazardous location of the pathway entrance/exit close to a ‘high-speed’ corner and the narrow and abrupt transition between road and path.
In the words of CCS engineer Chris Bentick, “the existing shared path link at the intersection (pictured below) is relatively short and directs Port-bound cyclists into the intersection, bringing them into conflict with drivers turning right and left into Belmore Terrace from David Terrace.”
The City of Charles Sturt have now come up with a plan to reduce any hazards involved by:
- extending the pathway & shifting the ramp several metres to the west (making use of an existing car parking bay)
- widening the ramp & improving its design to reduce heights & create more gradual transitions
- improve sight lines & capacity to monitor traffic.
There have obviously been a number of things to consider in managing bike /car interactions at this point. Chris says:
“A design solution has been proposed that involves extending the shared path/bicycle path segment further along Belmore Terrace to increase the separation between the turning areas for cyclists and motor vehicles… Design features of note:
- Design maintains trees adjacent railway corridor.
- Pedestrian access across Belmore Terrace retained.
- ‘Bicycle only’ path northwest of pedestrian ramp crossing Belmore Terrace.
- One parking space lost.
- Relatively high entry angle for bicycles at access to Belmore Terrace for safe entry and exit speeds.
… Once design is finalised, we intend to construct in coordination with works at Belmore Terrace intersections in 2019/20.”
As Cris says: “It really is a matter of striking the balance between safety and convenience. When we create conditions for fast and convenient entry and exit to the path, we also create conditions by which path users are less able and likely to adequately respond should there be conflict with motor vehicles in Belmore Terrace. We regard the ultimate design as maintaining that balance… We will be upgrading the lighting in the area next year, so lighting near the ramps will be significantly improved.”
In our view these are all important benefits for bike users and we congratulate the CCS staff involved for their thoughtful and committed approach to improving the Greenway experience for bicycle users. We believe that there are a many places along the Outer Harbor Greenway that will benefit from this 2nd phase of refinement as its use by the community grows and need for improvement become more obvious.