PortBUG: Port Dock Rail Impacts the OH Greenway!

After many months of meetings between PortBUG, Council & DIT, the proposal for the new Port Dock rail extension & rail station has been released for public information & consultation.

Red line shows the approx. position of the current OHGreenway rail crossing & exit to Lipson Street.

The project will have a major impact on access on walking & cycling in the area. PortBUG has been involved for some months – often in somewhat fraught negotiations – in an attempt to preserve some semblance of convenience, connectivity & amenity for the many cyclists & pedestrians who make daily use of the Outer Harbor Greenway, and in particular the railway crossing adjacent to the Aviation Museum & the current exit onto Lipson St, both of which will be closed!

This removal will create very obvious barriers for those needing direct access to the Port CBD’s shopping & services. The project has made no attempt to survey or acknowledge this impact on Greenway users & local residents. Alternative routes proposed by the project team are generally unsatisfactory & will impose significant inconvenience & an unnecessary burden of risk on pathway users.

There will be particular impacts for residents of Ottoway & Rosewater seeking access the Port CBD. These people will be forced to travel considerable distances to the north or south, either: 

• via Bedford & Baker Streets (to the north), exiting either through the rail-station car park (to Lipson St) or onto extremely busy St Vincent St or… 

• up & over the Red Hill Bridge (to the south) & thence to the southern end of Lipson St. 

These alternative routes impose increased travel distances of 1.7 km or more. The route over the Redhill Bridge also presents more specific safety concerns! It will utilise the existing narrow & steep ramp to the bridge-level footpath, also very narrow & poorly lit & protected from motor traffic. Neither of these paths meet relevant standards for ‘vulnerable users’ – pedestrians, children, cyclists, the aged & those with disabilities – nor are they appropriate for a major active travel route. The proposed ‘bridge route’ will clearly be noncompliant & present many ‘predictive risks’.

The other route to the north takes Greenway users either to an exit onto (or across) St Vincent St or to Lipson St via the new rail station concourse & car park/bus interchange footpaths. Again, for those travelling into the Port CBD, both present extended travel distances, increased inconvenience & certainly increased exposure to a range of ‘predictive’ traffic hazards. 

It’s also worth noting that loss of the rail crossing & Lipson St exit has significant implications for Council’s Rosewater Loop Project, particularly its provision of direct & convenient connection into the Port CBD. Rosewater Loop users approaching via the Giillman reserve pathway & seeking access to the Port Plaza (Aldi, K Mart, Coles etc) will be required to ‘backtrack’ some 400 metres south to proceed over the Red Hill Bridge or proceed via an even longer distance to the north. Given Council & community investment in the Rosewater Loop project, the closures seem quite ill-advised! 

PortBUG regards this outcome as unsatisfactory & unnecessary. The Port Dock design team has made a great deal of ‘improved safety’ for pedestrians & cyclists with the closure of the level crossing. We have argued strongly for retention of the current crossing and the installation of new ‘automatic’ crossing gates. These gates are already widely used in rail station precincts across Adelaide & have proved very effective, particularly in improving safety for wheelchair & mobility device users as well as for children & the elderly. 

We have had several discussions with Council officers, who we believe share our concerns. We have also written to both Deputy Premier Susan Close (Member for Port Adelaide) & the Hon Joe Szakacs (Member for Cheltenham), outlining our arguments & seeking to meet with them (no response as yet). 

We encourage readers to familiarise themselves with the proposal & plans & provide feedback accordingly. 

Pedestrian & Cyclist Fact Sheet

Feedback & Online Survey here

There will also be two ‘drop-in sessions’ where plans can be studied & discussed – details below!

Session 1: Saturday, 15 April 2023, between 10am and 12pm.

Port Adelaide Uniting Church, 

169 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide.

Session 2: Tuesday, 18 April 2023, between 5pm and 7pm.

Port Adelaide Uniting Church, 

169 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide.

You can register for the Project’s mailing list here

The project will also establish a Community Reference Group to ‘capture’ the views of the community. The PortBUG hopes to be part of this process!

Project web page: https://ptpa.com.au/projects/port-dock-railway-line

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