This is related to the topic on speeds on shared paths, but as there is a possibility that the City West pedestrian crossings will be tackled (sometime .... ), I thought I would make it a separate topic.
MainRoads WA had a camera there on the 24.7.09 and filmed the traffic for a period of about 13 hours, observing a total of 1864 pedestrians and 892 cyclists. I had a look at their data and graphed some of it, and also put up the video of the 28 observed interactions here
19-11-09: I re-rendered and re-uploaded the above video of the interactions to remove the annoying flickering and very poor quality. It is still not a masterpiece (what can you expect from a fixed camera on a high pole), but it is a bit easier to watch ( http://btawa.org.au/campaigns/city-west-psp/ )
I was wondering if widening the path into a small "plaza", perhaps with a center island and removing the pedestrian crossing would solve the problem by both slowing cyclists to a safe speed, giving better visibility to the pedestrians and providing more space for cyclists to move around the pedestrians (rather than making them stop, which is the legal requirement when a pedestrian is on the crossing). Cyclists avoiding pedestrians seems to be what is mainly visible on the (very bad quality) video, and it seems to work, so it might as well become the solution?
Last edited by CycleSnail on Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm interested in this small plaza with an island idea. I think the extra width would help in avoiding some of the conflicts that occur in this area (more room to manoeuvre). It would be very interesting to see how peds/cyclists change their behavior if it were introduced.
How about some traffic lights?
Boom gates ala railway crossings?
Data not found... brain not found more like it
A few thoughts -
At the moment, I think _most_ interactions would work better if the cycles had right of way. The traffic density isn't usually that high, and most pedestrians try and give way anyway, despite the crosswalk (I usually have to wave them across before they'll go). If you put up a big sign saying 'give way to cyclists' you'd resolve most of the issues when there's low traffic density. It's also a lot easier for the pedestrian to give way because they have a much better stopping distance, and longer to react - but they need to know it's expected. The rules state that the pedestrians have right of way on the path though, so I'm not sure you can do this.
In the low density general case, I think a plaza would actually help a fair bit - generally no-one would have to stop, win-win.
The problem here though, is that you occasionally get a big glut of pedestrian traffic when the train unloads. I would suspect that this is only an issue in the mornings between 8 and 9 or thereabouts. In this situation, I don't think the plaza would help, and it may make it worse. The pedestrians would block the whole plaza for the time it took to cross it, but the cyclists wouldn't be under any particular compulsion to stop, so it could result in pretty unsafe riding by some....
Perhaps the pedestrians need crossing guards, like they have for schools
Some railway like boom gates that only operated during peak hour, that were timed to train arrivals would work well coupled with the bikes normally having right of way. I suspect that's expensive though.
This is my first ever post, although I do read the forums daily - so I must be pretty interested in this thread.
The City West section of the PSP is the most dangerous section of PSP that I have encountered in Perth. I ride it every morning and never cease to be amazed by the actions of both cyclists and pedestrians. The physical design of the path adds to the danger as it is quite narrow, has bends, crosswalks, steel posts in the ground very close to the path, limestone retaining rocks close to the path and it built on a hill. Add the train station and many pedestrians using it when a train unloads and I don't think a more dangerous situation could be imagined (except perhaps adding powered vehicles!).
I have thought about the design almost every day and don't profess to know the answer, however, it seems that the bends and steel posts are unnecessary design features that add to the danger. I shake my head at pedestrians walking three and four abreast with their backs to cyclists (mostly school children). I have even come across groups walking seven abreast completely blocking the whole width of the path. It seems to me that the pedestrians and cyclists need to be separated as much as possible through this stretch. The crosswalks are an added difficulty, as they are not encountered on PSPs very often, so most cyclists ignore them (my observation).
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With the amount of development occuring around this area (ie closure of Horseshoe Bridge, The Link project etc), this section of the PSP will be put under additional pressure to support increase numbers of cyclist forced to use this route to travel west and north from Perth.
Note, Road Traffic Code 2000 indicates:
62. Pedestrian crossings
(1) A driver approaching a pedestrian crossing shall drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing.
Modified penalty: 1 PU
(2) A driver shall give way to a pedestrian who is on a pedestrian crossing.
Points: 3 Modified penalty: 4 PU
Slow down, ring your bell, and if the pedestrian is not on the crossing, you can proceed.
From the stastics on the BTA website, the majority of pedestrian traffic is north - south. Put in an overpass bridge from the station, over this section (the station is already signifcantly higher than the PSP). Problem signficantly reduced and you can then get rid of the pedestrian crossings.
I'm glad that there's some more attention on this section - it's only going to get worse as this stretch picks up both western suburbs commuters and anyone traversing Perth on the main north/south freeway cycleway.
In the short term, terminating the "path" with a Plaza/some sort of shared area is essential to avoid a serious accident. But it won't solve the bigger problem.
In the long term, given the north-south traffic, seperation is going to be necessary. Unless "planning" have a vision to provide a PSP over the rail line (perhaps using part of the existing Freeway south Wellington St exit bridge) to reroute the PSP away from West Perth
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
Interesting comments. There is long term planning that puts a PSP on the northern side of the railway, and this will take some pressure of the current path.
An overpass might be feasible on the eastern side of the train station, but not on the western, that is, apart from the cost. I am a bit weary about barriers or U-rails to slow the cycle traffic, I think this could be quite dangerous. And anecdotally we know the respect some cyclist show to traffic lights.
A plaza type solution is interesting as it would trial the concepts around mixing different modes of traffic. In Europe we are starting to see more roads without kerbs, footpaths or line markings that are SHARED by pedestrians, bicycles, cars and public transport, often without any line markings. This seems to regulate traffic speed according to the volume of traffic, which sounds reasonable.
In addition, in the ideal world I would like to see substantial additional path width to allow separation of pedestrians and cyclists between the train station and harbour town.
This topic has been discussed before ad infinium and nothing has been done yet.
I suggest anything gets done asap rather than leave the path as is.
Someone is going to be whacked on this stretch and some poor pushbiker will have a pedestrian injury or death on his hands.
Travelling east down hill on this stretch I can do 60k no problem (not that I do) but someone may and at speed you cant stop a road bike even with good brakes if a ped suddenly hits the crosing, youve got no time to react.
I generally go east bound towards the city with brakes on all the way to the train station even coasting down can get a speed up of 30K.
Westbound at least you have some vision and are going uphill so not so bad.
Sketch of this option, requires a crossing of the James St exit, but in a 60kph zone. If one then heads west under the southbound ramp from Polly's pipe you can link up with the existing path fairly easily (cleans tar from thumbnail)
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
Or why not use existing non-used infrastructure, for example, Perth Arena Bus Bridge. Cost $11.2M, completed May 2009, still not being used 6 months later. This takes you to James St exit as well.
If or when the Perth Arena Bus Bridge is used, hopefully things like the The Link project or Horseshoe bridge will be completed.
Note above approach won't remove those travelling via Subiaco etc.
Alternatively, there is $16M waiting to be spent on the Parking Levy Rise. Why isn't a case put up to use these funds to improve this section?
When you think of the infrastructure at West Leederville, Subiaco, Leederville, Claisebrook, etc etc it is just amazing how backward the station at City West is! It's just one stop from Perth. Peds crossing the rails here is just embarrassing... There should be an underpass for peds at both ends. The PSP can then flyover this underpass at both ends a la West Leederville. Sure it won't be cheap but it's the only way to drag this station out of the dark ages... and improve everyone's safety!
Actually, good idea!
Someone in the BTA please take note. The eastern end of this station can easly be trafficked into an underpass and this is the worse area of bike/pedestrian conflict (besides the narrow DUP between there and Harbor Town). The western end can be altered to provide access on the platform and underpass but not across the tracks.
We (at the BTA) have been struggling in talks with MainRoadsWA in regards to the CityWest PSP for at least two years, and in that time they put up a couple of signs .... .
Both an overpass or an underpass would require serious funding, and would compete directly with the Hutton Street problem. If I need to make a personal choice, I would fix Hutton Street, because that will encourage more people to replace car trips with bicycle trips. At the City West PSP, the MainRoads video ( http://btawa.org.au/campaigns/city-west-psp/ ) shows that pedestrians stop for cyclists, so that is a lesser problem (until somebody gets injured or killed), and thus gets less money.
Whilst I agree that both proposals are good (and I have put the overpass forward in discussions with MainRoads), we are lucky if we do not get the cheapest "solution" (double rails on both sides of the crossing to force cyclists to slow to walking pace).
But we keep at it ..., to the delight of MainRoads
Agree 100%! City West is occasionally irritating but Hutton Street is a constant problem and easily the worst section of the northern PSP. It should get priority above all else.
Plus another 100%, keep up the harrassment BTA!
Some form of pipe work is occuring in this area for the last week, with this morning the area reduced to one-lane with lolly-pop people stopping pedestrian/cycle traffic one way. Consider avoiding the area in the mornings whilst these workmen are around.
I think these are drainage works. We are hoping that MainRoads will use this opportunity to widen the areas where pedestrians cross the path and look at the connection to Harbor Town, but I doubt that they will move quick enough (we only had discussion with them about it for two years...)
Heard back from City of Perth contractors, the drainage work is scheduled to be completed Weds 17th Feb 2010. Currently traffic on the shared path is going through a temporary small pathway, so take care in the area.
The contractors have also put up a diversion sign on the dedicated cycle path on Thomas Rd. I did ask why this sign was required to be located at this point resulting in all traffic on the cycle path having to go around the diversion sign into road traffic, but they ignored this question.
They also ignored my question relating to would this development increase the size of the shared path, so I'm assuming that this won't occur either.
However, we will get new drains on the shared path. Shame I can't recall there being an issue with drainage on the shared path (and yes I do ride through winter every work day), so very glad the City of Perth has their priorities in this area.
I'm hopeful the below is an old drain, which will be replaced in the next couple of days.
Taken this evening. The width of the gaps shouldn't catch a cyclist tyre, but I personally perfer to see these running not in the direction of the road, just in case.
Less than one week left, and either this should have been replaced and the whole area will be back to its normal, over-used self again.
To take this photograph, I stepped into some washed out concrete, still trying to get it out of my shoes and tyres.
Drain cover has been rotated by 90 degrees. This would suggest that the drain is new and will stay. Glad someone saw that this would be better.
Contractors are running a little bit late, and are hopeful that they will have this area finished over the week-end.
There is a second drain hole located roughly in the middle of the shared path, which has the linage like the photo provided earlier. Hopefully someone will rotate it 90deg as well. Note, I don't believe that a bike tyre would fit in the gaps, but riding over a drain hole would be very slippery in the wet, and by rotating it 90deg will be less slippery in my personal opinion.
My questions relating to if the area will be widened, have still not been answered.
We could solve the whole Mitchell freeway cycleway problem by borrowing an idea from Sydney. The cost would be minimal, requiring some paint, some asphalt and a few signs. It would not suit everyone, of course, but using the breakdown lane as a cyclepath has proved to be safe enough over there. For those who can't see the image, look at the Southwestern Motorway on Google Maps.
I reckon if access to the Mitchell Freeway breakdown lane were limited to peak periods and to travelling in the main direction of travel during those times, it could solve a few problems.
During peak periods, the freeway is usually clogged, so speed differentials would not be a problem (in fact the cyclists would usually be faster).
Stemming from that clogging, drivers would see just how efficient cycling is as they get overtaken by riders. Some may choose to ride, thereby reducing the congestion on the freeway (and hence pressure on planners).
Others may choose to abuse. If they aren't already frustrated by being caught in a peak times snarl throwing a few cyclists into their unhappy environment would be like giving them a free lunch. Or like Steve Irwin using his thumb in all the wrong places to wake up the critter for the cameras. Since understanding of other road users isn't higher on the Perth motoring mindset I'd go more for opening up awareness of cyclists being able to use freeways at certain times by first starting with allowing bikes on the rural sections of our freeways, at all times, as like they started out in VIC in 1985. And publicise it heavily. There are long sections of the Kwinana Freeway between the dangerous-for-cyclists exit ramps that would be suitable and are similar to the Melbourne -Geelong Freeway that was so successful a trial in VIC. Yes, in Sydney they do things different (thankfully) and certain roads are available off-peak to bikes (I've ridden them) but the motoring mindset is different, it'b be declaring war over here.
Exit ramps on the freeways are always going to be our problem. In Melbourne we had to take the exit, stop at the last point before fully on the ramp and check for traffic also on the ramp, do a 90 degree back onto the main drag of the freeway, every time. This would make the bit at City West muchly unworkable, the cycleway better.
Has anybody got details of the accident that apparently happened on the City West PSP last weekend?
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