Bike paths hit spending hump

Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby rolandp » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:17 am

From The West:
An investigation has been launched into why money earmarked for cycling projects across the State has not been invested.

The WA Budget papers reveal a $10 million "underspend" for initiatives under the State Government's much-vaunted Bicycle Network Plan.

It mostly involves money set aside for six major metropolitan bike paths.

Of the $9.16 million allocated to the paths, only $1 million has been spent - a shortfall Transport Minister Troy Buswell has blamed on "planning delays".

And only half the $3.5 million allocated to the metropolitan and regional local government grants programs in 2012-13 has been spent.

According to a spokesman for Mr Buswell, this has prompted the Department of Transport to begin "a thorough review" of the program.

Discussions between the department and local authorities would begin soon, he said. It is understood the talks will consider options to make the program more attractive and easier for councils to apply for money.

One stumbling block may have been the requirement for councils to match the funding dollar-for-dollar.

Bicycling WA chief executive Jeremey Murray said the "substantial underspend" was not that surprising given the extensive planning required to build paths and the lack of State Government funding for bike riding in previous years.

"My understanding is that a lot of planning and design work has been carried out but not a lot of tarmac has been put on the ground," he said.

On top of the $20 million provided in 2012-13, the Government has provided $15 million to further develop and improve cycling infrastructure.

The Budget papers said active transport, particularly cycling, needed to be continually promoted as a viable alternative for transport over short distances.
The six paths being funded are from the Narrows Bridge to Mt Henry Bridge along Kwinana Freeway, Cranford Avenue to South Street along Kwinana Freeway, Glendalough to Balcatta on Mitchell Freeway, Burswood to William Street along the Perth-Armadale rail line, Bassendean to Midland along the Perth-Midland rail line, and Shenton Park to Loch Street and Grant Street to the Beehive Montessori School along the Perth-Fremantle rail line.
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by BNA » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:04 am

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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby Aushiker » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:04 am

It is a pity the West Australian journalist didn't talk to you Roland given all the work you have done on this. I wonder how much Mr Murray actually knows about what is going on.

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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby Aushiker » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:18 am

For those not familiar with Roland's work on this topic ... see https://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msid ... a3d1&msa=0 .

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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby Rusty6149 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:28 am

"The six paths being funded are from the Narrows Bridge to Mt Henry Bridge along Kwinana Freeway, Cranford Avenue to South Street along Kwinana Freeway.. "

Interesting that they are avoiding the path between Mt Henry and Cranford. I'd say this is currently the most hazardous part of the bike track, with a narrow path, lots of pedastrian traffic, and the increasingly busy ratrun of Cranford Avenue. Surely the $8.16m left in the budget could provide a pretty luxurious underpass and wide link path onto Mt Henry.

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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby 88mph » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:27 pm

Just finish the Perth-Freo PSP already.
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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby Red Rider » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:17 pm

I was wondering where the $14+m was being spent as I haven't seen much progress around the city. Turns out it wasn't! How hard can it be to make a simple website tracking the work? Just list the projects, estimated completions for each phase (on a timeline). I think this is required because the accountability to the public seems to be seriously lacking. Getting information out of the councils around these works is impossible.

There must be a heap of money floating around ready to build the projects, I really hope it doesn't get diverted elsewhere. This is what should have been/will be spent:
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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby RobertFrith » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:29 pm

From what I've read both here on BNA and elsewhere many of Troy's "planning delays" can be landed squarely on the rounded car-centric shoulders of Main Roads. Their planning demands for cycling infrastructure have stopped many a council's plans dead in the water. Good money after bad has been spent on "compliance" with Main Roads' silly rules.
Sadly some of the money spent on making "interfaces" "safe" is totally wasted as the resulting idiocy of kerbs, corners and the like is so maze-like that cyclists just ignore them.
Motivated councils are better at this stuff than state govt.
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Re: Bike paths hit spending hump

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Rusty6149 wrote:"The six paths being funded are from the Narrows Bridge to Mt Henry Bridge along Kwinana Freeway, Cranford Avenue to South Street along Kwinana Freeway.. "

Interesting that they are avoiding the path between Mt Henry and Cranford. I'd say this is currently the most hazardous part of the bike track, with a narrow path, lots of pedastrian traffic, and the increasingly busy ratrun of Cranford Avenue. Surely the $8.16m left in the budget could provide a pretty luxurious underpass and wide link path onto Mt Henry.

--Rusty

The saving grace is that I seldom experience stupid risky riding there. (I ride it around three hundred times a year.)

I think it need improving though. It's good for goats I suppose.
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