Fremantles Dangerous Bike Paths

I think we all know Fremantle Council is quite into bikes, I don’t think that is really news for anyone now days.

I go regularly to council meeting, it’s a common point of topic.

ITS had a real feature of Bikes

The 2029 promo for Freos future seemed quite bikieee.

Whole projects are into planning, car parking who cares, DO YOU HAVE BIKE RACKS?

The plans for dedicated bike lanes, cancelling carpark bays for bike racks yes the saga rolls on and on.

What really amazes me is when u look at the state of paths, curbs, bike/pedestrian, ramps off the road onto the Curb, you have to ask how serious are they?

Around the weekend I was driving in my car (its ok I had on my Cilice), on the way to Leighton beach, down Canning Hwy to go right at Queen Victoria St onto the old bridge. Waiting at the lights were 2 cyclists in front of me. The lights went green off the couple went turning right onto the old bridge, I held way back as I could see north bound cars coming up from Freo onto the Bridge, the 1st cyclist cut across both lanes and headed for what I thought was a ramp, the 2nd right behind her, instead of rolling up onto the foot path, she hit the curb and bounced back onto the road causing the 2nd cyclist to also fail to mounted the curb. The car coming up from Freo came round the corner straight at the 2 cyclists, both staggering around trying to get their bikes of the road, had I not stopped, the car entering the road could have had nowhere to go, so he swung out into my lane seeing me stopped in the intersection.

The cyclists looked fine and headed off over the bridge on the shared path, it was seconds away from what could have possibly been a really bad accident?

https://goo.gl/maps/kuysg

It may be better/safer to have a another clearly marked ramp going onto the NW island allowing the cyclist to deal with cars from only one direction at a time?

https://goo.gl/maps/gqixf

Que Vict bike ramp bridge west

Bad Ramp Queen Victoria St st bridge entrance SW side

The whole incident would have been avoided by a simple concrete ramp between road and path.

Thinking she had just missed the ramp I went back tonight to have a look at it, sure enough it’s just a really poor design bit of curb, see pic. The Eastern side has quite a nice ramp very functional. What they were thinking on the West side god only knows?

Que Vict bike ramp bridge east

Good Ramp Queen Victoria St st bridge Exit SE side

Also during the week I popped into the council office to mention to them the large chunk of curb laying in the contro-flow bike lane on Williams St, just 100m from the council building, a bike hitting that in the dark, would just be a face plant into the road.  Had a look tonight same, same? Will they wait for an accident to prompt action, what liability is the city exposed to with such issues?

broken curb bike paddy mall carpark cropped

Broken curb, dangerous for bikes, pedestrian, cars, motorcycles, scooters and shop windows

So perhaps while we have to listen to all the plans of grandeur we could ensure basic maintenance is being done. Do simple things that could stop the cyclists they are trying to encourage to ride from being injured or worse. I know it’s not flashy or photo op printable, no stories in the west but it is really important basic maintenance. Maybe it’s best to start with what’s possible while we are waiting for suspended bikes paths or bridges becoming parks or warp drive?

I really see why Roel gets so pissed off with his constant posts on garbage and maintenance.

So tomorrow I will trundle down to council again to let them know about this one, that ramp at the bridge for an average cyclist is damn dangerous?

 

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4 comments

  1. Bob Law says:

    Leaving aside the question of the suitability of ‘ bike paths ‘ in Fremantle there is another issue in regard to bike riders which I have encountered many times.
    This is the riding of bikes on footpaths, or sidewalks; this is not only illegal for adults to do ( see the Department of Transport ) it is exceedingly dangerous for all concerned, but particularly pedestrians who are unequivocally entitled to walk safely on footpaths or sidewalks ( not ‘ dual use paths ‘ which are dangerous as well and a totally bad idea ).
    My experience is that many bike riders riding on footpaths beside the roads are aggressive, riding fast and often distracted ( I have seen them talking on mobile phones ) and they are a serious accident waiting to happen apart from being very intimidating ( the attitude seems to be ‘ get out of my way ‘ ); where are pedestrians ( the forgotten people in all this ) to go? on the road? and pedestrians include children and dogs for example it is necessary to say.
    Another issue is that the state of the footpaths in many areas of Fremantle is appalling and a serious contributor to any accident whether cyclist or pedestrian or both.
    I wonder that if there was a serious accident what would happen afterwards; I am sure that most if not all riders do not carry insurance; what then?
    Until all this is properly addressed then all the talk of the benefits of cycling is just hot air and self aggrandising by politicians seeking to further an agenda.

    • Mark says:

      Yes Bob i agree with you, as i drove in town last night coming down queen victoria st was a cyclist with phone in hand texting and head phones in both ears, oblivious to whats happening around him.
      As I left after dark out of the 5 cyclists i past only one had lights on their bikes, thought surprisingly 3 where wearing helmets.
      Its time the police started enforcing the traffic rules for all road users and did something about the ridiculous amount of skateboarders riding on the road
      Though the paths i have photo of are dual purpose paths and designed for shared use, both pedestrian and cyclist
      http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/active-transport/AT_CYC_P_cycling_and_the_law.pdf

      • Bob Law says:

        Mark,
        I have put forward a complaint to the police here in Fremantle some time ago after writing to the Police Minister who referred me to them.
        I got a good hearing and the sergeant I spoke to agreed there was a problem and said he would instruct police on patrol to deal with any infringements of the law; this would be primarily in the central city I imagine, less so elsewhere.
        Like everything, the police cannot be everywhere and ‘ in the end of the day ‘ it all boils down to people being civilised and behaving in compliance with the law; unfortunately there is always a minority which does not care.
        I agree totally with you about skateboarders; many of them have the same aggressive attitudes as some cyclists and can be very dangerous to pedestrians, particularly those whose movement is constrained; also some riders of those buggies; in all this is the forgotten pedestrian; and all this bad behavior contributes to the decline of Fremantle as a safe place to be, compared to say a shopping mall like say Garden City where bad behavior is dealt with immediately; they know the value of safety and security! who promoted and initiated a ‘ skate park ‘ on the Esplanade? for example!

        • Mark says:

          Bob i agree the ambience of a shopping centre especially for parents with infants, or young children is so much safer at most shopping centres, hence another reason they are so popular, no bikes riding past, no skaters, no drunks and druggies, no anti-social behaviour.
          I believe a female tourist was knocked down badly in Freo, just recently by a skater on the foot path, bad enough to get police attention?
          Sadly its like most things it will take a tragic accident to get peoples attention to drive change?

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