Inverloch’s cyclists, children need more

INVERLOCH has the potential to become an even stronger cycling town but needs the right infrastructure.

Avid rider Lucy Simnett sees the potential for more cycling lanes around town to take advantage of the community’s enthusiasm for cycling.

While there are some bike lanes and paths, she believes existing infrastructure could be better connected.

“There would be obvious routes that parents and children use to get to school so there could be more infrastructure along these routes,” Ms Simnett said.

One intersection in particular Ms Simnett believes needs addressing is the junction of Dixon Street and Sandy Mount Avenue.

It is a popular route for families and children to walk and cycle to Inverloch Primary School.

Ms Simnett is concerned a crest on Sandy Mount Avenue to the south of the intersection impedes visibility, especially as Sandy Mount is a busy thoroughfare and traffic travels at speed there.

Recently, a truck parked on the side of Sandy Mount blocked visibility and with her bike and trailer in tow, Ms Simnett was forced to cross on to the road to see past the truck and check for oncoming traffic.

She said a median strip in the middle of Sandy Mount is too narrow to accommodate her bike and trailer, which hangs on to the road.

“Even when there is not a truck there it’s difficult,” Ms Simnett said.

She believes a ramp leading from the footpath on to Sandy Mount is too steep and can direct unsuspecting children, such as her five year old son Ian, on to the road before they have a moment to think to stop.

Ms Simnett suggested Copenhagen style bike lanes – like those popular in the Danish capital – would be useful for Dixon Street. A concrete divider between the bike lane and the traffic lane would increase safety.

Toorak Road would be another road suitable for such a bike lane, she said.

“It’s an awful road for cyclists and pedestrians because it’s such a well used route,” Ms Simnett said.

“We just need to start planning for all of Inverloch in terms of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and just chip away at those things.”

Council’s manager asset management Jamie Sutherland said council welcomed suggestions for cycling infrastructure in Inverloch to make a submission to council’s aspirational pathway plan, now under development.

He said there are no immediate plans to undertake works at the intersection of Dixon and Sandy Mount.

“However, all footpath requests are evaluated and prioritised using strict criteria which consider safety, site factors, environment, user profile, and funding,” he said.

The current safer pedestrian crossing point and line marking improvements at the intersections were completed in 2016.

“The project included the coloured bike path and pedestrian crossings. The kerb has been extended (that is narrowed trafficable lane) at the pedestrian crossing points to reduce the vehicle speed and make it easier for pedestrians and bicycle riders to cross the road.

“These works complimented the concrete footpath and pedestrian crossing works along Sandy Mount to Bayview Avenue. “The concrete path and crossings have provided path users with a safer footpath with additional width eliminating trip hazards providing an even surface with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant grades.”

Ms Simnett also raised the prospect of establishing ‘walking or cycling school buses’ whereby rostered parents collect children en route to school.

Action needed: Lucy Simnett, with her son Clancy, is urging Bass Coast Shire Council to improve safety at the intersection of Dixon Street and Sandy Mount Avenue, Inverloch.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22462

Posted by on Sep 5 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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