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Detailed design work underway to ensure long-held vision for the Bay Trail is finally delivered

19 March 2018

Kingston Mayor Steve Staikos said Council is as committed as ever to progress the long-awaited project to finish the missing link of Kingston’s Bay Trail.

“I am deeply disappointed that local MP Murray Thompson has raised the issue in parliament in an attempt to derail this long-awaited community project that will give young and inexperienced cyclists a safer off-road option to riding on busy Beach Road.”

In responding to Mr Thompson’s points, Mayor Staikos invites Mr Thompson to review the letter Council received last June from Bicycle Network Victoria that clearly states:

“…No particular safety concerns have been shown to exist, either on Beach Road, or any other Melbourne Road with a similar width traffic lane to those that are being proposed by the City of Kingston.

What council is proposing is a configuration that meets or exceeds the guidelines set down by VicRoads and by the national authority, Ausroads.

Because some riders expressed concerns about the proposed lane widths, Bicycle Network sought an independent opinion from a cycling safety researcher who assesses projects around Australia

The assessment indicated the need for improvements to how car parking was positioned and delineated, buy concluded that the lane configurations have already shown to be acceptable elsewhere on Beach Road, and there was no reason to assume that it would be any different in the proposed location….”

Full text available

I would also recommend that Mr Thompson read the report that was presented to Council on 26 June2017, a precis of the advice follows:

“…Officers have sought expert advice from consulting traffic engineers Traffix Group on the width of the Bay Trail and the proposed Beach Road cross section. Refer to Attachment 5 for a copy of this report…

…The 13.4 metre road cross-section selected for the project has been endorsed by VicRoads where there is kerb-side parking. This road cross-section consists of a 3.7 metre left lane and a 3.0 metre right lane.

The advice from Traffix Group is that 3.7 metres meets the Austroads standards to safely accommodate kerb-side parking and cyclists sharing a lane. Similarly, a 3.0 metre width for the right lane meets the standards for a road at 60 km/h for the volume of traffic and heavy vehicles that use it.

Officers have commissioned Traffix Group to conduct a formal Road Safety Audit on the functional layout plan developed from Council’s resolution of 27 March 2017 (Attachment 6).

This audit notes the proposed path design cross section of 3.0 metres with a 1.0m buffer to the road and 0.5m buffer to vegetation and/or retaining wall for the bay trail, and does not raise any safety concerns with this design.

It notes the proposed road cross section of either 3.7 metres for the kerbside lane where there is traffic and parking and 3.3 metres where there is no parking and raised no road safety concerns with this width; similarly, the 3.0m inner lane is also considered acceptable. The remaining elements of the audit related to detailed design considerations on bus stops and beach and car park access points…”

This information is also publicly available on council’s website. 

Mr Thompson’s claim there is no independent publicly available safety report is wrong.

Council’s response to his request that we put the project on hold is to once again provide him with the facts of the matter and to hope he is thereby reassured.

Mr Thompson has been the member for Sandringham for 26 years, and in that time Bayside Council has completed their section of the Bay Trail under an almost identical alignment. He has not raised any issues with the safety of the Bayside section of the Bay Trail.

“This leads me to the inevitable conclusion that Mr Thompson is playing politics and is being badly advised on his position on the Kingston Bay Trail” Mayor Staikos said.

Detailed design work for the missing link through Kingston of the Altona to Frankston Bay Trail is now underway to provide an off-road shared path for cyclists and pedestrians.

“It’s been talked about for more than 20 years, and this Council is keen to finally see the vision for a Bay Trail that runs from Seaford right through to Port Melbourne finally completed.”

Cr Staikos said the timing of construction for the project may be delayed by a VCAT appeal lodged by Beach Road residents over the planning permit, which was required to remove foreshore vegetation and make changes to car park entrances to accommodate the new path.

“We’ll keep the community informed about when construction may occur, which won’t be known until after the VCAT hearing in mid-2018.”

Cr Staikos said the plan strikes a balance between motorists, road cyclists, path users and the environment while providing plenty of car parking and protecting the most environmentally significant areas of vegetation.

“While I can appreciate that some people are concerned about the changes, let me be clear - the project meets Australian safety standards, was designed to standards approved by last the three State Roads Ministers and has been fully assessed by independent traffic consultants. The concept plans have been signed-off by VicRoads.”

 

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