Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group (TBUG) politely disagrees with Main Roads District director, Mr. Murray Peacock, and his appraisal that the upgrade of the southern end of Ruthven Street has been well designed for cyclists, as implied in the story in Saturday's Toowoomba Chronicle (17 October).
Read the story here:
TBUG coordinator, Mr. David Allworth, said “For increased safety, we need to see the provision of ‘hook turn’ markings at Nelson Street, to allow cyclists to safely make right-hand turns across this major multi-lane road.”
“Further, there needs to be transition marking treatments completed near the entrance to Burstow’s, and removal of reflectors from inside the bike-lane, which decreases the useable width from the promised 1500mm,” Mr. Allworth said.
“The cycle lane work to-date on Ruthven Street represents an 'opportunity lost' to create best practice cycling facilities,” Mr Allworth said.
"TBUG happily recognises that there have been some significant improvements around Nelson St, which was a very dangerous area for cycling,” Mr Allworth said.
“We are pleased to see the new traffic lights installed at the Nelson-Ruthven Street intersection and a defined bike-lane, although it needs some significant adjustments.”
But overall, TBUG believes MRD has failed to meet Government policy aims for the provision of bicycle lanes, signage and road markings here in the Toowoomba region.
"We were assured in writing, by MRD, that bicycle lanes were to be installed from James to Perth-Long Streets. All that appeared were sub-standard Bicycle Advisory Zone (BAZ) signs, pushed up into the gutter, instead of the well-defined and legally recognised bike-lanes", Mr. Allworth said.
“The left-turn lane at the Settlers Inn, which has BAZ signs advising cyclists to position themselves in the kerb-side section, is at odds with the road rules which would prohibit cyclists from going straight ahead, down Ruthven Street, into the city, and represents a significant threat to cyclists and a source of annoyance and confusion to motorists”, Mr. Allworth said.
"The bicycle lanes around Ruthven-Alderley Street are down to 900mm, well below the policy standard for the 60kmh speed limit in force in this area.
"The bicycle lanes in Nelson Street are of different widths, with the lane going east from Ruthven Street far too narrow and practically unusable, and there is no 'hook turn' road marking, as was suggested by a MRD cycle advisor,” Mr. Allworth said.
"TBUG believes the 70 kph speed limit from Burstow’s funeral parlour to Nelson Street is too fast for this part of Toowoomba, and will encourage drivers to ignore the red light at Nelson Street as they accelerate towards the traffic lights,” Mr Allworth said.
"TBUG believes this section of road should be marked at 60 kph, until after the Nelson-Ruthven Street junction, if the Department is the least bit serious in its attachment to the well regarded 'Slow down, stupid' anti-speeding campaign", Mr Allworth said.
"TBUG has raised all these issues with MRD, and the Department is well aware that TBUG regards the provision of cycling facilities on this new work as being sub-optimal, and barely in-line with the well written and progressive cycling policies the Department has, and should be capable of applying, without having user groups constantly policing their work", Mr. Allworth said.