Toowoomba has suffered from 'cycle experts' in the past, at great cost to tax and ratepayers and with very little concern from our government or council.
Here (above) we see that $220,000.00 of public money was spent on a white line, called a 'bike lane' but in reality little more than a car-parking lane, since parking is allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year.
And (below) we can see a sight that made TMR Minister Rachel Nolan burst into laughter when she was shown a photograph of the scene.
A 'shared path' is normally for pedestrians and bike riders, but here our 'cycle experts' though it would be more jolly if the power poles were invited to share the path too.
After a little reflection as to the 'wiseness' of such a design, all was resolved with some white paint and a strip of red tape around the poles.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Above: View from Ruthven Street looking south across Campbell Street (Spotted Cow pub on lefthand corner).
Note the BAZ sign in the shoulder.
TMR have agreed to redesign this area, moving the turn lane over to the left further and adding a green transition bike lane (1500mm) to the right of the shoulder and straight ahead lane line.
TBUG argues that the transition paint must be continued beyond the Campbell St. junction all the way to the traffic lights at Chalk Drive - Ruthven St.
Above: TRC has created a loading zone and four car spaces immediately past the Spotted Cow.
A large, but narrowing, shoulder is evident between the parking space and the 60 kph left-turn only TMR slip lane onto Chalk Drive.
TBUG believes the loading zone and all four car parking spaces need to go, with the space given to a kerb-side bike lane that feeds into the TMR owned Chalk Drive.
Prior to the redesign, BAZ signs were in place, in the shoulder, in this area.
Ample provision for parking and unloading for the Spotted Cow is available in the back lane, Ann Street.
Above: This is the view from the last of the four car parking spots looking towards the increasingly narrow shoulder.
At the end of the chevron space is the traffic island built for an unmarked pedestrian crossing just out of sight of drivers, around the Chalk Drive corner.
Being a TMR road, the road speed is 60 kph, with an advisory speed of 40 kph.
Above: Looking north along Ruthven St. from the traffic island build out towards the four car parking spots.
Above: TBUG has proposed that this traffic island build out be used as a bike lane taking bike traffic around the corner from Ruthven Street into Chalk Drive.
The island needs to be cut back to provide an 1800mm space between the kerb and the traffic island.
This becomes the protected bike lane, with transition paint from the Ruthven St. entry point, through the cutaway area, and past the island through the current chevron marked area going east.
That will provide a safe passage for cyclers not wishing to use the main traffic lane, the slip lane from Ruthven St. into Chalk Drive.
Cyclers who elect to use the main traffic lane will have to ride mid lane, so TBUG proposed having BAZ signs placed along the left hand lane from the Spotted Cow, all the way around into the left hand lane of Chalk Drive, where the road has the OCR eastern flowing lane joining.
Above: Looking west from Chalk Drive towards Ruthven St.
This area to be expanded to 1800mm, treated with transition paint.
This proposal is no different to a Copenhagen Lane, found all over central Melbourne
It also reflects a similar TMR design to be found at Mt. Coot-tha Toowong.
See: Austroads 'Cycling Infrastructure: Selected Case Studies', 5. Left Turn Slip Lane for Bicycle Users, Figure 5.1: Cyclist Slip Lane: Mt. Coot-tha loop, Toowong, Austroads 2014, p.14: https://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/items/AP-T282-14
Above: At the eastern end looking east of the proposed bike lane around Chalk Drive.
TBUG proposes the green transition paint continues through this chevron zone, runs adjacent to the left hand turn lane seen in the distance and joins the left hand traffic lane of Chalk Drive at the end of that left hand turn lane.
Above: Contrary to the assurances found in a letter to TBUG from the Minister's office, TRC has made no provision for any bike lanes on the new OCR.
TRC has provided a shoulder on each direction, of about 1500mm. This remains a shoulder only.
TRC has mode no provision with BAZ signs on the OCR.
A cycler on the OCR, travelling east from Russell Street and wishing to continue east along Chalk Drive, is given no assistance through road markings to move from the kerb side lane to the straight ahead lane to cross Ruthven St.
Above: The OCR going west from Ruthven St.
The 1500mm shoulder clearly visible.
Above: Looking north up Ruthven St at the OCR - Chalk Drive intersection.
A large space adjacent to the kerb available for a bike lane for the straight ahead cycler.
TBUG proposes the green transition painted lane (continued on from the other side of Campbell St) for the straight ahead rider terminates at this point in a green holding box ahead of the straight ahead lane arrow visible here. It needs also to extend to include the adjacent right hand turn lane, to allow riders entering the OCR to go west the opportunity to get ahead of right turning traffic when moving off from a red-green change.
Above: Another shot of the same area showing the amount of vacant space available for bike infrastructure - had it been included at the initial design phase.
Above: TRC continues to advertise the 'end' of the bike lane.
This is the bike infrastructure TMR have previously insisted never existed along Ruthven St.
Above: Remnant BAZ sign marking the start of the trail of BAZ signs down Ruthven St that culminate in the 'end' sign featured above (see also the first photograph for the same BAZ sign).
Scant, if any, regard has been paid to the TMR policy to be found here:
Cycling Infrastructure Policy (PDF, 161 KB)