MELVILLE’S first Safe Active Street will kick off in August, eventually linking the Booragoon shopping centre and the Riseley Street Active Centre.
The link is part of the Department of Transport’s Long Term Cycling Network and aims to make streets safer by imposing a 30kmh speed limit and including design elements that have the effect of narrowing the road.
“This is supported by international and local research, with similar initiatives existing around the world,” a spokesperson for the department said.
Melville council CEO Marten Tieleman said the biggest difference was the speed limit.
“Although WA is not used to travelling at 30kmh, the cost in time amounts to a few seconds per kilometre and the reduction in crashes and life-long injuries is very clear,” Mr Tieleman said.
The route passes by Ardross Primary and Applecross Senior High School schools, which mayor George Gear said would help create a “safer, slow speed environment for students to walk and cycle to and from school”.
But a report on the council’s community engagement showed that some residents have had concerns the plan won’t work.
They fear congestion around the schools will increase because nibs in the road make it narrower and don’t allow much room for cars to pass cyclists.
“The school areas are already very congested at drop off and pick up times with high numbers of parents who travel from out of the local intake area to both primary and high school, they will certainly not be cycling,” one noted.
The transport department said three other safe active streets are currently in construction in Nedlands, Bassendean and Stirling while completed streets exist in the Vincent, Bayswater and Belmont.
The total cost of the project is $2.2 million. The project will encompass Links Road, Collier Road south of Millington Street, Millington Street east of Collier Road, and Hope Road south of Millington Street onto Willcock Street, and construction is expected to take a year.
by KRISTEN RICCIARDI