Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
North: O'Hea St
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This east-west route will provide a great alternative to Bell St across the City of Moreland. An off-road two-way path has been provided as part of the ehabilitation/reconstruction of the road. It provides a model of how to provide a high quality off-road path within an existing typical local road reservation width of one-chain (20.12m).
SKM report on give way priority
This report gave Council the confidence to allocate priority to riders on the path over motorists on minor side streets.
These photos show the situation before the report with the priority to the turning motorist and after the report with priority allocated to the path users.
The great rail crossing debate
11 February 2009. Attention now moves to solving the bizarre proposal to get riders across the rail line.
The current sketch shows westbound riders dismounting, crossing to the north side of the road, crossing the railway, crossing back to the south side and riding on.
We are on the case with the local riders and hope to have a happy outcome in this case as well.
These local problems are important to solve as we want O'Hea to be a success and provide a template for bike routes in similar urban situations.
The great Give Way sign debate
10 February 2009. The November photo below shows the give way signs were installed on O'Hea facing - from the bike rider's perspective - the wrong direction.
The layout required the rider to look behind their right or left shoulder (right shoulder when travelling west in the direction of the photo) to see if they had to give way to a westbound driver turning left.
In Bicycle Network's opinion and in the view of the Moreland BUG, this put the onus on the wrong road user.
The Council traffic engineers took the view that the rider-give way layout was consistent with their Guidelines.
The Guidelines are unhelpful on this issue for two reasons. The specfic advice for this situation is ambiguous. The Guidelines are also showing their age. They were written in the early nineties and lightly revised in the late nineties. In that time the level of bike riding has risen significantly and there are new and compelling reasons to encourage people to take their transport trips by bike.
Along with the Moreland BUG we pointed out that the long established path on St George's Road (see picture) provided right of way to riders and that this example should be followed on O'Hea.
This debate spilled into the local papers and Council responded by hiring SKM to prepare a report.
This report recommended rider priority citing a number of factors including:
- The raised, coloured path indicates priority.
- That the intent of the path and the Council's policies would be undermined if the riders had to give way every few metres.
- Motor vehicle volumes and speeds are low and there is space for turning vehicles to pause.
The Council considered this report and agreed to alter the street to provide riders with priority at the intersections. This is a good result.
We will attempt to get hold of the SKM report so that other practicioners can benefit from its research and advice.
The O'Hea project continues to roll out
Nov 08 The path is now completed past Coburg North Primary School
New path alignment becomes clear
05 June 08 Construction is progressing on the path along O'Hea St. The structure of the new design is becoming apparent.
The space that was taken up by the two on-road bike lanes has been consolidated on one side of the road in an off road path.
The old street structure can be seen to the right.
Work has commenced
Feb 08 The O'Hea St project has begun. Moreland City Council are currently constructing Stage One, extending from Sussex St to Higinbotham St incorporating path and streetscape works. Stage One is five hundred metres and sadly and ironically includes car parking bays outside the school. Stage Two will follow in 2008/09 (refer map, right). These two stages will upgrade the eastern end. We will work to get the project completed along the whole street and then connected to the Creek paths at either end.
This project creates a separated path by reviewing the entire streetscape and in so doing reallocating space to accomodate all users. From a bike riders point of view we have cashed in our two bike lanes on the road for a two-way path on the nature strip.
The shared path will run along the south side of O'Hea St and have priority at sidestreet crossings.
This project offers a practical solution to local government which can be implemented in suburban environments to further develop the bicycle network in such a way to be more attractive to a wider audience of riders.
O'Hea St, Coburg
Aug 04 Plans are being developed for a trial bike facility on O'Hea St, Coburg. With a planned reconstruction of the roadway, there is an opportunity to develop a high quality 2-way bike path in the road reserve (with a separate footpath running parallel) which would have right-of-way over intersecting roads.
The path will connect to the Moonee Ponds Creek path in the west and the Merri Ck path in the east and will provide a link for 6 schools and the new housing estate at Pentridge.