The government has lodged its designs for council approval for bicycle parking at the new bus stop park’n’rides in Kingston, but confusingly they are proposing two types of parking rather than establishing a consistent approach.
The government is proposing to build secure bicycle parking at the two bus stop park’n’rides they are creating at Huntingfield, opposite the Fork in the Road, and at Firthside on the corner of Browns and Groningen roads.
This is the first time we are aware of that there will be secure bicycle parking at a bus stop so the government is to be commended for catering to people wanting to ride for transport. They have the opportunity to create an example that can be replicated in other areas of the state at other major bus stops and for potential ferry terminals.
Confusingly though, they are proposing two different styles of bike parking at the two sites rather than utilising the best practice experience from interstate to create a new standard in Tasmania. We would like to see them using a consistent parking product that caters to the widest range of possible bike rider from the beginning.
We also have some concern that they are referring to the Australian Standard AS2890.3 for the hanging rails as we believe that is too tall if we are catering to the widest possible group of riders.
The Firthside site has a cage similar to the Parkiteer cages at railway stations in Victoria that is secure with a mix of easy-to-use Ned Kelly rails for hanging bikes and standing rails for people who can’t lift their bikes.
The Ned Kelly rails are easier to use than rails that require the whole bike to be lifted as they allow riders to prop bikes onto the rear wheel and use their knee to hang the front wheel on a hook, so they don’t need to lift the whole bike off the ground.
Having standing rails is important as more people are getting heavier e-bikes that can’t be lifted and for younger or older people who may not be able to lift a bike, even using the easier Ned Kelly design.
The cage will hold 23 bikes – it’s not clear yet how the access system will work. The design drawings refer to swipe card access but we haven’t heard yet how that system will be administered. It would make sense to have access linked to the Green Card but are aware that current Green Cards may not have that functionality.
The bike cage at Huntingfield is designed to hold 26 bikes but they seem to have chosen a type of bicycle parking stand that requires riders to lift the whole bike up on to hooks for half of the bikes to be stored while the other half would be at ground level. While some fit people with light bikes don’t have a problem lifting their bikes, for older riders or people with injuries or upper body physical restrictions, and those with heavier bikes, this type of parking is impractical.
The exact operation of the bike parking is not clear because the development application does not include a detailed design, but does mention that the parking will accommodate four bikes per stand. We have notified the council of the missing A112 plans for the bicycle parking, so they may be posted the website soon.
It’s likely that people will be riding to the park’n’ride because they don’t feel fit enough or brave enough on congested roads without separation from vehicles to ride into the city. As such, the bicycle parking should be designed to cater to the widest possible group of riders and not just those fit enough to lift their bikes.
The design of the Firthside facility with the mix of standing and Ned Kelly style wall rails that don’t require the whole bike to be lifted should also be implemented at Huntingfield.
The Huntingfield enclosure also has toilets within the same building.
Improvements for access
Under the planning rules the government does not have to consider surrounding infrastructure in its development application, but there are a few critical missing pieces of infrastructure that would make the park’n’rides more useable for people on foot, bicycle or scooter.
The Browns Road site is on the side of Groningen Road that doesn’t have a footpath, so building a raised crossing across the road to the park’n’ride that is lit for early mornings and winter months and slows down turning cars and trucks would provide a more comfortable entry into the site from the main residential areas.
Likewise, at the Huntingfield site the government should be installing a well-lit raised crossing across Huntingfield Avenue for people walking or riding from the north. While the traffic management assessment says there are not enough people to justify a crossing, it’s as much about perception and encouragement of people to walk and ride.
A new path linking the underpass at Algona Road up to the shared path on the edge of the Fork in the Road would also make it easier for people to walk or ride as they could then avoid having to cross the congested Algona Road roundabout.
And for people coming from the south-east residential areas, a short section of footpath needs to be continued along Huntingfield Avenue from its current end near Sirius Drive. There is space in the road reservation to accommodate this and it’s only about 200 metres or so in length.
HAVE YOUR SAY
If you would like to provide your feedback through a “public representation” to the government’s development applications you can do so in writing before Monday 22 March.
Email your representation to email@example.com or drop it in to the council’s offices at 5 Channel Highway, Kingston between 8.30 am and 5 pm.
If you don’t want to make your own representation but would like your comments considered please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org for potential inclusion in the Bicycle Network representation, especially if you pick up issues that have not been mentioned here.