If you travel Prospect Rd by bicycle or car, please be aware of a new hazard introduced by 9-Jan-2018, reported to Prospect Council, and not yet remedied. The footpath has been extended and now obstructs the bicycle lane. There are no warning signs for cyclists, or to alert drivers to the possibility of cyclists veering around the new protuberance. By 17-Jan-2018 a concrete median added, and decreased space for a vehicle to veer around a cyclist. 

  1. On the western side, mid-block between Alexandra St and Albert St, the footpath has been extended into the carriageway, obstructing the bicycle lane. The bicycle lane is about 1.35 m wide at its maximum, and the footpath extension is about 1.88 m.

Some guidelines might have been overlooked:

  • There is no warning signage installed temporarily on, or permanently in, the extended footpath to highlight the cycling obstruction. This hazard was even less noticeable before new foliage planted here.
  • The previously painted white line of a bicycle lane directs cyclists into this obstruction. Yet guidelines suggest removal of old pavement markers that might misdirect road users.
  • The grey kerb extension is not painted with white retroreflective paint.
  • Prior to roadworks commencing, a guideline recommends identification of potential hazards and the development of a procedural statement, while considering all road users.
  • A DPTI guideline discourages adding squeeze points to Major Cycling Routes like Prospect Rd.

If a cyclist does notice the new footpath in time not to crash, then need to swerve around it. I observed vehicles continuing their straight line, without catering for the squeeze point. A cyclist riding through the squeeze point needs to be fearless and rely on vehicles veering around the bicycle. 

  1. By 23-Jan-2018 the western lane was trenched and roughly backfilled, leaving an unacceptable step for cycling. On 25-Jan-2018 I observed motor vehicles bumping over this trench, so consider a lightweight bicycle with two skinny tyres and no suspension. By 27-Jan-2018 the trench was filled and asphalted.
       
  2. On the western side between Alexandra St and Albert St, and the eastern side between Percy St and Farrant St, both new gutters are elevated above the road surface. A sloping strip of new black bitumen connects each gutter to the main road surface. Consequently the useable width of both bicycle lanes has been halved, and cyclists are forced closer to overtaking vehicles.

Thanks to AC member Bicycle Fish for the photos.

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