[CAMWEST-discuss] Fwd: [m2] M2 Web content - Alternate Route Issues

John Holstein jonhol2 at netscape.net
Thu May 13 21:29:46 UTC 2010

Fellow CAMWESTies,
                               here is a further piece of information regarding the proposed M2closure from Phil Griffiths. It sets out a precis of the problems that will be encountered by cyclists , as well as a link to the final route maps.

John Holstein 
Member of CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West. 

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey 
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )


The following is content for the web page on the alternate route. Suggestions for additional content or changes welcome.
I have mapped what I understand to be the final route and included a link to the map. I'd appreciate somebody checking that I have shown the final route correctly.
I didn't feel comfortable condemning the route for the various critical problems until the detailed enginering designs are made available. When we do have those final design details to hand I expect it will be worthwhile providing an additional commentary, and another map with markers highlighting the critical issues.
Phil Griffiths
Cycling Diversion Route During M2 Expansion
Impractical – Circuitous – Hilly - Poorly Connected – Slow
Underfinanced – Potentially Unsafe
Transurban and the RTA are obliged to provide an alternate route for cyclists during the 2 years we are excluded from M2. Bike North and CAMWEST have participated in a number of consultation meetings with Transurban and the RTA where we have attempted to provide a cycling perspective which leads  to both a viable alternate route, and identification of the items along the route which should reasonably be addressed to make it a practical and useable option. Transurban has also contracted a transportation consultant with cycling infrastructure design expertise to provide a further source of advice.
The reality all parties have been confronted with is that There Is No Good Alternative to the M2 for cyclists needing to travel along this corridor. The best we could hope for is a route which is rideable and which has adequate provision of cycling infrastructure. This would ensure safety, a well connected route in both directions and a reasonable rate of travel.
The final route has now been established and can be viewed on this Final Route Map. The detailed design proposal will be revealed in the next couple of weeks. The design proposal will show how the route will be modified to transform current conditions to a state the RTA and Transurban deem acceptable for cycling.
Bike North has already given extensive feedback about the work which should be included in the design proposal. We are pessimistic however that infrastructure will be developed to an acceptable standard.
Regardless of the engineering works to be completed, the final route shows cyclists will be severely impacted by the exclusion from the M2.
The final Route:

Is over 26km long – 7km longer than the M2 (36% increase in distance)

as a much steeper travel profile

Has multiple path to road transitions

Requires negotiation of numerous sets of traffic lights

Has several signalised intersections needing 2 or more stages to transition

Requires cyclists to dismount and travel as pedestrians is some areas

Deviates from the M2 corridor by nearly 3 km

Disregards the needs of cyclists travelling to or from destinations north of the M2

Is likely to increase travel time by 50% or more

Imposing these conditions on cyclists for two years is clearly unacceptable. Please act now by writing to the Minister for Transport and Roads, and the Hills M2 upgrade. Review the points on our letter writing page and make Transurban and the NSW government aware of the impact this project will have on you as a cyclist.
Demand the M2 construction be managed to ensure cyclists have at least partial access to the M2 at all times.
I got a little carried away while writing this and also put down the following comments. If not too extreme perhaps this might form part of the page about the inadequacy of the consultation process
Some route changes have been adopted as a result of the consultation process. However the majority of our requests have been met with responses such as:

The design and construction of the alternative cycle route will be undertaken in accordance with the RTA’s Bicycle Guidelines where feasible and reasonable.
Such an option has not been included in the alternative cycle route due to the cost and time constraints.
The preferred route will not include a new crossing, use of road paint/signage ……………….. or cyclist advanced standing boxes. These features tend to form part of a permanent cycle route rather than a temporary detour cycle route.
Your suggestions regarding ………. have been noted but will not be included in the concept or detailed design because it involves a structure that could not be provided within the budget.

The excessive use of these heavily qualified responses and emphasis on adherence to ‘cost constraints’ suggest a lack of commitment to provision of infrastructure necessary to safe and effective bicycle travel.

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