Why has the Centennial Avenue to Frank Channon Walk bike route been chosen?

    In 2011, an online survey was conducted by Willoughby City Council to identify the existing transport behaviour, attitudes towards cycling, preferred cycle facilities and routes including problem locations for cyclists in Willoughby. A school survey was also undertaken to understand the needs and views of schools relating to cycling. The survey was circulated to all schools in Willoughby LGA. More information on the surveys conducted can be found in the 2012 Bike Plan Review (http://edocs.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/DocumentViewer.ashx?dsi=2811107) .

    The route was identified in Council’s Bike Plan as a route requiring upgrade. Council committed to improving the east-west connection between Fullers Road and Ellis Street in the 2012 Bike Plan review. This is an existing route that starts on Fullers Road at the LGA boundary and includes Park Avenue, Reginald Street, Centennial Avenue, Whitton Road, Oliver Road, Albert Avenue, Albert Lane and Ellis Street to Frank Channon Walk. The proposed upgrade will consolidate the route to make it a more cyclist-friendly environment. Whilst some on-road facilities exist, a number of improvements are required, including directional signage and line marking.

    How is this funded?

    This project is funded through our Bicycle Logos and Wayfinding Program. Details can be found in Council’s Operational Plan 2018-19, found at the link http://edocs.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/DocumentViewer.ashx?dsi=5095123

    What is a concept plan?

    A concept plan is a document prepared in the early stages of a project to develop and test an idea and, if supported, to guide detailed planning.  A concept plan may undergo changes before being finalised.

    What information was used to develop the concept plan?

    The draft concept plan was developed in house by Council’s Design Services team following identification as a route requiring upgrade in the Council’s 2012 Bike Plan Review and an initial analysis of existing conditions and options.

    There was initial engagement with the community and key stakeholders including:

    • An online community survey which gathered information on existing transport behaviour, attitudes towards cycling, preferred cycle facilities and routes and problem locations for cyclists in Willoughby;
    • A school survey which captured the mode of travel to school, the schools support for cycling and cycling facilities and where cycling could be improved; and
    • Consultation was undertaken with NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Sydney Buses, Police (Bicycle Unit), Sydney Trains, BUGS (Bike North) and a council officer (responsible for bike route planning) from North Sydney, Lane Cove, Ku-Ring-Gai and Ryde councils.

    The analysis of existing conditions and options included:

    • Desktop road and footpath measurements
    • Related Council and NSW Government plans
    • Policies and technical guidelines
    • Constraints in the study area, and 
    • Site inspections.

    Is this the final revision of the concept plan?

    No. The concept plan on public exhibition is a draft only, and no decision has yet been made by Council.  A decision will be made only once all feedback has been considered.

    What is a shared path?

    A shared path is a path that can be used by people for walking and cycling.  Shared paths are often provided when there is no space for a protected bike path and road conditions are not ideal for riding.  On shared paths, people on bicycles are expected to give way to people walking, ring the bell and slow down. Additional signage and pavement markings can be used to improve shared path safety for all users.

    Is there enough room for pedestrians and people on bikes to use the shared path?

    The draft concept plan specifies a shared path with a 2.5 metre width. This provides enough room for both pedestrians and people on bikes and complies with:

    • The RMS Bicycle Guidelines which indicate that widths of shared paths should be between 2 and 3 metres (which aligns with AUSTROADS Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice  Part 14: Bicycles); and
    • The AUSTROADS Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling which indicates that a local path should be between 2 and 3 metres.

    What is a mixed traffic treatment?

    A mixed traffic treatment uses road markings and signage to help people on bicycles and motorists to share the road.  This is appropriate where traffic volumes are generally low, such as most local streets.  Where volumes are higher, national guidelines recommend separation of bicycles and motor vehicles.

    What is a median strip?

    A median strip is used as a dividing strip, developed to separate vehicles and/or bicycles travelling in opposite directions. The proposed project will provide a median strip in areas where it is required to separate vehicles and bicycles travelling in the opposite direction to delineate between the direction of travel and to increase safety of cyclists and drivers. 

    Why is the green cycling surface not provided along the whole route?

    The green cycling surface is provided at locations where the safety of cyclists is of concern and is effective in highlighting the presence of cyclists at potential traffic conflict locations. The use of green surfacing at locations such as cycle lanes across intersections, cycle lanes on the approach to intersections and storage boxes at signal intersections can provide major benefits for cyclists.

    I haven’t seen many people on bikes on this route – isn’t this a lot of work for only a few?

    The proposed improvements are not just for people already riding bikes – it’s also for those who are interested but concerned about safety.  The survey conducted in 2011 identified the following reasons people would be enticed to cycle:

    ·  70% of people want increased driver awareness of bicycle safety and road sharing;

    ·  55% of people said having more bicycle riders on the road; and

    ·  30% of people would like increased knowledge of bike routes and bike maintenance.

    Council believes the proposed cycle route upgrade supports the above points.

    What about impacts to on-street parking?

    The proposal will have no impact to the currently available on-street parking.

    Will there be changes to bus stops?

    There will be no changes to bus stop locations along the route.

    Does this route connect to other bicycle routes?

    Yes.  This route connects to the existing shared path along Frank Channon Walk which takes you north into Chatswood City Centre and south to Nelson Street, Artarmon. This route also connects to an on-road facility located on Dardanelles Road.

    What else is Council doing to make it better for people to ride bikes?

    Council is also developing plans for other bicycle routes.  As bike routes become more connected and continuous, riding a bicycle will continue to become safer, more convenient and more comfortable.  Council offers a number of events to promote cycling in Willoughby. Regular bicycle maintenance workshops and cycling skills sessions are held for families, beginner, intermediate and commuter cyclists throughout the year. Council also supports Bike Week and Ride to Work Day which take place late in the year.