City of Albany Celebrates Road Safety Award for Middleton Beach Road Connectivity Project
Posted on: Monday, 25 October 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
Middleton Road and Aberdeen Street in Albany is the main route connecting the residential areas of Middleton Beach and Emu Point, both also major recreational hubs, within the central business district (CBD). The route also importantly connects Albany Primary School and Albany Senior High School with these areas. The route is regularly used by bike riders commuting to both work and school and recreational/tourists cyclists accessing the scenic beaches, coastline and CBD.
Previously, the road design had no dedicated cycle lanes or other features separating the cyclists from vehicles. Added to this were several ‘pinch points’, roundabouts and centre islands that were contributing to inappropriate interactions between cyclists and vehicles.
The need to improve the cycling infrastructure was recognised through community consultation and identified as a key project in the Cycle City of Albany Strategic Plan 2013-19.
The Middleton Beach Road Connectivity Project aimed to improve cycle safety for vulnerable road users by improving the cycling infrastructure, promoting cycling as a legitimate mode of transport, improving the culture surrounding cycling through a ‘share the road’ education campaign and to provide more safer opportunities for more cycle tourism.
The key features of the infrastructure improvements included defined on road cycle lanes, improvements to merge points at roundabouts, replacement of poor road surface, damaged grates and kerning and improvements to the adjacent shared paths.
The infrastructure works were supported by a comprehensive community awareness and education campaign that focused on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The education campaign engaged residents, business owners and the schools through ‘Share the Road’ information, ‘Keys for Life’ campaign for novice drivers and students, cycling activities at Albany Primary School, newspaper stories and cinema adverts.
Since the completion of the project there has been a 16 per cent increase in cyclists travelling east and 35 per cent travelling west. Most notably there have been no reported crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists since the improvements.
The City of Albany is continuing to undertake infrastructure projects to build safer roads and roadsides which better protect all road users, such as undertaking shoulder widening, sealing and the installation of audible edge lines on the Lower Denmark Road. In regional areas, single vehicle road run-offs continue to be the most common cause of road crashes. Road safety treatments such as shoulder widening and audible edge lines have shown to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road crashes.
Pictured above: Pedestrians travelling down Aberdeen Street are now separated from cyclists and cyclists are now separated from cars; The ‘Share the Road’ community education campaign supported infrastructure improvements.
Visit the City of Albany's website for additional information about this infrastructure improvement project.
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