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Friday, March 2, 2012

Squeezing a Jetty Road bottleneck tighter

Construction work in Drysdale's Jetty Road is likely to expose cyclists and pedestrians - including children at the Clifton Springs Primary School - to increased traffic volumes at a dangerous bottleneck.

For almost six months, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in Jetty Road have had to contend with extensive and hazardous road works associated with the creation of new housing estates to the west. Storm water drains have been installed, a major new intersection is being created at Jetty Road's junction with Wyndham Street and a secondary intersection where Jetty Road crosses Griggs Creek.

This enormous construction effort will widen sections of Jetty Road considerably, enabling much more traffic to use it. However, it will leave untouched the narrow stretch of Jetty Road where it crosses Griggs Creek, making a dangerous bottleneck even more hazardous. Once the current road works are completed, this dangerous bottleneck will include on its western side a shared walking/cycling path just 1.5m wide. To its immediate north and south, that path is 2.5m wide. There will be no path at all on the eastern side of the bottleneck, increasing its danger still further.

What is a 'top priority'?
These developments fly in the face of the City of Greater Geelong's Cycle Strategy, which has among its top priorities the creation of cycle lanes along Jetty Road (Priority A: 10). When the DCSCA's Neil McGuinness asked Adam Farrimond (CoGG's Engineering Department) about this apparent contradiction, the reply was that cycle lanes will be created by, 'Improvements to line marking and signage’ and that cyclists who are uneasy at using the 1.5m path in the bottleneck, 'also have the alternative of using the on road path.'

In other words, if you're a cyclist who's worried about negotiating a 1.5m path shared with pedestrians, take your chances by cycling on the narrowest section of Jetty Road!

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