In 2012 when preparing the City of Melville Bike Plan, it was identified that 14 crashes involving cyclists had occurred on Macrae Road over a five year period.
The Bike Plan also identified that during peak periods many motorists were using Macrae Road in order to avoid Canning Highway. As a result, recommendations in the City of Melville Bike Plan included:
- Wherever possible, limit the desirability and thus traffic diversion along Macrae Road.
- Carry out detailed assessment of cyclists’ crash types and consider remedial works to specifically address the predominant crashes.
A consultant was appointed by the City to identify some options which would increase road and bike rider safety and reduce traffic congestion on Macrae Road. These options were developed following studies on:
- How people were using the existing bicycle network;
- Traffic flow and;
- The existence of commuter ‘rat runs’ which may have developed over time;
- Giving further consideration to the factors contributing to crashes, particularly the time of day at which they were most likely to occur;
- Safe routes that could be used by school aged children, pedestrians and cyclists to minimise the risk of collision with vehicles.
In October 2014, 6 options were presented on We’re Listening, the City’s previous community consultation website with the opportunity for people to provide comment and vote for their preferred option. 90 people responded to the invitation.
In November 2014, another opportunity to view the options developed by the consultant, ask questions and provide comment was provided at a community workshop. Letters were sent to approximately 750 Applecross residents inviting them to attend. 50 people responded to this invitation.
Based on the comments received via We’re Listening and the workshop, the six options were reduced to two and were reflective of community’s issues, concerns and ideas.
In March 2015, the catchment area for consultation was expanded and on this occasion 900 residents were invited to attend a second community workshop to review and comment on two options or Final Concepts presented for their consideration. 80 people responded to this invitation.
In July 2015 letters were again sent to the expanded list of Applecross residents advising them of Council’s decision to implement trial road closures and inviting them to send their comments and feedback.
By the 15 February 2016 closing date for the consultation:
- 185 individual comments had been received from residents in the Applecross area. 99 people (approximately 54%) supported the trial road closures and requested they become permanent. 86 people (approximately 46%) opposed the road closures and requested further modifications or removal.
- A petition to keep Macrae Road closed signed by 301 people was received having been generated by a member of the public.
- Another petition signed by 551 people was received requesting that alternative strategic options to the road closure were considered.
On 22 February 2016, a request was received by the lead petitioner to make a deputation to Council on the negative consequences of continuing with the Macrae Road traffic diversions and to present alternative solutions. At about the same time, the lead petitioner in support of continuing with the road closure also requested to make a deputation to Council.
At the March 2016 Ordinary Council meeting it was resolved to continue the trial having amended the option, to conduct further traffic studies and to continue with community consultation. A working group was formed with the lead petitioners and interested group which met on three occasions between July and September 2016 before reaching agreement on what should be done to prevent road accidents involving cyclists and other vehicles. In essence it was agreed that Macrae Road should be closed at the intersection with Gairloch Street on a permanent basis.
Whilst community participation was the key to resolving what should be done, Council is still responsible for decision-making on these matters, so a report on the outcomes of the consultations and the recommendation is being presented at the November 2016 Ordinary Meeting of Council
This stakeholder engagement process was of a high standard. The community were fully informed of factors contributing to the problem of crashes involving cyclists and other vehicles and were assisted in understanding the engineering solutions or options, available. Every opportunity was provided to explore community issues and concerns, even when it seemed that the community was hopelessly divided on how to proceed.
The City would like to thank the many residents and members of the working group for their valued contribution and interest in road safety.
For further information please contact the City via 1300 635845, 9364 0666 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org