This has been mentioned a few times on this site but the Mitcham council has released its plan for an urban trail (and trail network) between Mitcham and Belair. It's currently in community consultation stage, please look here (LINK).
A disturbing section of the report:
"Unfortunately a section of the sealed commuter trail concept design exceeds Council’s 15 percent gradient recommendation. The trail gradient in this section is 20.1 percent. This preliminary feasibility study revealed that achieving the 15 percent grade recommendation would require further engineering solutions and substantial amount of earthworks increasing project costs and the trail corridor impact. In the event the sealed commuter trail design is determined as the preferred option, further investigation will be completed to attempt to meet the recommended 15 percent gradient target. A concept plan of the sealed commuter trail alignment is attached (Appendix 3)"
My initial thoughts are the location and idea of a sealed trail commuter trail is great (next to Old Belair Road). Unfortunately the reality is if it can't be executed with a gradient under 10% it's going to be severely under utilised and probably a waste of effort and expense. I actually like the Lynton trail (I'm a little crazy) but it's only serving a fraction of the users it was designed and built for so surely has to be categorized as a failure. But hey, let's build another one.
Even more disturbing is 15% is considered acceptable!
Cycling up Burnell Drive, photographer walking backwards asking us to cycle in a line across the road, I tell you it had better make the front page.
It will, with the caption "Share the road? Cyclists continue do defy laws"
Emails just sent to Martin Hamilton-Smith and Sam Duluk. Name dropped the Messenger newspaper to make it clear that we are big hitters.
I'd like to flag an issue that we'll be raising with candidates for Waite and Davenport at the March 2018 election.
Last week Mitcham Council voted to abandon the idea of a sealed commuter cycling trail from Mitcham to Belair (Randell Park Reserve to Burnell Drive). Principally this was due to the cost.
The options for cyclists wanting to get between Belair/Blackwood and Mitcham/city are battling the cars on Old Belair Road or Belair (Windy Point) Road, or battling the 20% at the Lynton bike trail. I.e. there is no option for most 'ordinary' cyclists.
Old Belair and Belair Roads are state administered, but a decent Council bike/pedestrian trail would to some degree address the government's obligation to make these roads cycle safe. Equally, a decent bike lane on Belair Road would to some degree address the Council's obligations with respect to safe cycle options.
Whatever, commitment from state and local government to safe cycling options and a cooperative approach would make sense.
We've ran a small social media campaign around the Council decision, and did a photo shoot with the Messenger newspaper this morning.
However, given the Council decision we recognise that commitment from the local State member is going to be essential to make progress, and so we will initiate a campaign to coincide with the State election.
Cycling has huge health, economic, amenity and business advantages for the community, as well as addressing the increasing amount of traffic on our roads. I look forward to meeting you at some point and seeing how cyclists' interests can be best represented at the coming election.
Do we look good or what
What is the status of that map: I can see 4 trails: black, green, blue, red, but:
* which, if any, currently exist?
* Which, if any, are or will be sealed?
With Burnell Drive accessible only by the walking-only trail, I agree it's pretty useless as an alternative to Old Belair or Belair Roads.
If access was granted at the bottom of Burnell, the green and red tracks (at the bottom of my image) would almost make a suitable line for the sealed trail based on what I saw when I went on a walk there earlier in the year. It would probably be too destructive to the vegetation though, and maybe require an extra switchback.
There's about 130m of elevation gained between the two points, meaning a 2km trail in there would average 6.5%. Still, probably not quite possible unfortunately. A 10% path (1.3km) would be easier to carve out but probably wouldn't draw people away from Belair road.