CAMWEST: Cyclists’ Action Movement West

Saddle Survey of Regional Route 2

Sunday, 10 October 2004

Regional Route 2 runs from Parramatta CBD to Baulkham Hills via Winston Hills.

Comments (all shown here, and shown in left column of original MS Word document) were finalised on 8 December 2004 by Pam Kendrick, Stewart Pendlebury, David Macindoe and Ian Macindoe.

Saddle Survey Comments on Segments

Gibbon Rd south to where Goliath Avenue makes a right hand turn to the east:

This section will be part of the RTA’s cycleway associated with the Parramatta to Rouse Hill Transitway (North West T-way). Two points can be noted at this time:

  1. The RTA concept plan appears to show the cycleway crossing Gibbon Rd at its corner with Old Windsor Rd. To do this it would need to breach the protective wall on the south corner, intended to prevent cyclists from making the crossing at this point (danger of cyclists being hit by southbound drivers on Old Windsor Rd making left turn into Gibbon Rd). Crossing should be made some 20 to 30 metres up Gibbon Rd from the corner. The cycle path provided by Baulkham Hills Council places the crossing at this point.
  2. There are a number of other uncertainties that are raised by the concept plan, particularly with regard to the cycleway on Goliath Ave and the Old Windsor Rd service road. These will need to be discussed in consultation with the planners and designers from Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd who have been awarded the contract for the design, construction and maintenance of the North-West Transitway.

Goliath Ave / Rebecca Pde to Oakes Rd.:

As matters stand at present Regional Route 2 follows the Old Windsor Rd service road, Gideon St and Rebecca Pde to Oakes Rd. This route was a unilateral decision by an earlier Council road traffic officer who felt that it was the only alternative to the problem of the unresolved link between Goliath Ave and Oakes Rd (i.e. pathway on land being donated by Ray Bryant). However, it is not a very good alternative due to

  1. the very steep grade on both Rebecca Pde as one cycles towards Oakes, and the even steeper grade if one is cycling up Oakes Rd to reach Rebecca Pde., and
  2. the dangers to cyclists posed by Oakes Rd traffic.

Once the matter of the pathway link between Goliath Ave and Oakes Rd/Barnetts Rd is resolved a far better alternative is to have Route 2 follow Goliath Ave on its south side to its eastern most end (where it turns north) from where the pathway link, once built, can be accessed. So, Route 2 would leave the North-West T-way cycleway at the point on Goliath where it turns east, and would be an on-road two-lane cycle path (the east-west lane being against the kerbside, while the west-east cycling direction would be on a contra-flow lane) that would end at the access to the off-road pathway linking Goliath Ave with Oakes Rd/Barnetts Rd.

The problem of the linkage between Goliath Ave and Oakes Rd/Barnetts Rd needs to be resolved in favour of the pathway being built. This linkage is crucial to the creation of a viable cycling route at this point on Regional Route 2.

Barnetts Rd.:

For cyclists proceeding north on Oakes Rd and approaching Barnetts Rd (or, in future, using the Goliath Ave — Oakes Rd link) there is no signage to indicate that Route 2 is followed on Barnetts Rd. A sign on the northwest corner of Oakes and Barnetts, visible to cyclists riding uphill on Oakes, should alert cyclists to the fact that riding east on Barnetts Rd will take them in the direction of Parramatta. In addition, a large bicycle logo should be placed on the Barnetts Rd pavement about 15 metres from the corner of Barnetts and Oakes Rds. The logo should be some 2 to 3 metres from the kerb so it is not covered by parked cars. Such large bicycle logos should occur about every 100 metres apart on both sides of Barnetts Rd, plus some upright signage. Such logos and signs serve a dual purpose: they guide cyclists, reassuring them that they are on a cycle route with a specified destination; and they alert motor vehicle drivers that they can expect to see cyclists on this road.

Barnetts Rd should be line marked with a centre line and a shared parking/cycling lane on each side. This would have the effect of slowing traffic speed (a constant problem on Barnetts Rd) as well as providing better protection for cyclists.

Barnetts Rd has no upright signage at all to indicate that it is a bicycle route. Along with large bicycle logos on the road pavement, just inside a line indicating a shared parking/cycling lane, there should be periodic upright signage on either side of the road. How is the naïve cyclist to know whether to keep cycling straight ahead on Barnetts Rd or whether to turn at one of the other roadways that join Barnetts Rd? One way to make this clear is to

  1. place a logo 10 or 15 metres before the joining road and indicate with a ‘straight ahead’ arrow that the route continues straight along Barnetts Rd, and/or
  2. place a logo 10 or 15 metres after the joining road so the cyclist is reassured that he/she is still on the cycling route.

At the eastern end of Barnetts Rd there is nothing to tell the eastbound cyclist whether to turn left or to turn right in order to stay on the cycling route that will take them into Parramatta. Two items are needed:

  1. a large logo some 10 or so metres before Reilleys Rd, with an arrow indicating that the cyclist needs to turn to the left at Reilleys Rd, and
  2. upright signage to indicate the correct direction.

Reilleys Rd.:

Cycling south to north:

The existing road pavement logo (on Reilleys Rd with an arrow indicating the route requires a right turn onto Moxhams Rd) needs to be replaced with a much larger logo that should be two or three metres away from the kerb so it is visible to both cyclists and motorists and not covered by parked vehicles. Again, this illustrates the dual purpose of such logos: to guide the cyclist, and to alert the motorist to the fact that cyclists are on the roads and may be making a right hand turn at this particular point. The latter point is especially important because experienced cyclists will position themselves near the centre of Reilleys Rd in preparation for the right turn into Moxhams Rd (just as other vehicles do). So the road logo should alert motorists to the possibility that cyclists will act like other traffic at this point.

The upright signage at this point can easily be missed by cyclists. The existing sign on the south-east corner is likely to not be noticed by cyclists. Suggest that a sign is needed on the north-east corner of Reilleys and Moxhams Rds.

Cycling north to south:

For cyclists riding towards Baulkham Hills / Rouse Hill the existing logo on Reilleys Rd is inadequate on three counts:

  1. it is too small,
  2. it is too close to the kerb where it can easily be covered by a parked vehicle, and
  3. it is placed too close to the corner of Reilleys Rd and Barnetts Rd.

What is needed is a large logo with an arrow indicating a right turn is coming up. This logo should be placed soon after the cyclist turns onto Reilleys Rd from Moxhams Rd, because the cyclist must then see that the traffic is clear enough to move out into the centre of Reilleys Rd preparatory to making a right turn.

Moxhams Rd:

Cycling west to east:

On the northern side of Moxhams Rd , about 10 to 15 metres from the corner with Reilleys Rd, there should be a large bicycle logo 2 to 3 metres out from the kerb. Another logo several metres down from the junction with Huxley Drive would be appropriate.

For less experienced cyclists there may be a desire to avoid the road approach to the Moxham Rd bridge. Child cyclists (and some other less experienced cyclists) should be encouraged to access a shared walking-and-cycling path on the south side of Moxhams Rd. This would entail widening the existing footpath so that cycling and walking can occur between Reilleys Rd and the Northmead Primary School. At an appropriate point (to be discussed on-site with Council traffic and road staff) there should be a sign indicating ‘cross here’, with a refuge mid-roadway, to assist these cyclists (and pedestrians) to access the shared walking-and-cycling path on the south side of Moxhams Rd.

Most adult cyclists using Regional Route 2 will ‘control the lane’ on Moxhams Rd in the downhill approach to the bridge. That is, the cyclist will be moving at some speed and will be in the centre of the lane along with any motor traffic. This may require motor traffic behind the cyclist to slow down and drive at the same speed as the cyclist. So be it; the road is there to be shared. On the other side of the bridge, however, the cyclist will soon be slowed by the steep grade and will keep well to the left, allowing motor traffic to overtake. This is a more dangerous situation for the cyclist than the downhill run, as cyclists pedalling uphill often tend to wobble and, in the exertion of coping with the grade, may have less control of the bicycle. For this reason it is proposed that an off-road path be provided that would enable the cyclist to exit the roadway a few metres after passing the eastern end of the bridge. The pathway would end at Whitehaven Rd and a sign would be needed warning cyclists to check carefully for left-turning motor vehicles before accessing Moxhams Rd again. On Moxhams Rd, just before Whitehaven Rd there should also be a sign for motorists warning them to ‘watch for cyclists’.

An alternative to the above-described off-road cyclepath is a white line marking on the road pavement to the east of the bridge so that a cycling lane is created between the bridge and Whitehaven Rd. There is some uncertainty about this option among the Working Party members. But there is agreement that this option should be discussed with Council officers on-site. For the cyclist heading east on Moxhams Rd there are two other points at which large bicycle logos would be helpful: mid-way between Whitehaven Rd and the zebra crossing for the public school; and mid-way between the school zebra crossing and the corner with Kleins Rd. This latter logo could have a right turn arrow associated with it. The logo needs to be sufficiently back from the Kleins Rd corner to enable the cyclist to move into the centre of the road preparatory to making a right turn. This logo also alerts motorists to the possibility that any cyclist present may be going to move to the right in preparation for a right turn.

Cycling east to west:

For less experienced cyclists (including children) the footpath on the south side of Moxhams Rd should be widened between Kleins Rd and Reilleys Rd so that it is appropriate for both walking and cycling. The existing signs that say ‘no cycling on the bridge’ should be altered to read ‘no cycling on the footbridge’.

For experienced cyclists who will use the road to ride across the bridge and up the grade heading towards the west, there may be opportunities for the cyclist to leave the road on the west side of the bridge to access the shared waling-and-cycling pathway. But this would be a matter to be discussed on-site.

Road pavement logos should be appropriately placed on the southern side of Moxhams Rd near the junction with Cliff Avenue. About 10 or 15 metres before the junction with Reilleys Rd the logo on the southern side should have a left-turn arrow to indicated that a left turn onto Reilleys Rd will keep the naïve cyclist on Route 2.

At all points in the vicinity of the Northmead Public School there should be signage saying ‘Look for cyclists’. Kleins Rd between Moxhams Rd and Briens Rd: On each side of Kleins Rd large bicycle logos, with arrows where appropriate, should occur 10 metres before and 10 metres after the following joining roads: Thomas St, Moss St, Lombard St, Hammers Rd (particularly important that the arrow indicate that the cyclist should ride through the roundabout intersection and continue straight ahead), Roslyn Ave, Frances St and Northmead Ave.

A stand-up lane (perhaps painted green) should be provided on Kleins Rd, between Northmead Ave and Briens Rd, that provides protection for cyclists, who need to position themselves between two lines of motorised traffic: those obliged to turn left (on the left of the cyclists) and those proceeding straight ahead or turning right (to the right of the cyclists). This stand-up lane would be a 1m lane marked with two broken lines that begin at about Northmead Ave. The same treatment should apply to the south-to-north approach to Briens Rd.

An alternative would be a dropped kerb enabling cyclists to mount the footpath at the approach to Briens Rd so that a crossing can be made at the lights. This would involve changes to the phasing of the traffic lights. This alternative would be particularly useful for children and less experienced cyclists. The same treatment should apply to the south-to-north approach to Briens Rd.

It should also be noted that the road surface for several metres on Kleins Rd at the approach to Briens Rd is very uneven and can present a hazard to cyclists. It is recommended that Council carry out work to smooth the road surface at this point.

Kleins Rd between Briens Rd and Boundary Rd.:

A stand-up lane treatment is needed for cyclists riding northbound on Kleins Rd at the approach to Briens Rd. (see segment immediately above).

Cycling from north to south:

A large bicycle logo 10 metres from Briens Rd would indicate to riders and drivers alike that there is a shared parking and cycling lane on this section of Kleins Rd.

Bicycle logos on most of this section of Kleins Rd are becoming worn and need to be replenished with paint. All logos need to be close to the lane line so they are not covered by parked motor vehicles.

At the southern end of Kleins Rd there is a totally inadequate logo that is obscured by a traffic island and by leaves and debris that collect over it. It cannot be seen by motorists (a purpose of the logos that is at least as important as being seen by cyclists). The best alternative here is that a large logo be placed some metres to the north of the traffic island, close to the lane line, and that it have a left-turn arrow associated with it.

A similar treatment is needed on the west side at the south end of Kleins Rd.

There is a complete lack of upright signage at the junction of Kleins Rd and Boundary Rd. It is suggested that the best options for same be discussed on-site between cycling advocates and Council engineers.

Boundary Rd between Kleins Rd and Church St: Cycling from west to east:

The treatment needed here is also best discussed between Council engineers and cycling advocates on-site. However, one consideration could be the continuation of the Kleins Rd treatment. Some further thoughts are as follows: Large bicycle logos, easily visible to motorists as well as cyclists, on either side of access driveways to the various businesses on Boundary Rd. In addition, ‘watch of cyclists’ signs — or ‘stop’ signs at property boundaries — should be provided on the exits from businesses to alert motorists to the possibility of cyclists crossing the exit.

Because of the shared cycling and walking path on the west side of Church St between Boundary Rd and Barney St, it is necessary for cyclists who are riding east on Boundary Rd to cross to the southern side of Boundary Rd to access the dropped kerb and the shared cycling-and-walking path. This is potentially quite dangerous. To make it less so it is recommended that a two-way cycling lane be provided on the south side of Boundary Rd between Church St and the Prestige Auto Service business. So, there would be a contra-flow lane for cyclists heading east, and a lane for cyclists heading west. These lanes might be painted green. This means that for cyclists riding east on Boundary Rd there would be signage (and preferably also line marking on the road pavement) to indicate where the crossing should be made. It is suggested that the optimal point for such a crossing would be just to the east of the entrance/exit dropped kerb for the Metcalfe Automotive Auto Repair Centre.

Alternatively, the footpath on the north side of Boundary Rd could be widened to create a two-way walking-and-cycling path. It may be that further modification is needed to enhance safety for the dropped kerb just around the corner from Church St on Boundary Rd, remembering that at this point cyclists going in opposite directions could be encountering one another.

In general, Council needs to draw up detailed plans for the safety treatment of Boundary Rd, pursuant to detailed on-site discussions with cycling advocates. Shared cycling/walking path on west side of Church St between Boundary Rd and Board St: It should be noted that the map of the current Parramatta Bike Plan incorrectly shows this segment as being ‘on road’.

Cycling from north to south:

Much more adequate signage needs to be provided near the corner of Boundary Rd and Church St. It is suggested that this could be located on the north side of the present sign that says ‘Darling Mills Creek: Upper Parramatta Catchment’. This sign may say something like ‘Shared walking and cycling path between Boundary Rd and Barney St: Please show courtesy to other users’. Bicycle logos on parts of the shared pathway would also be helpful.

‘Watch for cyclists’ signs should be placed so that motorists accessing Church St from businesses (e.g. Tollgate Hotel Bottle Shop; Brooks Tyres) can be alerted to the possibility of cyclists crossing the exitways.

Some consideration needs to be given to signage or other guidance to help the naïve cyclist to know where Route 2 goes once the corner of Church St and Board St is reached. An on-site discussion would be the best way to consider options.

Cycling from south to north:

There needs to be clear and noticeable signage at the corner of Board St and Church St to make it obvious to cyclists that at that point they should leave the road and access the shared cycling-and-walking path. Such a sign should be both in words and logo signs.

At the approach to business driveways there could be pavement logos saying ‘watch for exiting vehicles’.

At the approach to the corner of Boundary Rd and Church St there needs to be clear signage to indicate to the naïve cyclist the turn onto Boundary St as the direction of Route 2. Such signage should be both upright (on north-west corner of Church St and Boundary Rd) and pavement logo (several metres prior to reaching the corner). The pavement logo should have an arrow indicating the left turn. It should also indicate that the road access (to the cycling lane) occurs around the corner on Boundary Rd.

Board St between Church St and O’Connell St: Cycling from east to west:

There is need for a sign to be placed on the lamp post next to the sign showing the shared pathway. At the same point there should be a logo on the road pavement, just before the entrance to the Parramatta Steering Service, to indicate that this is the cycling route to Parramatta Park.

At the west end of Board St on the southern side, although it may seem obvious that one turns left onto O’Connell, another bicycle logo would not be amiss, with a left-turn arrow to indicate the turn onto O’Connell St.

Cycling from west to east:

The existing logo on the north side of Board St near the corner with Church St has all but been worn away. It is suggested that, rather than repainting that ill-positioned logo, a new large logo be placed about 30 or 40 metres back from the corner (i.e. just before the entrance to Brooks Tyres). The logo should, as always, be well out from the kerb and could have an arrow indicating a left turn at Church St.

However, an on-site discussion should consider how a naïve cyclist should be made aware that the left turn at Church St should be made onto the shared cycling-and-walking path rather than the roadway.

O’Connell St between Board St and George St:

Due to lack of time and energy the saddle survey did not extend to this segment. However, an on-site discussion would be useful to ensure that any worthwhile improvements could be note.

Further Notes

On-site discussions are essential to clarify much of what is represented (often only inadequately) in words. Council engineers and cycling advocates can more amiably and effectively appreciate each other’s perspectives through on-site discussion of the problems and suggested improvements. For this reason, it is recommended that, prior to Council staff making their comments in the second column of the above table, on-site discussion be held to consider each segment of Regional Route 2.

While it is not dealt with here, Local Route 5 will be covered in a future saddle survey.

Also, there is a need to discuss the linkage between the start of the Parramatta Valley Cycleway (PVC) at Parramatta Park, the PVC route on George St, Marsden St and Phillip St, and the southern end of Local Route 5 at the Elizabeth St bridge and Phillip St.

In considering cycling routes one should assume that one is seeing the routes through the eyes of a ‘naïve cyclist’, by which is meant a cyclist who is not familiar with the area and is not aware of a map showing the cycling routes, but must rely on signage and road pavement logos.

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