Path changes hamper riders

Nara-Beth Bonfiglio with her son Ryder. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426268
Nara-Beth Bonfiglio with her son Ryder. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426268

The City of Bayswater received a petition in April 2013 expressing concerns about ‘dangerous interaction of cyclists with pedestrians and their children and animals on the paths’ along the foreshore.

Comments from the 78-strong petition were used by the City in preparing its local bicycle plan with modifications to path usage in the area to be trialled for 12 months as of June.

Mrs Bonfiglio said since the changes, cyclists must use the perimeter paths to access or pass the park rather than go through it.

‘This means that children can no longer access the playground on a bike and are forced to ride alongside the road and car parks instead of the safe paths within the park,’ she said.

‘In small writing on a sign it does say that small children are permitted to ride a bike accompanied by a walking adult but it’s misleading as all of the pavement signage says strictly no bikes in the dog park area.’

Mayor Sylvan Albert said the changes applied to certain paths, balancing the needs of all users of the area while having a safe cycle access to and through Riverside Gardens.

‘Prior to June, 2014 cyclists were using all pathways within Riverside Gardens, resulting in potentially high-speed traffic passing through dog off-leash areas close to the popular beach area and a children’s playground,’ he said.

‘Riverside Gardens is now provided with a clearly signposted dual pathway network (suitable for pedestrians and cyclists) signed 10kmh.

‘All other internal pathways are designated pedestrian only.

‘Children under the age of 12 years are permitted to ride on pathways; it is recommended that children under 10 years of age are supervised by an adult.’

Bayswater mother Mrs Bonfiglio said the policy change was a knee-jerk reaction to a petition from dog owners.

‘It was one of the safest areas in Perth to teach our kids to ride but now it’s the biggest, most expensive dog park I’ve ever seen and less safe for families and children on bikes,’ she said.

Cr Albert said feedback would be considered when the trial was reviewed.