Boulevard of cyclist’s dreams in Rivervale

The cyclist underpass at the end of Surrey Road.
The cyclist underpass at the end of Surrey Road.

RIVERVALE’S Surrey Road will be one of the first streets in Perth to be made into a bicycle boulevard.

Planned to be completed in July 2016, a bicycle boulevard is a low-speed street where cyclists have priority.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the State Government wanted to provide people with the infrastructure so they could leave the car at home and cycle for short trips.

“Bicycle boulevards encourage more people to cycle by creating slower speed environments that connect to the wider cycling network and give bike riders a greater share of the street,” he said.

“About half of all car trips are less than five kilometres, and many people drive three kilometres or less to get to their local train station.

“These trips can be made by bicycle if the appropriate infrastructure is available.”

Kevin Loftus has lived on Surrey Road for nearly three decades and said the road had been a cycling route for many years due to the underpass at Great Eastern Highway at the end of the street.

“The bike boulevard seems like a good idea if it slows traffic down and makes it safer for kids and cyclists,” he said.

However, he said, the “devil is in the detail”.

“The Department of Transport needs to provide a substantial budget and conduct proper community consultation to ensure we get the best possible outcome,” he said.

The department will work with the City of Belmont to consult with residents.

Bicycling Western Australia (BWA) chief executive Jeremey Murray supported the innovative approach. He said bike boulevards would create an environment that would make the whole street-scape more people friendly.

“Not just for bikes but for pedestrians and the local community,” he said. “They make the streets more walkable and more rideable by creating a relaxed environment that encourages people to connect with their community.

“We would love to see more of these boulevards introduced and the three demonstration projects would help us to better understand what will work, and potentially won’t work, in a local context.

“I am confident that once these projects are completed, we will see more local governments, and their residents asking for their streets to be converted to bike boulevards.”