North Beach: Free trishaw rides hampered by City of Stirling efforts to slow cyclists

Pilot Melinda Mosenthal with Saphrah Egan (Ocean Reef) and Wayan Lisnawati (support worker) and Alanagh Godderidge (owner Cycling Without Age -Sorrento Rickshaw). Photo: Martin Kennealey
Pilot Melinda Mosenthal with Saphrah Egan (Ocean Reef) and Wayan Lisnawati (support worker) and Alanagh Godderidge (owner Cycling Without Age -Sorrento Rickshaw). Photo: Martin Kennealey

A VOLUNTEER providing free rides along the coast for elderly people says bollards installed by the City of Stirling to slow cyclists are “unsafe”.

The City installed the bollards on the West Coast Drive shared path near Mettams Pool this week, which engineering design manager Paul Giamov said was to “address ongoing concerns of the potential risk and injury caused by fast moving cyclists”.

“Speed surveys at various locations have indicated that only 10 per cent of cyclists are travelling at speeds below 20km/h (the desirable maximum for a shared path), and up to 50 per cent of weekday cyclists travelling faster than 30km/h,” he said.

“The risks to pedestrians posed by excessive speed of cyclists was considered high and effective remedies were considered necessary.”

Sorrento resident Alanagh Godderidge runs Cycling Without Age, a volunteer service providing trishaw rides to elderly people and those with disabilities along the coastal path from Sorrento to Trigg.

The bollards along the path.

She said WA’s peak cycling body WestCycle liaised with the City regarding the design and believed there would be space at the edge of the path for the trishaw to navigate, but this was not what was installed.

“We just want what we asked for,” she said.

“It wouldn’t have made us stop at a hill with a 250kg load.

“It just impedes access to the disabled and the elderly.”

Ms Godderidge said it was too unsafe to continue trishaw rides through the bollards and journeys would instead return at that point.

Mr Giamov said he was aware of Ms Godderidge’s concerns and had consulted with Cycling Without Age and WestCycle, and made design modifications to incorporate a bypass wide enough for the trishaw to use.

He said further review of the bollards placement and refinements could be made if needed but any increase to the bypass width would “need to be considered carefully” to ensure it still achieved its intent of reducing cyclists’ speed.

According to Mr Giamov, the treatments aim to encourage cyclists travelling above 20km/h to use West Coast Drive rather than the path.