Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My improvement view: Ringwood - Belgrave Rail Trail through H.E. Parker Reserve

This is my first post in a category of posts known as "My improvement view" where I will show an area of the bicycle network which can be improved significantly, and propose my solution to improve it. Simple as that! For my first post, I will will be putting into the focus the section of the Ringwood - Belgrave Rail Trail through H.E. Parker Reserve.
Network map:

Note the maps I use are from the Wikipedia style mapping site "OpenStreetMap" which means the maps are correct, but in some areas are incomplete.
Area overview map: 

Current situation:
First of all, there is no signage on this part of the trail except for one unhelpful fingerboard sign which incorrectly says "Heathmont Rail Trail" near the railway crossing, and one incorrectly placed Dandenong Creek Trail official directional sign but does however have correct directions for heading towards Ringwood.
As you can tell from the fingerboard sign photo, the pavement is in shocking condition and there is no clear route marked. Currently you have to turn right at the direction sign in the photo above, then ride along the reserve access road towards the railway than find the shared path which runs along the railway towards Heathmont. Very confusing for the casual rider, although regular users will know it off by heart. These six photos show different views of the area.
My proposed solution:
Because there is currently no defined route and the current access is a simple reserve access road with hardly any traffic, it would be wasteful to build a completely new shared use path., I propose the ultimate solution to consist of three parts:
1: New surfacing
New asphalt will be placed in the following locations:
Near the railway crossing, the new pavement will create a link between the median strip as well as a high quality surface between the reserve access road, existing shared path and the railway crossing.
Near the footbridge, the new pavement will be laid on the southern side of the single carriageway of the existing reserve service road to accommodate the new lanes while still letting vehicles pass with ease. This includes resurfacing the short section of path between the footbridge and the service road.
2 and 3: New road markings and signage
New official directional signage will be installed at all suitable locations and regulatory (shared path/bike lane/give way) as well as warning (bicycles in this area) signs will be installed. Bike lanes in either direction will be marked out clearly and will be fully green for the whole length, to empathise clearly that this is an official cycle route. Here are some photoshopped examples of what the improved section could look like (the images alterations are not to scale)
More improvement views of the area will be posted very soon so stay tuned!

1 comment:

Wilmer Geraci said...

It can be confusing without sufficient road signs, right? Those who frequent the trail may not need guides anymore, but what about those who are new to the place? Maybe the road signs were stolen or vandalized, which might explain the lack. I think your suggestions are excellent, Luke. Just hope that they put up your proposed sign first.