Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News: Proposed Frankston Bypass Trail route is released

It was quietly put through on the SEITA website on November 10, the Environmental Effects Statement for the Frankston Bypass, which includes detailed plans for the route of the Frankston Bypass as well as an associated trail I am calling the Frankston Bypass Trail. I have created a Google Map with the trail and it's features, which the final alignment is still under consideration following input from the public, Bicycle Victoria and local councils.

My first positive thoughts are as follows:
  •  There is ONLY ONE level road crossing at Robinsons Road which is fantastic! It looks like the planners have learnt a lesson from EastLink and considering the government is copping it for not building all the required footbridges for EastLink, they do not want to make the same mistake. A range of footbridges and underpasses are provided.
  • The trail will be built to the same standard as the EastLink Trail which is a 3 metre wide concrete path, again another plus.
  • There will be provision made for a future Mornington Rail Trail which is excellent forward planning, which will enable a link from the Frankston Bypass Trail right down to Mornington. (Melway 106 J7)
  • The trail will begin at the Patterson River on the Dandenong Creek Trail which is an ideal and logical choice
  • Links to other trails are somewhat provided such as links to the Carrum Downs Trail, Skye Road Trail, the path along Cranbourne - Frankston Road and the Frankston - Stony Point Rail Trail.
Now my negative thoughts:
  • Missing links to local trails should be taken into account. There should be a link to the Eel Race Drain Trail under the Mornington Peninsula Freeway (Melway 97 J10). There should also be a defined link between the Bay Trail between the Seaford Wetlands (Melway 99 G4) along Austin Road, the footbridge over the Frankston Freeway, along Brunel Road until Peterson Street, which links to the existing Carrum Downs Trail (Melway 99 H3).
  • Will the Dandenong Creek Trail be upgraded as well? This will be I question I am to submit as part of the public comment on the plan. The EastLink upgrade failed to upgrade the Dandenong Creek Trail between Greens Road in Dandenong South (Melway 94 J2) to the Bay Trail in Patterson Lakes (Melway 97 D6) as well as upgrading trails along BOTH sides of the Patterson River between the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and the Nepean Highway.
  • WHY does the trail abruptly end at Bungower Road? Why construct a trail to the middle of nowhere (Melway 147 D2) and simply dump the rider on a country road away from anything of notice? I propose to continue the trail along the Frankston Bypass then the existing Mornington Peninsula Freeway right down to Nepean Highway in Dromana (Melway 160 D5) then run the trail westward along the Nepean Highway to the intersection with Marine Parade (Melway 159 K4) with a link to the Mornington Peninsula section of the Bay Trail. It makes sense and provide a different opportunity for tourism for the peninsula and provides a fully off-road sealed link between the city and the peninsula.
Now that you have seen the plans and my analysis, what are your thoughts? Also take a look at the full Frankston Bypass plan than make a comment on the plan if you wish at the SEITA website.


ozzmosis said...

Last week I happened to wade through all of the Frankston Bypass PDFs mostly just to see what bike infrastructure they had planned, as I live a few km from where the route travels through Baxter.

I agree with all your comments, although the Bungower Rd termination is not quite in the middle of nowhere. Not too far away is Somerville and the Westernport trail, so there is the potential for those two to link up.

Currently there is still no bike path between the Frankston-Baxter trail (which only goes as far as Golf Links Road and does not reach Baxter proper) and the Westernport Trail that begins in Somerville. Using the road as an alternative is very hairy due to no sealed shoulder on Fultons Rd or Frankston-Flinders Rd. It's a pretty ridiculous situation.

Bungower Rd is being sealed/is sealed between Moorooduc Highway and Coolart Road. I haven't travelled on it in a few months but it was a gravel road with roadworks in progress last time I used it. When it's finished it's likely to become a fairly busy route for motorists between Mornington and Somerville. I'm not sure what they have in mind for bicycle lanes along it. Just hoping they're decent, otherwise I'll be using Eramosa Road instead (which does have a sealed shoulder next to a painted white line and rumble strips, but no bike stencils), although its 80 km/h speed limit will probably remain, so it's not ideal.

The Mornington Peninsula has huge potential for more bike paths, but sadly not much is ever done about it. Assuming the Frankston Bypass goes ahead, any bike paths are a welcome addition. Bit of a shame it takes a bypass road to put in a decent bike path though.

I'm Ozzmosis on Wikipedia incidentally, which is how I found this blog. Hi :)

Luke W said...

Thanks for commenting Ozzmosis. I have noticed on many trips to the Mornington Peninsula that Bungower Road was finally being sealed, possibly because of the future Frankston Bypass. I agree that there should be full shoulders on these roads to provide safe cycling links, but it is good to know that Eramosa Road West has suitable riding conditions. I personally only ride on main roads if there is a shoulder or marked bike lane. A link between the new trail and Somerville along the rail line is sorely needed as well. If the government tries, they could tie up a lot of loose ends with the new trail in this area.

ozzmosis said...

I headed down Bungower Rd yesterday... It's sealed now but not finished as there is a lot of loose stones on the surface. Looks like they've sealed the shoulder all the way along it, which is good.