Action for Clarence Street
Residents of the City of Clarence should be aware that an important decision will be made by the Council this coming Monday evening (7 December, 7.30pm) about the future of bikelanes for Clarence Street.
As a bit of history, the Hobart Regional Arterial Bicycle Network Plan – 2009 identified Clarence Street as an important arterial route for commuter cyclists. Strava heatmaps confirm that it is well used by riders, and our view is that those riders deserve to be protected. Clarence Street is therefore a high priority for designated bikelanes.
A professionally facilitated community consultation process, involving a diverse and balanced representation of residents, recommended to Council in January 2015 as follows:
"The CSCRG identified 8 key landing points/recommendations to improve the safe use of Clarence Street for all road users, they are:
(i) traffic lanes – clearly defined;
(ii) bus stops – provide consistent spacing and align with pedestrian movements;
(iii) turning lanes – provide discreet turning lanes at all intersections;
(iv) bike lanes – provide safe designated bike lanes;
(v) speed limit – reduce speed limit to 50km/h;
(vi) traffic lights – investigate relocating pedestrian signals to Scott Street intersection;
(vii) pinch points – rationalise frequency and location of standouts and islands; and
(viii) landscaping – develop a consistent theme incorporating heritage values".
From these expectations, three models were developed for further Council consideration. In a nutshell:
Option 1 - design improvements but no marked bikelanes (i.e. no lane markings and no restriction on parking)
Option 2 - no lane markings, but peak period clearways such that parking be prohibited on the relevant side of the road during peak hour, offering up extra road width to enable cars and bike to keep apart during peak periods
Option 3 - marking the line between the main traffic lane and the shared parking and cycling lane, together with some reduction in parking where required to ensure safer space for cycling. Note - a Council survey indicated that parking along Clarence is significantly under-utilised.
As the agenda item notes, the benefits for defined bike lanes include:
• clear definition of user space for cyclists and vehicles; and
• provides a buffer for parked vehicles, due to the additional width, when people access their parked vehicles and therefore safer.
At a recent Council workshop, the Aldermen failed to provide leadership and instead opted to take Options 1 and 3 back to the community for further consultation!!!!! It is also disappointing that the recommendation to reduce the speed limit to 50kph has been rejected.
What we need at this point is one or more Aldermen to move an amendment to the motion such that it simply adopts Option 3, and for Council to then approve that motion. For that to happen, we need the riders of Clarence to actively lobby their Aldermen between now and the meeting, and for some to also attend the meeting to present the case for bike riders directly to the meeting.
Please act now to rescue this project.
The recommendation being put to the Council on Monday evening says:
A. That Council supports the Technical Working Group’s agreed safety improvements for Clarence Street, being:
• provide consistent spacing of Bus Stops and align with pedestrian movements;
• provide discreet turning lanes, where possible, at intersections along Clarence Street; and
• rationalise the frequency and location of standouts and islands.
B. That Council authorises the General Manager to undertake consultation with Bellerive Primary School and the Department of State Growth on the desirability and feasibility of traffic signalisation at the Scott Street/Clarence Street intersection.
C. That Council authorises the General Manager to undertake a community consultation program based on Design Options 1 and 3, as set out in Attachments 1 and 2 to the Associated Report.
D. That once the community consultation is complete a future Council Workshop is held on the results of the consultation program.
More details of the history and status of this project can be found in the Agenda for Monday's Council meeting (from page 86) under the title: "Clarence Street - Safety Assessment Project" .
Also note: Council Meetings, not including Closed Meeting, are audio-visually recorded and published to Council’s website. So if you can't get along to the meeting to make a presentation or to watch the proceedings, you can follow it online.