Riding the new shared paths in Adamstown

St James Rd, looking towards the rail crossing

St James Rd, looking towards the rail crossing

The footpath along Glebe Road/St James Road in Adamstown has been widened on the northern side to provide a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians. As I often used to ride on the former footpath, I was very interested to observe this new development and how it would change riding along there.

Approach to the level rail crossing

Approach to the level rail crossing

The “cyclists dismount” sign, rarely obeyed, is still there. When crossing a railway line at 90 degrees it is quite safe, after all.

IMG_9193The designated crossing, on the St James Rd side of the rail crossing is, to my mind, still a hazard, due to its proximity to the rail crossing. Many motorists run the lights at the crossing and are often quite fast at this point and more interested in getting through the crossing before the boom gates come down than they are in looking for cyclists crossing the road. Fortunately, there is another crossing further along at Mackie Ave, which is safer to use, if it suits the route you are taking.

Gates Hotel at Court Street

Gates Hotel at Court Street

When riding towards Brunker Road, just after you cross the railway line, this crossing at Court Street can be dangerous due to its being at an oblique angle, so if a car turns left into Court St from Glebe Road, it can take the corner quite fast, and not be on the lookout for bike riders, so you need to be constantly checking over your shoulder when riding towards this crossing. Similarly, just after the Hotel, the exit driveway from the Hotel carpark requires extra caution as you are shielded from cars drivers’ view by vegetation and fencing.

Teralba Road entry to the shared path

Teralba Road entry to the shared path

As you approach Teralba Road, the best part of the path awaits as it allows cyclists to take the left turn from Glebe Road into Teralba, completely free of cars. If you were riding on the road here, you may be in the path of cars turning right or left into Teralba from Glebe Road. Similarly, bikes turning right from Teralba into Glebe Road are much better advised to take the shared path here to avoid a possible wait for Glebe Road traffic, which can be quite lengthy at busy times. The entry to the path is nicely flush with the roadway and the right hand corner soon after has been made more shallow, so riders do not tend to cut the corner as they often used to do.

While this new development was under construction, it was a very hazardous place to ride as one lane of traffic and the whole footpath was not able to be used, forcing bikes and cars much closer together. Now that it is completed, this new infrastructure has made a very difficult area for cars and cyclists safer. The rail crossing at Adamstown is highly problematic for a number of reasons, including lengthy delays to traffic and fatalaties that have occurred on the crossing, and this new addition relieves a little of the traffic burden, if it is wisely used.  Now that cyclists are legitimately able to use the path, with the addition of the path being wider, there does not seem to be as much aggravation between cyclists and pedestrians,  and this also has to be a big positive.

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4 Responses to Riding the new shared paths in Adamstown

  1. adventurepdx says:

    Yeah, I don’t get that “cyclists dismount” sign at the crossing, as it doesn’t look dangerous. (As long as a train isn’t coming, of course.) Is it just away for the jurisdiction to lessen their liability?

    • Vicki says:

      I’m not sure why it is there as it’s not at all the rail crossings around here and it’s pretty widely accepted that if it’s at a 90 degree angle, you can ride safely across rail lines.

  2. laurent says:

    Shared paths maybe very useful with traffic jam but dealing with both pedestrians and cars (at crossing roads) can be sometimes nasty and difficult.
    IMO, It’s a matter of focusing.

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