Monday, April 28, 2014

Sight distance

Recently an apartment complex Did a refurbishment. They are adjacent to the V1 Bikeway close to O'Keefe Street, Buranda. As part of their refurbishment they installed a new fence on their property.Due to its height and proximity to the bikeway the fence restricts sight distances for out-bound cyclists and persons entering the bikeway. 
 These photos don't really show how severe the impact is. On the first day after the fence was installed I almost ran over a pedestrian who was trying to cross the bikeway. Neither of us could see each other till the last moment. Luckily he managed to quickly step back in time. If it was a mother with a pram I think I would most likely have crashed into the pram.

Council cannot do anything about this as the fence is perfectly legal. It is within the property and there are no restrictions on the property that would prevent them from installing this fence.

Austroads Guidelines (Part 6A: Pedestrian and Cyclist Paths) recommends against locating paths adjacent to property boundaries for exactly this reason, and Section 7.8 has recommended clearances for curves to get safe sight distances. This bit of bikeway is squeezed between the property boundary and a retaining wall, so not much opportunity to get adequate separation. It would have been good though to get some sort of restriction placed on the height of boundary fences for the property to avoid this type of hazard.

When planning new shared paths that are adjacent to property boundaries it would be good for planners and designers to keep this example in mind, and put in place appropriate measures to prevent this from happening.

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