We have been very pleased to be part of the team contributing to the development of new state guidance for the development of cycling friendly LATM traffic improvement schemes. The draft guide, developed on behalf of the Department of Transport (WA) and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has been in development for over a year and will soon be released for public consultation.
L5D's Managing Director, Peter Damen, is widely published on the topic and is the leading expert on the application of LATM in Australia. One of his most recent papers on the topic can be found under publications HERE.
Our most recent national research on the topic revealed that bicycle facilities within traffic calming/LATM schemes have seen a significant decrease (22%) in use from 2006 to 2018 despite reporting a significant rise in their perceived effectiveness. Clearly if bicycle facilities are as effective as most local governments report then this is an area that needs much more attention moving forward. While there has been a very positive focus on cycling in recent years in Western Australia, it is hoped that this Guide will help to give greater direction and attention to the issue within the State.
Long experience in Denmark and the Netherlands shows that traffic calming is compatible with high levels of cycling. The keys are quality of detailing and speed management. Traffic conditions in local streets should be based on the expectation that bikes and vehicles will share the same space. Bike considerations should be an integral part of the LATM planning process, not merely an afterthought. LATM should improve conditions for cyclists and accord with their primary needs, which is to:
1. Enhance access (aim at a coherent network that reaches all likely local destinations);
2. Enhance safety;
3. Enhance convenience (opportunities, short cuts);
4. Ensure continuity (including provision for crossing of traffic routes).
Peter Damen is the Principal and Managing Director of Level 5 Design, a specialist advisory and design consultancy dedicated to achieving valuable innovative outcomes for its customers in the rapidly evolving transport technology and infrastructure planning and design spaces.