Railway Street - Safe Active Street Project

Project Background

The City is working with the Department of Transport to transform the 1.4km section of Railway Street from Smith Street to Green Street in to a Safe Active Street.  The project also includes a 500m shared path connection from Green Street to the existing Spalding Park reserve path to the north. This is a pilot program for Department of Transport and the first of its kind in regional Western Australia.

Railway Street was identified as a potential site for the project in the Geraldton 2050 Cycling Strategy. The safe active street will connect Spalding Park (via Green Street) to the asphalt cycle paths to the west of North West Coastal Highway and to the paths to the north.

For more information on the Safe Active Streets Program can be found on the Department of Transport's website here

What is a Safe Active Street?

A safe active street is a quiet, low traffic, low speed, local street that is designed to be a more welcoming space for people traveling on foot or bike.

On such streets, speed limits are reduced to 30km/h and traffic calming infrastructure installed to allow cars and people on bikes to share the street safely. A key element is that more trees are planted on the street to improve the public amenity. These streets offer an active transport route between parks, schools, business districts and where people live.

The Railway Street Safe Active Street is an important part of the City's Integrated Transport Strategy that looks to provide more options for short trips and the daily commute.

Concept Design and Map

Coming soon...

What is the Project Timeline?

The 2019/2020 Financial Year, the City will undertake the design and community consultation regarding the project.

Information sessions will be held in early April.  Once dates have been confirmed, we will notify the community.

Should the project go ahead, construction will take place in the 2020/2021 Financial Year.

The total project cost is estimated at $1 million and is 100% funded by the Department of Transport.

Can the community have their say on the project?

Yes. In partnership with the Department of Transport, the City will be presenting the concept design to the community before finalising the detailed design of the proposed Safe Active Street on Railway Street.

As part of the project, and to support its development, the community will be able to provide their feedback on the project until 11 May 2020. The community's valuable perspective, concerns and questions regarding the project are invited during time.  Coming your way soon will be a number of options to have your say on the project including...

  • PDF form to print, fill out and submit to the City
  • Online submission form

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Railway Street, Bluff Point selected as a Safe Active Street?

Railway Street was selected for its generous width, lower traffic volumes and north-south access, and connection to the existing shared paths north of Spalding Park Reserve, as well as its proximity to local schools. The corridor was identified for improved cycling facilities during public consultation on the Geraldton 2050 Cycling Strategy (document available here).

Railway Street provides a valuable north-south connection to Spalding Park Reserve to the north and Saint Lawrence Primary School and the City to the south. This route has been proposed as a safe active street to improve safety and increase the uptake of cycling and walking in the area, providing access to key community facilities and activities. The purpose of a safe active street is to provide a low speed (30km/hr) environment, with distinct safety design features identifying it as a space that welcomes people of all ages and abilities to share the space and interact socially.

Who will benefit from the Safe Active Street?

The landscape of Geraldton is ideal for walking and cycling, and the provision of accessible community spaces that equitably service the whole community are identified in the City’s Strategic Community Plan. Safe active streets aim to make streets safer for all age groups, with emphasis on increasing opportunities for active transport by designing inviting spaces for people to walk and ride bikes, rather than just thoroughfare.

Why change the street for bikes? People can ride if they want to now.
International research has shown that more people will ride bikes when they feel safe, and that bike routes on streets where speeds are slowed to 30 km/h are recommended to maximise safety and increase bike riding.

Will there be big groups of fast cyclists riding down the street?
Not likely. The proposed roads do not form part of a designated route for established group rides, which typically use more direct major roads. Safe active streets are ideal for slow speed riding. The street context and design, including raised intersections and slow points will not encourage groups of fast moving recreational cyclists.

How will people know they are on a safe active street?
When entering the street, blue-and-white safe active street road patches, 30 km/h speed limit signs and raised intersections help to slow traffic and alert people that they are in a bicycle and pedestrian friendly space.
Along the route, bike symbols and red pavement are used to mark out the safe active street and suggest where bikes should ride.

How will you make traffic slow down?
speed limit along the safe active street is set at 30 km/h. Treatments, including raised intersections and slow points, are capable of changing the road environment so that motorists are only capable of driving at a maximum speed of 30 km/h.

Can cars still pass bikes on a safe active street?

Yes, as per WA road rules, a driver may overtake a cyclist if there is enough space to do so safely: a minimum of one metre passing distance, a clear view of the road ahead and the 30km/hr speed limit is not exceeded.

Will there be an impact on existing on-road parking?
While the availability of unrestricted on-street parking will be affected, the City of Melville has, and will continue to work actively with residents to ensure their parking requirements are met.

What will it mean to surrounding streets?
The roads encompassing the proposed route are local access roads and most traffic is local in origin. As the existing traffic volume is low, it is not expected that there will be a redistribution of traffic to the  surrounding streets. 

Will a safe active street discourage rat running?
The safe active street treatment will discourage through or non-local traffic as it will be difficult to travel above 30 km/h. While the route provides a direct link to local attractions and other bike routes, it has been selected partly because it is not major route for vehicle traffic. 

Does this mean the street will be narrower? Will tradespeople renovating houses and installing swimming pools be able to access the street?
The width of the street remains the same as it was previously (except at the slow points). Access for tradespeople and everyone else is the same.

Are the slow points in the concept plan finalised, or can they be changed?
Slow point locations are proposed, and residents are asked to provide comments on these locations. 

How do buses fit in?
The Department of Transport has worked with the Public Transport Authority to ensure that the regular bus operating along the safe active streets route continues as normal. 

Will emergency access change (fire, ambulance etc.)?
The Department of Transport has worked with emergency services to ensure that there is no impact to their services.

Why will the speed limit be set at 30 km/h? With school zones nearby, the speeds change and it will be confusing. Does the 30 km/h apply permanently?
The speed limit will be set at 30 km/h for the entire route at all times, which will support the design of the safe active street. Research of international best practice indicates that 30 km/h is a safe speed for bicycles and cars to share the road space. By applying traffic calming measures to achieve a self-enforcing 30km/h speed limit, the safe active street will provide a safer, more comfortable environment for the community.

Will rubbish trucks still be able to empty our bins?
Yes – the City will ensure this is not impacted, and will determine whether any changes to rubbish truck times are required (e.g. if there is a need to avoid peak commute times). 

How does the Safe Active Streets Project fit into the Geraldton 2050 Cycling Strategy?

The City of Greater Geradlton's 2050 Cycling Strategy was adopted by Council in 2018 following a range of investigations and consultation with stakeholders and residents. Railway Street was identified as a potential site for the project in the Geraldton 2050 Cycling Strategy.

How does the Safe Active Street Project fit into the State’s transport network?
Greater Geraldton has all the ingredients needed for a great cycling and walking city – a warm climate, flat topography and outstanding natural beauty. As the city’s population increases and more people live near centres of activity, walking and cycling can play a big part in helping to reduce congestion, improve air quality, support local business and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. The Transport Portfolio is ensuring more emphasis is being placed on providing high-quality, safe and comfortable cycling infrastructure that is integrated with public transport services. There are a number of different types of cycling infrastructure that contribute to the make-up of the cycling network including on-road paths, off-road paths, river crossings and safe active streets. 

If the design is supported by the community, what happens next?

If there is considerable community support for the concept design, the next stage would be the development of detailed design, with construction to commence in 2020-21.