Railway Street - Safe Active Street Project

What is a Safe Active Street?

Why was Railway Street selected as a Safe Active Street?

Community support for the project

Map of the Railway Street Safe Active Street

Project Designs

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Background

The City is working with the Department of Transport to transform the 1.4km section of Railway Street in Bluff Point from Smith Street to Green Street in to a Safe Active Street. This is a pilot program for Department of Transport and the first of its kind in regional Western Australia. Construction on the project began on 28 September 2021 and the estimated date of completion is February 2022. More here

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. 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.  The Heart Foundation also recognises the importance of cycling and walking and is calling on local governments to allocate extra street and footpath space for people walking, and riding bikes.  More here

The project will connect into a 500m shared path connection from Green Street to the existing path network in the Chapman River Regional Park which will soon be under construction.

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

Project brochure here

Download project FAQs here

The total project cost is estimated at $1.73 million with the Department of Transport contributing $1.1 million in grant funding and the City providing $630,000.

Dept of Transport logo

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.

Safe Active Street

Why was Railway Street 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.

Does the community support the project?

Yes. The City engaged with local area residents, businesses, organisations and community/sporting groups in 2020 regarding the then proposed project.  The majority of the feedback the City received was positive and in favour of implementing the project.  See Project Update here  On 22 July 2021, the City held a stakeholder information session on the project. View the presentation here  Community information sessions were also held on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 at St Lawrence's Primary School and Thursday 29 July 2021 at Bluff Point Primary School to display the final designs and answer questions about the project.

Map of the Railway Street Safe Active Street

View map PDF here

Railway Street Safe Active Street Map

Project Designs

The designs below begin at Smith Street located on the north side of St Lawrence's Primary School and continue north towards Green Street located on the south side of the Rugby playing field beside the Spalding Tennis Club.

Section 1: Smith Street

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Smith Street

Section 2: Smith Street to Mitchell Street

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Smith Street to Mitchell Street

Section 3: Mitchell Street

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Mitchell Street

Section 4: Mitchell Street to Hosken Street

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Mitchell Street to Hosken Street

Section 5: Hosken Street to Green Street

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Hosken Street to Green Street

Section 6: Green Street

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Green Street

Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQs here

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.

How will people know they are on a safe active street?
Safe Active Streets are often paved in red asphalt. Entry points to safe active streets feature blue-and-white Safe Active Street road patches, 30 km/h speed limit signs and raised platforms help to slow traffic and alert people that they are in a bicycle and pedestrian friendly space. Sometimes, additional street trees are planted to improve the overall amenity and make the street a more attractive place to walk and cycle.

Where can I park on the safe active street?
Red pavement indicates the bike boulevard where people driving cars or riding bikes will be, while black pavement indicates on street parking. Embayed on street parking has been included and is paved with black asphalt.
Safe Active Street Cross Section
How will you make traffic slow down?
The 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.

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.

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 the safe active street discourage rat running?
The Department of Transport recognises that Railway Street is being used as a rat run between the North West Coastal Highway and Chapman Road. While the street provides an important local connection and cannot be closed, the Department and City are working to develop solutions to minimise the level of impact from rat running. While rat running is a broader local area traffic management issue, the traffic calming measures on the safe active street, such as the reduced speed limit, raised plateaus at intersections and in the corners and a reduced road width will discourage rat running as they will help reduce the speed of vehicles on Railway Street.

Will the construction work inconvenience the residents along Railway Street?
Yes, there will be some inconvenience during the construction stages, while the road and parking bays are being resurfaced.

Will there been an impact on parking for St Lawrence’s Primary School?
No. The City and Department of Transport are aware of parking issues on Railway Street during school drop-off and pick-up times and has liaised with St Lawrence’s Primary School in order to provide the best possible outcome which includes formalised on street parking bays.

Will the construction works impact parents picking up or dropping of their children at St Lawrence’s Primary School?
Yes, during construction sections of Smith Street and Railway Street will be closed to non-residents.  During these closures parents will need to use alternative routes to access the school and park elsewhere.

How do buses fit in?
The City and the Department of transport have worked with the Public Transport Authority to ensure that the regular bus operations along the safe active street route continues as normal.

How will the City encourage people to ride their bikes more for local trips?
The City hopes to see more people riding their bikes, enjoying the safe active street and engaging with others and their surroundings as they make their way to school, the shops or to church.  The City has engaged the local schools, community groups and sporting groups who utilise nearby facilities to ensure they are aware of the changes to Railway Street and can share this with the students, parents and group members.

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 does the Safe Active Streets Project fit into the Geraldton 2050 Cycling Strategy?
The City of Greater Geraldton'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.