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Perth bike paths fail to meet lighting standards

The West Australian, 13 December 2018
Large sections of Perth’s most popular bike paths are poorly lit, with many failing to meet Australian lighting standards. Research commissioned by the RAC examined 67km of inner-city bike paths and found almost 60 per cent had substandard lighting.

“It’s concerning that much of the existing shared path network does not meet minimum lighting requirements,” RAC general manager public policy Anne Still said.

“This highlights the importance of increased funding to enable ongoing maintenance and upgrades of existing infrastructure to complement the investments being made in expanding the network.

“The importance of good quality lighting cannot be overlooked.”

A report on the research to be released today says lighting on 77% of the Kwinana Freeway path and 55% of the Mitchell Freeway path is not up to standard.

A case study assessing 900m of the Kwinana Freeway shared path around Canning Bridge — “an important area for station access and shared path connectivity” with about 2000 daily users — found 100 per cent non-compliance.

The report recommended the installation of lighting on the stretch of path at a cost of about $170,000. It also called for a network-wide review and testing of new technologies.

It said there were also opportunities for cheaper “quick-wins” around the network that included the replacement of worn globes and trimming overhanging trees.

“General maintenance of lighting infrastructure such as cleaning or replacing the globes could provide improved lighting quality for path users at a minimal cost,” the report said.

“There were a number of locations where lighting was poor simply because the globe was broken. There were many instances where tree canopies and foliage obstructed lights, impacting their coverage and performance.”

Ms Still said that in addition to considering lighting during the early planning stages of new projects, it was essential to maintain existing paths “to ensure they are pleasant to use”.