Murdoch Drive is classified as a District Distributor A road in the Metropolitan Regional Road Hierarchy.
Benefits to the pedestrians and cyclists
In the interests of road safety it is best practice to provide a path on both sides of this class of road to reduce the need for some of our most vulnerable road users (pedestrians and bike riders of all ages) to cross a busy road to use a path. In this case they must cross 4 lanes of traffic travelling at 70km/hr to access a safe shared path.
The east side of Murdoch Drive already has a path and the only road crossing on the west side is at Somerville Boulevard, so the west side was clearly the ideal location for an active transport link and safer passage between Leach Highway and South Street.
Benefits to the Murdoch area
At the moment the ‘pedestrian severance’ around our local train stations and distributor roads discourages walking, cycling and public transport in favour of the car, creating a situation where we have some of the highest car dependence in the world. High quality paths, on both sides of distributor roads allows for walking and cycling to compete withcar trips as a feasible transport alternative.
Additionally the City is working with local institutions in the area such as Yidarra, Corpus Christi, Murdoch University, Fiona Stanley, Challenger TAFE and St John of God Hospitals, who are all under great pressure to minimise staff and visitor driving to their premises and have requested the City’s help to address the number and speed of vehicles around their premises and the implications for road safety.
Fiona Stanley Hospital is currently preparing a Transport and Access Plan to reduce the number of their staff who drive to work. St John of God Murdoch is providing incentives for staff not to drive to work, while Murdoch University and Challenger TAFE are actively promoting walking, cycling and public transport to their campus.
To be successful in reducing the number of car trips these organisations and their visitors generate, the City can contribute by ensuring sustainable and connected transport options are available, including but not limited to high quality pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure such as shared paths.
Reducing Noise and Visual Impacts for residents
The alignment of the Murdoch shared path was revised a number of times with a focus on reducing the number of trees that need to be removed, unfortunately some had to be removed to (1) allow for a steep embankment near Bert Jeffery Park (2) following safety concerns due to a bus stop and (3) to ensure a safe path could be provided for school students known to be walking along the Murdoch Drive side of the Fennessy Green bund.
Trees are regarded by the City as an important community asset and they are not removed unless absolutely necessary. A two-for-one planting policy ensures that whenever one tree is removed two trees are planted, though not always in the same location.
The trees removed for the shared path assisted in reducing noise and visual impacts for local residents, so to ensure the residents are not left disadvantaged a new mound will be reconstructed to the height of the previous one and new vegetation will be planted to provide effective noise mitigation structure andhelp restrict access. The area will also be irrigated to ensure strong growth of the plants and trees.
There will be a few weeks during construction that no mound or vegetation will be in place, however the new mound and a temporary fence will be installed as soon as is possible. The temporary fence will be installed on the top of the mound to screen Fennessy Green from Murdoch Drive for the comfort of the residents until the new vegetation screening has been established.