Bicycle NSW has been working on ways to make light rail tracks safer for people who ride bikes or use wheelchairs.
Last March we wrote about crossing light rail tracks. There are things road and light rail designers, and bike riders, could do to make crossing safer. Unfortunately, in Newcastle at the intersection of Scott and Pacific Streets, it was not possible to cross tracks at a safe angle.
Bicycle NSW was concerned about repeated injuries reported by bike riders at this intersection in Newcastle, and anticipated similar problems would occur in Sydney. Retro-fitting light rail into a city can result in intersections that make it impossible for all crossings to enable riders can cross at 60-90 degree angles.
People need to cross tracks to reach their destinations in each location. Advising people to dismount in traffic would be dangerous for people riding bikes, and impossible for wheelchair users.
When we heard about the SafeRails invention, we approached the NSW government, aiming for a technical solution to preventing crashes. Unfortunately on July 10th Danny Egan died in Newcastle following a crash at the intersection of Scott and Pacific Streets.
Bicycle NSW was pleased to meet with NSW Transport Engineers, to introduce them to the inventors of SafeRails. Essentially, the aim was to discuss potential technical solutions.
“Our job is to make NSW better for bike riding, but we don’t have the answer to this problem,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“We were pleased that transport engineers are working on this problem, and we will support their call for ideas,” said Bastien.
At the meeting, NSW Transport staff and engineers explained the complexity and challenges involved in developing a solution to make crossing tracks safer. They anticipate creating a tender for people with solutions to respond to.
Bicycle NSW will share the tender when it becomes available.