Webb Bridge lanes

Inside the Webb

As promised a look inside the Webb Bridge. What starts out as a shared path diverges into a pedestrian path down a set of stairs and cycle path with a turning radius of approximately 6m. Of note is the large concrete kerb separating the cycling path and pedestrian path at a convenient height to catch on bicycle pedals (also sporting some typically Melbourne paste up art).

Webb Bridge lanes

The stairs on the inside lane (the pedestrian path) give some suggestion at the bizarre choice of a wheelchair path sporting two handrails, needing to provide handrails on the left for users travelling up and down the path the stairs preclude any disabled or wheelchair access so the descending handrail was inserted down the middle of the remaining ramp. Cycle path width here is 1430mm while it narrows to 1270mm at the other end, as previously mentioned the backside of the handrail is extremely dangerous to cyclists and by not providing the customary minimum of 2500mm plus clearances for obstacles altercations and incidents are extremely likely. These design flaws have been raised by cycling organisations more than 10 years ago just after opening: https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/media/vanilla_content/files/Email%20from%20BV%20-%20Eel%20Bridge.pdf yet this monstrosity remains.

On a humorous note the busy evening traffic was hard to find a gap in to produce this photo, and soon after wrapping up I did in fact see a physically disabled user ascend this section of the bridge; on a bicycle. Their difficulty in maintaining a steady direction while pushing uphill is something that is explicitly raised in the Austroads standards when they describe the minimum path width for cyclists.

As it stands the path is not even meeting the requirements for a single direction of cycle traffic yet it sees significantly uniform flow throughout the day. The tight radius curve lacks adequate sight distances or speed allowance, and the kerbs and handrail posts are extreme hazards to cyclists. Will we see this go another 10 years without changes?

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