June 2016. Shoulder sealing work has been carried out on part of the uphill section between Taroona and the Shot Tower (Part B on the map). The shoulder is now wide enough for cars to park in it so 'no parking' signage or linemarking needs to be installed.
Feb 2016. Linemarking has been installed on the first section of widened sealed shoulder from Proctors Road. Rob Sheers from Kingborough BUG who has been lobbying for this project for a long time is happy with the works and reports that "innovative solutions were employed to gain adequate width. With this section there is now 1.4km out of 5.2km done". In some locations the centre line has been moved across to create space. The next section to be worked on will be in the vicinity of the Shot Tower.
Jan 2016. Work has almost complete on the first stage of sealing shoulders on uphill sections of the Channel Hwy.
Dec 2015. Details on the project can be found on the State Growth website.
2015/16 planned construction works
Site A: Just past Proctors Road to Tyndall Road junction – 750metres (uphill lane)
Site B: Just past Illawong Crescent to just past Shot Tower – 1010metres (uphill lane)
Site C: Harpers Road to Lynden Road – 300meters (uphill lane)
Site D: Taronga Road to Bonnie Brae Road– 100meters (uphill lane)
Further investigative and design works are planned on other constrained sections for 2015/16.
Nov 2015. Planning work is underway to install sealed shoulders on uphill sections of the Channel Hwy over Bonnet Hill. The sealed shoulders will provide space for slow uphill riders, making it easier for motor vehicles to overtake. Work is expected to commence before Christmas and be complete by mid-2016. During the works period all road users will need to show patience and and tolerance when using the Channel Hwy over Bonnet Hill.
From the Department of State Growth website:
"The State Government has committed to investing $1 million to improve the safety for all road users travelling along the Channel Highway in Bonnet Hill. The Bonnet Hill safety improvements are part of a $5 million package of road works designed to improve key cycling routes in Tasmania.
$500,000 has been allocated to commence the Bonnet Hill safety improvements this summer (2015/16). The shoulder sealing and line marking work is based on a design strategy outlined in the Kingborough Council's report On Road Bike Lane – Channel Highway Preliminary Design 2009.
Works scheduled for 2015/16 will include shoulder widening at four key locations and investigative and design work for another four identified sites to be constructed in the next round of works. The safety improvements will provide increased space for all road users (including cyclists) to safely travel through the uphill sections of Bonnet Hill."
Aug 2014. The Bonnet Hill Community Association had their petition tabled in Parliament on 17 August 2014. They have received letters of support from Metro, RACT, and the Mayor of Kingborough, Graham Bury. The Kingborough Chronicle reported on the handover of the petition. KBUG representatives Cr Flora Fox and Rob Sheers also met with the Premier to discuss the need for improvements on this road.
May 2014. The Bonnet Hill Community Association is progressing with a petition for extending the sealed shoulders between Taroona and Proctors Road to improve road safety. They have been collecting signatures and are encouraging everyone who uses the Channel Hwy over Bonnet Hill (drivers, bike riders) to sign. Click here to sign the online survey.
People driving on Bonnet Hill need to cross double white lines in order to leave adequate room when overtaking bike riders. This has lead to some near misses between motor vehicles. Sealed shoulders installed strategically on uphill sections would allow safer overtaking. See The Mercury article.
Apr 2013. As part of a road reseal, DIER has installed a sealed shoulder on the Channel Hwy between Browns River Bridge and Proctors Road (near the golf course). This section of roadway contained tight bends and blind corners so the sealed shoulder provides a degree of separation from motor vehicles and increases safety for riders. There were a few hiccups along the way including a linemarking error (which has been corrected) but it is now an improved cycling environment.
Dec 2012. Ministers O'Byrne and McKim sent a letter to Kingborough Bicycle Users Group to notify them that work is commencing in November "to provide a sealed shoulder on the uphill section of Bonnet Hill between Browns River Bridge and the Proctors Road intersection as part of DIER's safety improvement and road resurfacing works program. The shoulder works are being undertaken partially as a result of Kingborough Bicycle Users Group identifying this section of Bonnet Hill as being the most difficult and intimidating for cyclists to negotiate." The works will involve the creation of a 1.2 - 1.5m wide sealed shoulder to provide increased road space and make road sharing safer and easier for all users.
Dec 2010 - Scoping report complete A consultant was appointed to prepare a scoping report which identifies what needs to be investigated in order for a preliminary plan to be developed. Detailed investigation required include drainage, Aboriginal heritage, environmental and geotechnical investigations and a full 3D design needs to be prepared. KBUG will continue to source funding for the next planning stage of the project.
Dec 2009 - Preliminary design plans prepared The consultant gave a briefing to representatives from K-BUG, CyclingSouth, Sport & Recreation Tasmania and DIER on the preliminary design plans which identify options for the installation of uphill bike lanes.
Nov 2009 - Consultant appointed to prepare plans A consultant has been appointed to prepare design plans for the project and a cost estimate. The scope of the project is from Browns River in Kingston to the end of the existing Taroona bike lanes.
Oct 2009 - Road survey complete Council has called for tenders to design and cost the project. K-BUG representatives rode with Premier David Bartlett over Bonnet Hill on Ride to Work Day in October. The Premier indicated his support for the project and willingness to match federal funding for construction. K-BUG also met with Metro and the Executive Director of Sport & Recreation Tasmania to brief them on the project and gain their support. RACT has written a support letter for the project to the Premier and Minister for Transport.
June 2009 - Council to coordinate road survey -Kingborough Council has arranged for a contractor to carry out a road survey and has allocated an additional $20,000 in the budget for the Bonnet Hill project. Once the survey is completed the next step is to get a design with costings prepared.
April 2009 - Meeting with Minister for Transport, Graeme Sturgess. K-BUG representatives met with the Minister to discuss the requirement for a survey to be carried out of the Bonnet Hill route. K-BUG believe DIER should carry out the survey, which is an additional expense to the engineering design.
Jan 2014. Linemarking for the bike lanes has been reinstated after works to install a pipeline along the roadway have finished.
Apr 2009. Kingborough Council has developed plans to istall several pedestrian refuges along sections of the Channel Hwy in Taroona. As part of the project the roadway will be widened at these locations to provide space to maintain the bike lanes.
Apr 2008. In Taroona, Council has eliminated a squeeze point for cyclists at the pedestrian refuge outside Taroona Primary School. The footpath has been upgraded and the road widened, eliminating the need for cyclists to 'take the lane' through this section.
Oct 2015. Cycling South met with representatives from State Growth and Kingborough Council to look at options to widen the bike lanes along the Channel Hwy between Summerleas roundabout and Huntingfield roundabout. The road is scheduled for resurfacing which provides opportunity to modify the linemarking to make the bike lanes wider by trimming space from the wide centre median.
Apr 2008. The Channel Hwy through the Kingston shopping area has been upgraded and council has taken the opportunity to provide for cyclists within the scope of the project. Bike lanes have been included in the design and have now been marked on the road between Summerleas Rd and John St. The design will not only provide designated space for bike riders but it will also calm traffic and improve the area for all road users.
Jun 07. Council has released plans for an upgrade of the Channel Hwy between Summerleas Rd and John St in Kingston. The plans include improved streetscape and traffic calming, as well as a bike lane in both directions on the Channel Hwy. When complete, people on bicycles will have improved access to the Kingston shopping area.
Aug 09. It appears that the recommendations made by KBUG and CyclingSouth have been included. The multi-lane roundabout at Huntingfield will be problematic for cyclists but is difficult to address the issues without replacing the roundabout with signals. Pedestrian and cycling facilities including: o Extension of the pedestrian underpass adjacent to the existing Kingston High School;
- Reinstatement of the shared path and footpath on Summerleas Road overpass;
- A 3.0 metre wide shared path on the northern side of Spring Farm Road and a 1.5 metre wide footpath on the southern side;
- On road cycle lanes at the Algona Road roundabout;
- oConstruction of a pedestrian underpass at Algona Road linking Huntingfield to the greater Kingston township; and
- Extension of the Whitewater Creek Recreation trail from Summerleas Road to Spring Farm Road.
Feb 09. The design proposes green bike lanes in the roundabout at the Channel Hwy/Algona Rd/bypass intersection and designated crossing points. See Detail of Algona Rd roundabout on the DIER website (1.4MB PDF)
Algona Rd roundabout - Large multi-lane roundabouts are highly problematic and risky for cyclists in general and traffic signals are preferable. Under the current plans for the bypass there are concerns that in morning peak times it will be virtually impossible for cyclists to access Kingston from the Margate direction using the green bike lanes due to the constant stream of traffic. An alternative will be for cyclists to continue along the bypass and exit at Summerleas Rd. Outside peak times the design may suit experienced adult cyclists but it won't accommodate the needs of students riding to the new school at Huntingfield or accessing the new sports centre.
For southbound cyclists along the Channel Hwy or bypass, the Algona Rd exit will be difficult to cross due to 2 lanes approaching from the bypass and one from the Channel Hwy by the Antartic Division. Cycling groups have been pushing for a grade separated crossing over or under Algona Rd to remove one of the main barriers for human-powered travel between Huntingfield and Kingston. This connection will be especially important when the new school is constructed in Huntingfield. The current plans show a shared pathway but users will have to cross the lanes over Algona Rd.