A new road crossing on the Federation Trail at Laverton has been installed the wrong way around, and nobody even noticed.
As riders on the trail approach the new crossing at Banfield Court they are faced with a sign telling them to give way.
The concrete path stops, and the black asphalt of the road rolls across the path, reinforcing the road priority.
Except this is arse-up. The priority should be for bikes.
For many years now in Victoria it has been policy that shared paths have priority over local roads at crossings.
The path or trail is supposed to continue across the road, and the give-way signs face the driver. The crossings are supposed to have a raised platform crossing for the path, clearly implying path priority.
Furthermore the raised platform requires vehicles on the road to cross the path carefully at low speed.
Although this has been policy for quite some time, it has not always been implemented. Some councils have opposed it, engineering consultants have been confused, and contractors assumed that giving bikes priority must have been a mistake.
Although just built, this subdivision was approved back in 2011.
Documentation seen by Bicycle Network indicates the intention was that bike priority crossing be provided.
Just how error crept in is unknown.
But it must be corrected.
The prominent Melbourne family that is developing the land, and the newly re-minted Department of Transport that is responsible for the Federation Trail, would not want this embarrassing mistake on their rap sheet.
We look forward to a re-working of the crossing so that bikes come out on top.