Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Remote infrastructure

A few weeks ago I did some work in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. While travelling between Broome and Derby I found what could be the most remote bicycle infrastructure in Australia.

Once you leave Broome and start driving east there are very few buildings or other signs of life apart from the occasional vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

The distances in this part of the world change to a different scale. You will see traffic signs that warn you of hazards that you might encounter for the next 215 km. The destinations shown on maps are often just a petrol station with a camp ground out the back.

After two hours of driving in such a wild landscape it was quite a surprise to see a pedestrian and cyclist warning sign on the side of the road.

At the bridge where the highway crosses the Fitzroy River and about 56 kms before reaching the town of Derby there is a dual use path that connects the river to the Willare Roadhouse.

The path is about 800m long and includes a separate lane that has been attached to the side of the bridge. The motorised traffic has to share a single lane for both directions while on the bridge which makes it even more remarkable that pedestrians and cyclists get this much space. There is also a bicycle parking enclosure that has been built under a tree at the western end.

Considering the permanent population of Willare must be less than ten people this is quite an achievement. The roadhouse does have a camping ground out the back so at peak tourist times the population will increase. I think the river might be a popular fishing spot at the right time of the year. 

And the beach is only 250 km away.

1 comment:

  1. Great find ... I assume from the photo of the of the semi that it was put in for safety reasons but you don't have to wonder about the best use of precious resources :)