Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Wellbeing

Sponsored by Crucial - delivering premium web hosting to Australian businesses 24x7x365

National Arboretum Very Bicycle Unfriendly

By gasman - 4 February 2013 46

Beautiful weather, last days of the school holidays, decided to take Junior Gasman (aged 9) to the opening weekend of the National Arboretum.

With consideration to health, environment, carbon and fun, we decided to ride our bicycles. From Belconnen to the front gate of the Arboretum, we had bicycle paths and lanes. At the main entrance to the Arboretum, the bike paths and all other bicycle facilities ended.

Junior Gasman managed to ride his bike all the way to the top of the lookout without stopping once. He was very proud of himself – its a steep climb! We had to share to road with cars all the way. There is no bike lane and no bike path. It was somewhat dangerous for us, and very annoying for the cars. There is a thin crumbling shoulder along the road that is not designated as a bike lane, and would not comply with Australian Standards for a bike lane.

At the top, and at the Visitors Centre, there is parking for hundreds of cars, but not a single bike rack. We and the dozens of other cyclists already there had to lean our bikes agains the walls of the Visitors Centre.

Here’s the thing: The Arboretum is the latest and greatest of Canberra’s tourist attractions. It is an outdoor recreation area, perfectly suited to a day’s family cycling. As a society, we are getting fatter, and spewing more carbon into the atmosphere. One simple, healthy and inexpensive way to counter this is to get more people riding bikes. But the planners did not think to make the road just a meter wider and make a proper bike lane. I am hoping that the bike racks are planned, but they haven’t yet been installed.

Lest this become another car vs bike thread, let me point out that for a very inexpensive outlay of a bike lane, the entire complex would benefit both cyclists AND car drivers. It would be better for everybody.

Let me propose a solution, for the cost of just a few signs. By my rough count, about 90% of the cars were choosing to do the 1km loop in an anti-clockwise direction – its the quickest and most direct route to the Visitors Centre. Why not make the loop road clockwise only for cars and anti-clockwise for bikes. That way, cars and bikes have their own lanes, without slowing or being a danger to each other, and still everybody gets to go where they want.

Or is that too simple?

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
46 Responses to
National Arboretum Very Bicycle Unfriendly
1
grump 11:02 am
04 Feb 13
#

2
Kim F 11:19 am
04 Feb 13
#

I walked there from the other Arboretum. It isn’t very pedestrian friendly either.

Report this comment

3
tim_c 11:29 am
04 Feb 13
#

It already cost as much as the budget for the Cotter Dam enlargement!!

Surely it would make more sense for all the traffic to be travelling in the same direction?

Report this comment

4
dpm 11:45 am
04 Feb 13
#

5
Snarky 11:52 am
04 Feb 13
#

Totally agree with Gasman.

I’d actually ridden up the top a few times before the opening – in my innocence I attributed the complete lack of bicycling infrastructure to the fact it wasn’t yet ready and open to the public. Yet on a ride up on Sunday – nothing’s changed. What in god’s name possessed them not to put in a decent width road with a bike lane when they were building the friggin’ thing? On Sunday there were at least 18 bikes propped up along the Village Centre entry wall – no provision there or in the car park (the obvious wide open space) for a bike rack or two.

I’ve emailed canberraconnect asking if there will actually be something put in and will report back with their response. Fair dinkum – the arboretum itself is great and the Village Centre is a stunning building. I’d love to know who the clown was that signed off on the road plan.

Report this comment

6
dungfungus 12:06 pm
04 Feb 13
#

Stand by for Pedal Power to get thrown more millions to build bike paths through the arboretum. Soon the trees will have to go to make way for all the facilities and bike paths. When is the five star resort and conference centre going to be built?

Report this comment

7
dungfungus 12:38 pm
04 Feb 13
#

tim_c said :

It already cost as much as the budget for the Cotter Dam enlargement!!

Surely it would make more sense for all the traffic to be travelling in the same direction?

I would like to know exactly where you got any costings – the only figures available are that it has cost $67 million and it will cost $3 million a year to maintain. I would estimate that at least double that figure has already been spent. It would be nice to see some details of income and expenditure for the concerts that have been held there as well.
Some people may think I don’t like arboretums. This is not the case as whenever I travel I make it my business to see them and to date, none have been like the concept for the Canberra one. The next arboretum I am planning to see is the one in Devenport, Tasmania.
The point I am making is that the national arboretum was thrust upon us by the whims of a few high powered Canberrans who are not known for being successful in previous ventures that have all been underwritten 100% by ACT ratepayers. Already, it is clear that its design and purpose is not to a lot of people’s liking (it is turning into a theme park) so let’s see some accountability and figures please.

Report this comment

8
Ben_Dover 1:34 pm
04 Feb 13
#

Somewhere likely to stay free of the cycle nazi hordes? I may visit after all!

Report this comment

9
switch 2:17 pm
04 Feb 13
#

Snarky said :

What in god’s name possessed them not to put in a decent width road

Didn’t we all say that about the GDE?

Report this comment

10
p1 2:51 pm
04 Feb 13
#

We had to share to road with cars all the way.

Really? I thought I read on the other Arboretum thread that private cars wouldn’t be allowed up there? Surely you were only sharing with infrequent ACTION shuttle buses?

Report this comment

11
DCoop 3:35 pm
04 Feb 13
#

My partner and I also rode up around the Aboretum on Sunday and it wasn’t a great experience, given the potential it has to be such a great facility for bikes (and everyone else!). It is really unfortunate (and potentially dangerous) that the cycling infrastructure just suddenly disappears on the Aboretum’s doorstep.

I think the one-way traffic is a great idea, for cars and bikes going the same direction though, just widen the driving lane and have a big cycle lane as well (reduces the risk of a nasty head-on collission for any of the steep decents). Mt Annan Botanice Gardens, despite being much larger, is like this and it seems to work well.

Speed limit should be slower too, 20k/h – otherwsie you’re driving to quickly to enjoy the view!

Report this comment

12
Sandman 3:46 pm
04 Feb 13
#

You’ve got Stromlo, Kowen and Majura already. Can’t we have somewhere that I can let my 3 year old run free without worrying about a wanna be Lance Armstrong taking her out?

You said that the bike paths and lanes lead to the main entrance. Lock your bike up there and enjoy walking amongst the trees.

Report this comment

13
Dork 4:05 pm
04 Feb 13
#

I completely agree Sandman. It also horrifies me a bit that you let your 9 year old ride along the road Gasman.

Report this comment

14
gazket 4:16 pm
04 Feb 13
#

I didn’t know the Arboretum was built for cyclists to lap around. what was I thinking.

Either cyclists can’t read, think everyday is Sunday or just don’t give a hoot and think the world revolves around them. I seen many cyclists up there before the opening when there was a sign on the entrance clearly saying NO PUBLIC ENTRY EXCEPT FOR SUNDAY’S.

I’m pretty sure people were told to take the bus to the opening.

Report this comment

15
DCoop 4:28 pm
04 Feb 13
#

Sorry Gasman, despite your best intentions, it has unfortunately turned into yet another chance for the bike haters out there to have a grumble.

Report this comment

1 2 3 4

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site