A re-elected Labor government would spend $4.7 million to build a dedicated 3m to 4m-wide bikeway connecting the Belconnen town centre, the University of Canberra, Radford College and the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Bruce campus.
Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris announced the proposed bikeway during a speech at cycling lobby group Pedal Power’s election forum tonight.
“This project will build a purpose built bikeway, separated from traffic and pedestrians, to connect the whole Belconnen town centre and our education institutions in Bruce,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“It will include new kerbing, new pavement, signage, line marking, and bollards to separate traffic from cyclists, and road improvements.”
The Labor transport spokeswoman said that in addition to connecting educational institutions with the town centre, the Belconnen Bikeway would service the suburbs of Page and Florey. It would connect with existing community paths and, in the future, provide a separated cycle route down Benjamin Way. A new cycle path would be established as part of recently announced works to upgrade Aikman Drive.
“In addition, we will invest in more bike racks in Braddon, using the racks that were part of a competition earlier this year to be installed in key locations in the inner north suburb,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“Labor will also focus our efforts on growing Canberra’s ‘cycling tourism’ economy.”
Ms Fitzharris said Labor would work with local cycling bodies to further develop the capital as a cycling destination in coordination with Visit Canberra and other channels.
Executive Officer at Pedal Power ACT John Armstrong, described Labor’s plans for Canberra as not big enough, saying, “If we want to be better than the rest of Australia, we have to take some bigger steps. Hanging your hat on what [the rest of Australia already has] is not big enough, is not strong enough, won’t make it, it won’t cut the mustard, we need to be able to be bigger, bolder and stronger.
“We need to see from Labor, some really strong policy decisions around cycling infrastructure and cycling tourism.”
The Greens made their own election commitment tonight, to work with the private sector to explore options for bicycle hubs for Civic and other town centres and start work on a bike share scheme for the Parliamentary Triangle, the city, New Acton, ANU and Dickson.
Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury said cyclists could use the hubs to take a shower, store their bike, and use other facilities such as bicycle repair or laundry services.
The Greens had earlier announced a $60 million commitment to upgrade walking and cycling infrastructure across the city over four years.
Read Anne Treasure’s take on tonight’s Pedal Power election forum here.