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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?


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46 Responses to
National Arboretum Very Bicycle Unfriendly
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resident_weevil 9:11 pm 05 Feb 13

Ben_Dover said :

gasman said :

Ben_Dover said :

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

Thank you for calling me and my son Nazis. Maybe you should think a bit before you type.

The lack of a bike lane simply means that the bicycles will be on the road, blocking your fossil fuel mobile.

With the inexpensive addition of a bike lane, we stay out of your way, and you stay out of our way.

Let me state it very clearly, using small words:

Bike lanes benefit everybody.

Bike lanes are good for car drivers too.

Bike lanes are cheap.

Really cheap.

Bike lanes add just 1 to 2% of a road’s building costs.

Bike lanes keep the road free of bikes.

Bike lanes means car drivers are only limited by other car drivers.

Bike lanes keep cyclists safer.

Bike lanes mean more people on bikes, and less on the roads.

Bike lanes mean more car parking spaces for your car.

Bike lanes mean that your car does not get blocked by a bike.

Bike lanes mean that car drivers don’t have to do dodgy overtakes on double yellow lines around bikes.

Car drivers should be arguing FOR bike lanes.

Bike lanes are good for car drivers too.

Bike lanes benefit YOU, even if you are not a cyclist.

Rather than calling people Nazi for taking their kids out for a bike ride on a beautiful Sunday morning, you should be calling for more bike lanes.

Oooooh, touched a nerve there I think… 🙂

Bloody cyclists.

Haha yeah and quite a tender one too by the looks of it.

And the winner is:

Troll Commenter (Ben_Dover) 1 – gasman (out of breath) 0

I wonder if he actually gets as worked up at the keyboard as his writing sounds. So many short sharp sentences! Learn to take a joke gasman, there’s no reason to get upset – and when you do get upset don’t try to patronize people, it just pisses them off.

Why all the fuss for I say. A road exists. Cyclists may cycle on roads. Dickhead motorists will always huff and puff behind their steering wheels and cause themselves undue stress. Bike lane or none there will always be those (apparently in this country) that can’t deal with seeing a cyclist on the road. Everything is as it should be. Hopefully this particular breed of motorist will be less likely to visit the arboretum in the first place.

People it’s time we all just got a firm handle on things. Let’s stop peddling such polarizing negativity around and break the chain cyclist vs motorist debate. I for one am starting to tyre of all this…

Punter 8:09 pm 05 Feb 13

gasman said :

Dork said :

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

Routine in civilised countries like Germany, Holland and Belgium. They have integrated transport systems combining cars, public transport and bicycles.

Not routine, but perhaps ludicrous in civilised countries like Australia, where such transport systems have not yet been integrated. I would dare say a 9yo child would disagree with the undercarriage of a 1.5t + vehicle far more than any adult; and given there’s no room for both to co-exist within this apparent narrow lane…….well, it doesn’t take a child to recognise the risks.

fabforty 5:35 pm 05 Feb 13

Hmmm… somewhere I can stroll around quietly without the risk of being wiped out or abused by a cyclist ? I like it.

Ben_Dover 5:30 pm 05 Feb 13

Any waymarked walking trails up there yet, ones for walkers only?

Oh, and will it be an on-lead or off-lead area for dogs.

Antagonist 4:10 pm 05 Feb 13

Brandi said :

TAMSMediaRoom said :

A range of further improvements are planned for the Arboretum which will improve access. The ceremonial path will be sealed soon allowing access through to the Village Centre and paving will also be extended to the southern terrace. Additional bike racks are included as part of the design, but temporary bike racks will be installed near the Village Centre in the meantime.

In regards to roads, all sealed roads within the Arboretum are shared roads for cars and bicycles with a limit of 40km/h or lower as sign-posted. The current road design best facilitates general vehicle movement, small to medium events, disabled parking pass holders and emergency response.

Big pat on the back for gasman! Even if this was already in the works, at least we have some info about what’s happening.

WTF? What about my freakin stocks for Garema Place ???

Brandi 3:48 pm 05 Feb 13

TAMSMediaRoom said :

A range of further improvements are planned for the Arboretum which will improve access. The ceremonial path will be sealed soon allowing access through to the Village Centre and paving will also be extended to the southern terrace. Additional bike racks are included as part of the design, but temporary bike racks will be installed near the Village Centre in the meantime.

In regards to roads, all sealed roads within the Arboretum are shared roads for cars and bicycles with a limit of 40km/h or lower as sign-posted. The current road design best facilitates general vehicle movement, small to medium events, disabled parking pass holders and emergency response.

Big pat on the back for gasman! Even if this was already in the works, at least we have some info about what’s happening.

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