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National Arboretum Very Bicycle Unfriendly

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?


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46 Responses to National Arboretum Very Bicycle Unfriendly
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Kim F Kim F 3:46 pm 05 Feb 13

Good to see TAMS Media room paying attention. I sent of a couple of requests in relation to the Arboretum web-site and lack of map of the actual arboretum. Yet to be acknowledged by either the Arboretum or Canberra Connect.

TAMSMediaRoom TAMSMediaRoom 2:51 pm 05 Feb 13

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.

Antagonist Antagonist 2:20 pm 05 Feb 13

Chop71 said :

Gungahlin Al said :

They went and stuck all those whopping great hills all through the Arboretum too. Very unfriendly for bicycle riders.

The poster boy of cycling Lance Armstrong loves the hills.

The OP should be put in the stocks in Garema Place and have a bag of bread crumbs shoved in his rectum, so he can suffer ‘death by a million pidgeons’. Fancy WANTING your kid to take up an activity that leads to drug cheating. For shaaaaaaaaame !!!

Chop71 Chop71 1:44 pm 05 Feb 13

Gungahlin Al said :

They went and stuck all those whopping great hills all through the Arboretum too. Very unfriendly for bicycle riders.

The poster boy of cycling Lance Armstrong loves the hills.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:30 pm 05 Feb 13

They went and stuck all those whopping great hills all through the Arboretum too. Very unfriendly for bicycle riders.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 11:20 am 05 Feb 13

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.

Very Busy Very Busy 10:41 am 05 Feb 13

The opening weekend of the Arboretum was of course, a hell of a lot busier than it usually will be, and the loop road around the facility will very rarely see any great volume of traffic. The road, as it is now, is more than capable of safely handling the demand that is placed upon it.

Over the weekend the road was signposted as ONE WAY (anti clockwise). Murrays buses were chartered to do tours around the loop and were travelling at almost walking pace. ACTION and Deanes were doing shuttle services and were travelling at around 40kmh. The shuttle buses could easily get past the slower tour buses due to the “one way” rule. There were however, several cyclists on the day that were ignoring the rules and travelling in the wrong direction getting in the way of buses. Some of these cyclists were travelling over the 40kmh limit in the wrong direction. IDIOTS.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 6:36 am 05 Feb 13

gasman said :

You might want to re-read and think about the post directly above yours.

I might also not want to.

1-2% might not be much on a typical Canberra road, but this road is etched into the hillside. To gain another 2.5 or more metres [the accepted minimum width according to the bicyclenetwork.com.au page] would be a lot of work for an excavator. I don’t think 1-2% will cover it.

Also, your very small words are just repetition of the same thing, over and over, slightly different, but repeating again and again and again. It could have been condensed into 3 statements but became rambling. Typical though of cyclists, just wanting more and more space.

I stand by my first comment, I might not want to. Now that I have, I regret doing so.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 11:09 pm 04 Feb 13

Sandman said :

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.

wildturkeycanoe said :

There is a cycling facility around Mount Stromlo, paths around LBG and for the enthusiasts over at Majura Pines. Go and ride over there or take your two-wheeled antics elsewhere. We waste enough money on bike lanes as it is. Simple enough?

You’re seriously using Majura as an example of facilities provided for riders?

Is there some parallel universe where Majura Pines isn’t being cleared to make way for the Majura Parkway, you know, for cars?

And I wouldn’t be too quick to use Kowen either, as riders developed and switched to Kowen after Sparrow Hill was bulldozed on behalf of cars as well.

Both were constructed by volunteers and hundreds of hours of labour, so any inference about MTBers being ‘given’ those facilities is crap. By all means break out the rake hoes and get some blisters if you feel you too are owed similar facilities.

Stromlo is the only government-funded MTB facility in this region. Stick to that example.

Sandman Sandman 10:44 pm 04 Feb 13

gasman said :

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.

What a load of opinionated garbage thats completely untainted by facts. The “Us and Them” mentality of cyclists is alive and well I see. What a poor victimised minority you (we) are. You said yourself that the bike paths ended at the entrance to the Arboretum, therefor the facilities exist for you to be able to use a non fossil fuel form of transport to get there. That never seems to be enough though, the cyclist movement always wants more.
I hope you’re not assuming that everyone against your little crusade is some kind of earth killing cyclist hater. I count 11 frequently used bikes currently in my garage (for a family of 4) but I’m realistic about where we use them. I also enjoy motorbike riding and hunting, should areas like Stromlo be opened up to those activities as well? If every single area is opened up to cycling then it’s a bit unfair to not open it up to everything else. I’d love a car lane around that road course in Stromlo, that’s a wicked piece of tarmac. I’m realistic though, so I’m not going to demand that one be put in. (it would be really cheap, the track is nice and wide and I’ll even paint the lines at my own cost).

thatsnotme thatsnotme 9:57 pm 04 Feb 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

I find bike lanes and footpaths very car unfriendly, but they aren’t built to accommodate cars, are they? I’d love to drive my way around Wet’n’wild or cycle around the National Zoo and Aquarium, but they aren’t designed for this.
Likewise, the arboretum is for people to walk around and enjoy. As for the arboretum being “perfectly suited to a day’s family cycling”? The government did not intend for it to be used for that. There is a cycling facility around Mount Stromlo, paths around LBG and for the enthusiasts over at Majura Pines. Go and ride over there or take your two-wheeled antics elsewhere. We waste enough money on bike lanes as it is. Simple enough?

Sources? Where has it been stated that the government did not intend for the arboretum to be used for a family cycling day? Or do you actually mean to say ‘I don’t think it should be used for that’? I’m assuming so, given your clear and obvious dislike of people enjoying ‘two-wheeled antics’.

Majura Pines and Mt Stromlo are both quite obviously not family cycling venues – so in your little world, families are consigned to permanently circling LBG?

Given the scale of the arboretum, I’d have thought bikes were the perfect vehicle for experiencing the various forests. And who would have thought – a cyclist can actually get off their bike, and walk through the forests just like a car driver! Amazing, I know!

gasman gasman 9:57 pm 04 Feb 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

I find bike lanes and footpaths very car unfriendly, but they aren’t built to accommodate cars, are they? I’d love to drive my way around Wet’n’wild or cycle around the National Zoo and Aquarium, but they aren’t designed for this.
Likewise, the arboretum is for people to walk around and enjoy. As for the arboretum being “perfectly suited to a day’s family cycling”? The government did not intend for it to be used for that. There is a cycling facility around Mount Stromlo, paths around LBG and for the enthusiasts over at Majura Pines. Go and ride over there or take your two-wheeled antics elsewhere. We waste enough money on bike lanes as it is. Simple enough?

You might want to re-read and think about the post directly above yours.

Jethro Jethro 9:17 pm 04 Feb 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

I find bike lanes and footpaths very car unfriendly, but they aren’t built to accommodate cars, are they? I’d love to drive my way around Wet’n’wild or cycle around the National Zoo and Aquarium, but they aren’t designed for this.
Likewise, the arboretum is for people to walk around and enjoy. As for the arboretum being “perfectly suited to a day’s family cycling”? The government did not intend for it to be used for that. There is a cycling facility around Mount Stromlo, paths around LBG and for the enthusiasts over at Majura Pines. Go and ride over there or take your two-wheeled antics elsewhere. We waste enough money on bike lanes as it is. Simple enough?

Oh.. I get it.. you’re a troll.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 9:02 pm 04 Feb 13

I find bike lanes and footpaths very car unfriendly, but they aren’t built to accommodate cars, are they? I’d love to drive my way around Wet’n’wild or cycle around the National Zoo and Aquarium, but they aren’t designed for this.
Likewise, the arboretum is for people to walk around and enjoy. As for the arboretum being “perfectly suited to a day’s family cycling”? The government did not intend for it to be used for that. There is a cycling facility around Mount Stromlo, paths around LBG and for the enthusiasts over at Majura Pines. Go and ride over there or take your two-wheeled antics elsewhere. We waste enough money on bike lanes as it is. Simple enough?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:54 pm 04 Feb 13

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.

Excellent post

TP 3000 TP 3000 8:22 pm 04 Feb 13

You may of missed the signage, but for the opening traffic was sent one way (anti-clockwise). The alternative route was to ride up that zig zag formation in the middle of the valley.

poetix poetix 8:05 pm 04 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. They also have a far lower incidence of obesity and far lower carbon emissions than Australians.

I was kind of hoping we, as a city, had turned a corner and were starting to provide transport solutions for more types of getting from A to B than just the car. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

In the direction we were going, car traffic was very light, and the 3 or 4 cars that overtook us on the way to the top were very considerate.

My thought was that it was a very long ride for a child his age. There and back for a nine year old from Belconnen? No way I would have expected that from Miss Poetix.

But then again, I wouldn’t expect it from myself!

You are obviously a tad fitter than some.

gasman gasman 8:00 pm 04 Feb 13

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.

gasman gasman 7:38 pm 04 Feb 13

Sandman said :

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.

I am not campaigning for the Arboretum to be a cycle racing venue. Just adequate and safe transport option for those of us that choose not to use the car to get everywhere.

Your 3 year old is far more likely to be injured by a car than by a bicycle. There were hundreds of them up there.

gasman gasman 7:34 pm 04 Feb 13

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. They also have a far lower incidence of obesity and far lower carbon emissions than Australians.

I was kind of hoping we, as a city, had turned a corner and were starting to provide transport solutions for more types of getting from A to B than just the car. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

In the direction we were going, car traffic was very light, and the 3 or 4 cars that overtook us on the way to the top were very considerate.

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