7 September 2022

New call for separated cycleways on Cotter Road, Adelaide Avenue to make active travel safer

| Ian Bushnell
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Cotter Road on road cycle lane

The Cotter Road-Adelaide Avenue junction is a danger point for cyclists. Photo: Pedal Power.

More work needs to be done to separate vehicles and bicycles and other active travel modes on major roads such as the Cotter Road and Adelaide Avenue, according to the Inner South Canberra Community Council.

In its submission to the ACT Government on its Active Travel Plan released in July, the council says keeping bicycles, scooters and other means of transport away from motor vehicles to increase safety should be a priority.

The council says the increasing volume of traffic along the Cotter Road/Adelaide Avenue corridor to Canberra Avenue from the rapidly growing Molonglo Valley posed safety issues for those wanting to cycle or otherwise to and from the city and Inner South.

It says Cotter Road should be prioritised for active travelling upgrades, extending through to the intersection with Adelaide Avenue and connected to Canberra Avenue.

“Routes such as Adelaide Avenue provide little separation between vehicle, cycle and pedestrian modes and this is a major obstacle to its use, especially for commuters to and from the city,” the submission says.

“Quick build treatments to test design solutions should be prioritised for these primary commuter routes.”

Some of the newer bike paths and lanes have concrete barriers separating them from the roadway.

READ ALSO Retrofit local streets to encourage walking, cycling for short trips first: public transport association

The submission says now is the time to plan the needed infrastructure along the city’s main routes, particularly in the south where the next light rail extension is expected.

“Development of Light Rail Stage 2B will have a significant impact on Deakin and other inner south areas,” the submission says.

“Now is an ideal time to develop viable active travel routes that can be incorporated efficiently into future transport network design and provide a timely response to light rail disruption.”

In 2020, cycling lobby group Pedal Power proposed separated cycleways within the road/rail corridor as part of early planning for active travel arrangements in the context of light rail to Woden.

The council is also concerned about the impact the increasingly popular electric scooters are having on shared paths, and wants a dedicated safety campaign.

It says residents have raised safety issues, particularly on paths around shopping and town centres and where overhanging shrubbery near driveways obscures the view of pedestrians and scooter riders and cyclists.

“Even though education activities are referred to in the plan, we consider that a separate action could be added on, rolling out safety education campaigns whilst ‘bedding down’ this (still relatively) new addition to our active transport options,” the council says.

The council says ‘right-of-way’ rules should also be developed and enforced to make shared paths safer, and Access Canberra should monitor illegal parking, erect bollards where necessary and issue fines as a deterrent to keep ways clear for pedestrians and cyclists.

READ ALSO 40 km/h suburban streets could be part of Canberra’s active travel future

The council says the Government should review active travel routes to ensure they connect key locations such as shops and schools, are being used, can be separated from road traffic, and have priority at crossings.

It says, in the Inner South in particular, footpaths are narrow, no longer fit for purpose and in need of repair.

The submission calls out developers for not fixing damage caused during construction on residential and commercial blocks.

“In addition, most old paths have fixed kerbs that make it difficult for people with strollers, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, e-scooters and other mobility aids to cross streets,” it says.

The Council had identified the area around the Fyshwick Markets, Telopea Park, Brisbane Avenue and increasingly busy Deakin for attention.

The shared path network will also need upgrading to cater for new development in Narrabundah, Dairy Road and East Lake, it says.

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This picture is almost that same as a scenario one morning last week. The merging of State circle and people coming off Adelaide avenue onto State circle, Two cyclist almost exactly the same as in the PIC,
The first cyclist used the bike lane and waited for a break in traffic to move across, the second cyclist ran the gauntlet, trying to get ahead of the first cyclist, in between the two lanes of traffic and tried to cut across through the traffic, bringing both lanes to a halt because no one could understand what he/she was doing. I am a cyclist myself but i don’t get what some people try and do when riding, forgetting all common sense. It me, me …me! I’m a cyclist i have all the rights to be here.
This person was lucky not to have been collected by a car, the traffic merges into one at that point, so they are looking at other car positions, not for a cyclist not using the cyclist path/route, particularly when other cyclists were.

Establishing and implementing a policy by which motorists are required to share roads and motorways with cyclists and e-scooters is one of the more assinine moves the ACT Labor Government has presided over while in office. Some roadways that have dedicated cycle lanes such as Anthony Rolfe Ave, are barely wide enough to take a car. I cannot think of anything more likely to promote road fatal accidents.
I am all in favour of increasing the network of dedicated cycle tracks in the ACT. We have already experienced cyclist fatalities…so…please Mr Barr…let’s separate cars and transports from cyclists before we experience more deaths.

Linda Seaniger4:01 pm 08 Sep 22

Do the feasibility studies labor/Greens by all means but let’s just prioritise this behind other more necessary road infrastructure namely the bridge across Coppins Crossing we’ve been waiting about 7 years. During the next 10 years hopefully cyclists numbers might increase and thereby justify the large expense for a select for a small Minority. By that time hopefully bikes will be registered and therefore contributing to the facilities they are demanding.

Phil Tarrant1:49 pm 08 Sep 22

Can we get the path on Hindmarsh Drive finished please??? When you ride up the hill from Canberra Ave, you get to the top of the hill and the path just disappears! I bit daunting racing down that hill with high speed traffic beside you and no decent shoulder to ride on. It’s like going down Conrod Straight on weekdays!

Lauren Montagnese8:39 am 08 Sep 22

They absolutely need to prioritise this. It’s not the cars that are the problem. Watched a cyclist pull across this very intersection in front of a car this morning and he almost got cleaned up.

Phil Tarrant2:04 pm 08 Sep 22

Keep in mind that drivers and cyclists follow the same rules for giving way. Motorists must give way to cyclists on a cycle path. I am long term driver and cyclist and both sides make a lot of mistakes. Bottom line is that cyclists are squishy, cars are not… Everyone needs to take care, and keep in mind that even if either one makes a mistake, it is the cyclist is far more likely to be killed or injured. Cyclists put a lot of faith in the drivers around them. I am sure that cyclist wasn’t trying to prove a point. If he made a mistake then everyone needs to understand that.

Well according to peer-reviewed research into collisions it mostly is the cars that are the problem. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good ol’ rant.

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