Travelling between Woden and Weston Creek is set to become much safer and easier for cyclists with the government proposing a new shared path that will cut across the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve and then along Heyson Street.
The Minister for Roads and Active Travel Chris Steel also released designs for a new cycleway in the Woden Town Centre.
“The Heysen Street link is one of the key missing connections in our cycle path network joining Weston with Woden,” Mr Steel said.
“We know this path is an important link for cycle commuters and school students, with the alternate alignment through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve providing a more direct and safer route for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrian users.”
The path will now run from the intersection of Devonport and Derwent streets, diagonally across the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve and then along Heysen Street to Hilder Street and cost around $1.5 million. Construction on the path is expected to commence in the second half of next year and be completed in 2021, with the environmental approval process pushing back construction.
“We need to go through some environment approval processes because the new path will be running through part of the edge of the nature reserve on Oakey Hill. This is going to be a slightly more difficult approvals process,” Mr Steel said.
“This is a really important path in our cycling network. We have over 3000 km worth of shared paths across the ACT, but we have quite a few missing links, particularly east-west links throughout our city.”
A 1 km dedicated on-road cycleway through the Woden Town Centre on Corinna St will come at the cost of around $3 million, with the government hoping to commence work by March next year so the project can be finished by late 2020.
“These improvements will create a safer and more efficient route for cyclists traversing through Woden Town Centre by separating them from both pedestrians and other road users,” Mr Steel said.
Pedal Power ACT advocacy team member Jeff Ibbotson says the announcement is a win for community activism and has welcomed the new safety improvements.
“We are very pleased to hear this announcement as it is a good example of community consultation. We have been putting this argument to Transport Canberra for quite a while and it is good to see that they have listened and acted. It will make the connection between Woden and Lyons and Weston much better,” he said.
“It is surprisingly well used, and we are glad to see it will be much safer. We have been calling for this for some years and original plans were quite different but we pointed out that it will be easier and cheaper and safer for this route and the government listened to us.”