The ACT’s cycling lobby group wants to separate pedestrians and cyclists on the busiest sections of the shared paths around the lakes, and has also called on the Government to build separated cycleways down Northbourne Avenue, Yarra Glen and Adelaide Avenue.
In its 2019 Budget submission, Pedal Power ACT has called the Government to fund at least two trial projects that would provide separate paths to ease safety concerns on the increasingly crowded and fractious lake routes.
Walkers regularly complain about speeding cyclists on the paths, while cyclists argue many walkers do not heed warning calls or keep to the left.
Pedal Power says that if successful, the project could be replicated at other lake sites.
Pedal Power’s suggested trial sites around Lake Burley Griffin include the Parliamentary Triangle circuit, East Basin from Kings Avenue bridge to the Kingston foreshore, and Yarralumla adjacent to Royal Canberra Golf Club.
It also nominates the eastern side from the northern end of Lake Tuggeranong to the pedestrian bridge at South Quay.
“With the increased popularity of these routes, particularly on weekends, conflict between cycling and walking has become a safety issue that must be addressed,” says Pedal Power.
Pedal Power is also keen to see cyclists and vehicles separated by more than just a white line on major roads with fast-moving traffic, calling for separated cycle paths on both sides of Northbourne Avenue in line with the City and Gateway Urban Design Framework.
On Yarra Glen and Adelaide Avenue, it wants separated cycleways within the road corridor on both sides.
“A safe cycling and walking environment is an essential element in increasing the take-up of active travel, particularly for women and children,” says Pedal Power.
“The perceived, actual and potential conflict that arises between people on shared paths as well as on roads reflects a range of factors, including differing speeds and the current design of the infrastructure itself.
“Ultimately, the key to reducing conflict is to plan and design facilities to meet the needs of all people who use them and to fund programs which achieve behaviour change.”
The push for separated cycleways is part of its capital works pitch that includes ‘missing links’ such as a bridge and path to connect the Molonglo network at Coombs to the Molonglo River path, and Stage I of the Molonglo to the City Bikeway.
Pedal Power also wants to see lower speed limits in streets immediately parallel to Northbourne Avenue along the lines of the Government’s Active Travel Streets proposal for inner Canberra’s De Burgh, Forbes and Moore streets.
“If done well, these corridors could be a best practice example of providing a safe and efficient route, especially for people who would feel uncomfortable on Northbourne Avenue,” says Pedal Power.
“The low-speed active travel street approach can be achieved at low cost. Pedal Power ACT sees strong value in trialling active travel streets both east and west of Northbourne Avenue. If these
trials are successful, the program could be rolled out into other suburbs.”
Pedal Power wants an additional $2 million in 2019-20 for piloting high-priority infrastructure projects, with $8 million provided in 2020-2021 and $9 million in 2021-2022 for the construction phase.
Overall, it wants an additional $8 million in 2019-20 for path maintenance and capital works, and an additional $71.4 million over four years to 2022-2023.