Pedal Power is appealing to the Minister for Economic Development Andrew Barr to intervene at Kingston Foreshore where the Land Development Agency has reneged on a promised thoroughfare for bike riders.
According to Pedal Power, the ACT’s cycling advocacy group, the promised wide promenade has turned into a shambles as people try to walk and cycle in an area crowded with outside diners.
“We predicted this would happen,” said Jeff Ibbotson, the organisation’s Advocacy Team Leader.
“The result is chaotic and it impedes the flow for people cycling around Lake Burley Griffin. Nor does it make it pleasant for people trying to enjoy the cafes.”
The advocacy group was called in to consult when planning for the Kingston Foreshore Development was in its infancy. According to Ibbotson the LDA agreed that safe access for bicycles through the area was essential in line with the development of the cycling route around Lake Burley Griffin, promoted as ‘the best half day ride in Australia’.
“We were delighted to be involved right at the start. Prior to the new development, there was a good cycling route along the foreshore and it was used regularly by recreational riders and commuters. Our priority was to ensure continued safe and pleasant use for all,” said Ibbotson.
Pedal Power submitted a number of ideas and recommendations, including a bridge over the harbour mouth and a promenade wide enough for everyone.
“It soon became apparent that the LDA wasn’t listening to us. The resulting narrow promenade is a real pinch spot for cyclists going in either direction, particularly during peak times when more people visit the cafes and restaurants,” explained Ibbotson.
Pedal Power representatives are angry the organisation’s recommendations have been ignored despite numerous attempts over many years to have their concerns heard by the LDA. They have now turned to Minister Andrew Barr in the hope he will intervene.
“At this late stage the options really are very limited. We can stick with the status quo which obviously is not ideal or we could advocate for a dedicated bi-directional bike path in Eastlake Parade – one street back from the water - which would see the removal of a number of car spaces,” said Ibbotson.
“We are disappointed and angry. Pedal Power is always available to consult with the LDA on new developments to ensure access for people who ride bikes and to encourage a more cycle and environmentally friendly city.
“To be consulted and ignored is probably worse than not being consulted in the first place,” said Ibbotson.