Ever been riding down a beautiful stretch of bike path, and have it suddenly end?
Candidates at the recent Pedal Power Election Forum agreed that existing cycling infrastructure must be improved to make cycling easier in Canberra.
It was put to Labor spokesperson Meegan Fitzharris that this means addressing the over $9 million worth of maintenance backlog, and fixing the missing links in Canberra’s cycle pathways.
The ACT Government has a contact form that you can use to report infrastructure issues at the Fix My Street site.
You can also address correspondence directly to your territory representatives.
The new ACT Government has committed $30 million to address the concerns of residents like Julie and Andrew, who simply want a bike path network that works, is maintained and connected to the places people want to go.
Help them use it wisely and let them know how to fix the missing links.
The letter below is from Pedal Power members Julie and Andrew. They took the opportunity to contact candidates and media after the Pedal Power forum placed a spotlight on cycling issues.
Subject: Follow up from Pedal Power Election Forum
Meegan, Alastair, Shane, Genevieve, John
I write to thank you for your participation in the Pedal Power Election Forum last night, and to raise with you an issue of concern.
My wife Julie and I live in Higgins. We have recently attended a New Horizons Course at Pedal Power and are very interested in using bikes for fitness and recreational purposes.
However, we have found that our suburb is very poorly connected to the cycle network and that our attempts to drive to the cycle paths and then cycle to work or for recreation are being frustrated by parking limitations.
Higgins is not even connected to our local shopping centre at Kippax by a dedicated cycling route.
At the meeting you all agreed that we should find ways of encouraging people onto bikes.
For the residents of Higgins (and I suspect many other suburbs), the reality of the disconnected grid, poor maintenance of the cycle network and the conflicting government priorities appear at odds with a genuine attempt to encourage cycle use.
So for our part we ask 4 things:
- Provide a cycle path from Higgins to Kippax shops.
- Provide a formed cycle trail along the centenary trail along Drake Brockman Drive, under the underpass under William Hovell Drive through the Pinnacles and Mount Painter reserves to join up with the cycle trail at Bindubi Street.
- Remove the two hour parking at Garry Owen Drive (Black Mountain Peninsula) or establish dedicated Drive/Ride parking at that location to encourage commuter cycling.
- As discussed at the forum, substantially increase the maintenance of existing cycle networks.
We greatly appreciate your interest in these matters, and would welcome advice of your plans to address these concerns.
Julie and Andrew
This letter has been edited and surnames redacted to protect our members’ privacy.