Pedal Power ACT welcomes plans announced by the National Capital Authority yesterday for a $500 000 makeover of Commonwealth Park, including a reconfiguration of paths which could lead to separate paths for cyclists and walkers.
We are really pleased that the NCA is exploring separated paths for cycling and walking. With more and more people out enjoying our open spaces, many paths around our lakes and town centres are becoming congested, particularly during busy periods. Commonwealth Park would be a great location to separate paths so that Canberrans and visitors can access the area safely and easily.
We’d like to see the ACT Government follow the lead of the NCA and separate paths in other locations that are known to be congested. Pedal Power has recommended a number of areas where this could be trailed in our submission to the ACT Government’s 2019/2020 budget.
The recent investment in separated cycleways in Brisbane is a great example of how other cities are addressing this issue, by constructing walking paths and cycle paths alongside each other by the river. We look forward to working with the NCA during the design process on how the paths within Commonwealth Park can be improved, as well as access links to other parts of the city.
In most areas, people on bikes and pedestrians can happily coexist, but we do get feedback about conflicts on our paths. People need to be aware that when they are on a bike they are required to give way to people walking, and should ring their bells to let them know they are coming. A bit of common sense and good manners goes a long way to resolve potential conflict.
However, where there are a lot of people using paths in different ways the best solution is to provide the infrastructure to allow them all to do so safely. Some of the more congested paths are along busy commuter cycling routes, and if we are to achieve our active travel targets, we need to make sure these routes are accessible so that more people can ride to work.
Pedal Power is proud of the advocacy work we have done over more than four decades to help shape our extensive path network. As our population grows, separated cycling infrastructure is the next step we need to take to keep our city moving.
Image: An example of a separated path at Brisbane Riverwalk, courtesy of Brisbane City Council