Making Canberra a cycle friendly city

Feedback from our members

Pedal Power listens carefully to our members. Your views help shape a picture of where Canberra’s cycling environment needs the most improvement.

In 2022, we are running a series of ‘quick polls’ – anonymous, single-question surveys about cycling issues that matter to you. Results will be posted here as each survey is completed.

See the results: PEDAL POLL 1 –  Barriers to cycling for transport

See the results: PEDAL POLL 2 – Cycling projects you want funded in 2022-23

See the results: PEDAL POLL 3 – Bikes and buses

Based on member feedback, we generate annual wish lists for regional infrastructure, and we also identify common themes across Canberra.

Safer streets for all Canberrans

Safer streets make it possible to ride, walk and scoot in our suburbs. Even if we travel by path, we all need to cross a road at some point. When we step or ride onto a road, we are vulnerable to harm.

Our members want stronger laws to protect vulnerable road users from negligent drivers.

Following 12 months of intense advocacy by Pedal Power in 2021, improved laws protecting vulnerable road users are set to be introduced in the ACT.

Police will be able to issue $900 on-the-spot fines to negligent drivers who cause actual bodily harm to others, following amendments to legislation put forward by Jo Clay MLA in the ACT Legislative Assembly in March 2022.

Path maintenance

An ongoing and systematic program of path maintenance is needed across the entire ACT path network.

The ACT’s path network totals around 3000 kilometres. It is a significant public asset, highly valued by the community. However, it is rapidly aging, with many sections in need of urgent repair. Many of our paths are cracked, crumbling and hazardous.

On behalf of our members, Pedal Power urges the ACT Government to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the whole path network, and to introduce a rolling Strategic Asset Management Plan for shared paths (similar to that existing for roads). This plan should inform a rolling program of proactive maintenance.

cracked path

Infrastructure and planning

With a growing population, road congestion is an increasing problem in Canberra. We are lucky not to have the congestion of cities like Sydney or Melbourne – yet.  The traditional approach to reducing congestion is to build bigger roads, but city planners now understand that in the long term, adding more lanes simply leads to more traffic. Progressive cities around the world are proving that building good quality cycle infrastructure is a key driver to getting more people riding. If you build safer paths that keep people on bikes away from cars, more people will cycle.

The ACT needs real investment in dedicated cycle infrastructure and planning. Immediate priorities include:

  • Secure bike parking across Canberra
  • A community-driven 10-year walking and cycling infrastructure priority plan
  • An off-road shared path along Sulwood Drive, and an upgrade of the C4 path with an underpass at Sulwood Drive
  • Connect existing paths to the Gungahlin town centre
  • A path that links from the end of the Barry drive off road cycle path through to the west end of Belconnen Way
  • Design and construction of the Garden City Cycle Route from Watson to Braddon
  • A bridge to connect Molonglo to the C5 route, and ease road congestion.
  • Extension of the Belconnen bikeway
  • Direct Woden to Civic separated cycleway
  • An enhanced active travel policy framework – a Movement and Place Framework; best practice design for intersections that prioritise walking and cycling; developing the CBR cycle routes network; and updating the Active Travel Framework.

In addition to these major projects, Pedal Power is advocating for a sustainable and robust network of paths and cycleways. This work should include:

  • Completion of various ‘missing links’, particularly safer off-road arrangements along major routes/corridors
  • Cycleways which separate bikes from fast-moving traffic, and separate bikes from pedestrians in areas such as popular lake routes
  • An ongoing program of upgraded crossings where significant path routes intersect with roads (extended beyond the Principal Cycle Routes)
  • An expansion of the Path Upgrades programs (community paths and age-friendly suburbs)
  • Works to improve rider safety on ACT country roads, including signage on passing distances, shoulder widening, etcetera
  • Design work to improve cycling connections at a number of smaller/outlying group centres and service trade areas.

cycle path

A connected path network

Anyone who cycles in Canberra will have experienced the frustration of riding on a path that comes to a dead end or being stuck in dangerous traffic when a bike lane disappears. Our members want a well-signed path network that makes it as easy as possible for people of all ages and abilities to get from A to B. This means filling in the missing links in the network, particularly to town centres.

cars and bikes on road

Cycle Tourism

We know Canberra is a great place to ride a bike, and we’d like to spread the word. With our temperate climate, open roads, extensive path networks, and off-road facilities like Stromlo Forest Park and Majura Pines, we are well placed to develop Canberra as a cycle destination and tap into a growing and lucrative domestic and international cycle tourism market. 

man on MTB