Monday, February 23, 2009

Bike Path Spending

As reported in The Age today:

NEW bicycle commuter routes and the inclusion of special lanes in all large-scale road projects are expected to be part of the first major bicycle plan for Melbourne since the early 1980s.

The Government has been working on its bicycle strategy for several months, but delayed its release because of the bushfires.

In the strategy, now to be launched next month, $18 million a year will be spent over the next six years, with a renewed focus on priority routes into the city centre.
Bicycle lanes on William Street and La Trobe Street will be bolstered as part of the plan, to make cycling in the CBD safer.

Excellent news I say. There has been a large increase in the number of bike commuters in Melbourne over the last few years as a result of several factors. Lots of employers and workplaces are trying to encourage employees to ride as well through installing lockers and showers.

The key to the funding is that the bike lanes need to be commuter based. That is they need to be fast. Experienced bike riders will run the risk of riding amongst traffic if the alternative bike path is too slow.

Another interesting point in the report is:

The plan will also mandate for the first time construction of bicycle lanes into
the state's $2 billion road-building program.

A letter from Roads Minister Tim Pallas to cycle lobby group Bicycle Victoria sent late last year stressed that the strategy would focus on making bicycle lanes an integral part of all new road building.

This makes sense in urban areas as long as the paths are linked. I doubt 2km of path in the middle of the Goulburn Valley Highway would be that popular.


Jayne said...

I liked the other suggestion of scraping the age limit of riding on footpaths, which won't be entertained at all HMPH.

dam buster said...

Jayne - i think there are some areas wher ethe footpath is very wide that it can be made into a shared user path.

It wont work in all areas but I guess the government needs to consider if it really is a safety issue.

RVB said...

I'm wary of BV because of their financial links to the RACV.

dam buster said...

Reuben - Some things they do are great. I agree in some areas that the paths should be increased and improved.

They are however becoming a more powerful lobby group.

Jayne said...

I only say the age limit should be scrapped because I have a vested interest (my son's just turned 12) but he - as well as thousands of other 12 yr olds - don't have the road sense or reflexes to cope with riding on the road.
Plus the newspaper reported a huge amount of parents surveyed stated they would allow their kids to ride to school if they could stay on the footpath - otherwise they got driven in the car.

dam buster said...

Fair enough Jayne - The issue with kids on footpaths relates to drivers reversing out of driveways with fences and restricted vision.

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