UC Vice Chancellor Stephen Parker the cyclist. Photo: Jay Cronan
UNIVERSITY of Canberra vice-chancellor and keen bike rider Stephen Parker has called for more cycle lanes in the ACT to be physically separated from cars and other vehicles.
Professor Parker has been made the patron of the ACT's lobby group for cycling, Pedal Power, and he says Canberra's cycle routes could be improved.
''The cycle paths available were pretty good years ago but they're not so cutting edge now,'' said the reformist academic leader, who has overseen huge growth and changes to infrastructure at his university in the past five years.
''Canberra really needs bike lanes physically separated from cars if we want to get a lot more people riding.''
The ACT government wants 6 per cent of Canberrans riding to work by 2016.
The university will spend the next two years working on a detailed cycling strategy for its future, which will examine the layout and use of roads.
Already it has bike parking stations equipped with repair tools and Pedal Power executive officer John Armstrong hopes the professor's actions will inspire other universities throughout Australia to become more bike friendly.
"We know that UC takes cycling as a form of transport seriously,'' Mr Armstrong said.
Professor Parker cycles up to 100 kilometres a week as part of a fitness regimen that also has him running or swimming each day - in a week he runs 25 kilometres and swims three kilometres - and in a slightly disappointed voice the 59-year-old concedes: ''That's all I have time for. As a cyclist in Canberra, you get the solitude and the fantastic views.''