Doctor says riding to work a 'life-threatening event'
Robert Lang on Yamba Drive yesterday. The doctor has cancelled an annual Ride2Work Day event for the Canberra Hospital. Photo: Rohan Thomson
A senior doctor at the Canberra Hospital has cancelled a Ride2Work Day event, warning that traffic conditions around the Woden hospital make it too dangerous for staff to cycle on the road.
Senior anaesthetist Robert Lang has been coordinating the annual Ride2Work Day events at the hospital's department of anaesthesia and operating theatre for several years.
Dr Lang regularly rides his bicycle to work from Belconnen.
But he said he was unwilling to organise this year's event, which will be held on October 17, because the only access was via 80km/h roads with narrow lanes on Hindmarsh Drive and Yamba Drive.
''This lack of bicycle-friendly access makes riding to Canberra Hospital a potentially life-threatening event. I cannot, in good conscience, encourage my colleagues to ride bicycles to work to Canberra Hospital when doing so would put their lives at risk,'' Dr Lang said.
A spokesman for Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said tenders were expected to be called late next month for an off-road shared path along Yamba Drive from Adelaide Avenue to the Canberra Hospital.
''Once in place, this shared path will provide improved access to the hospital and link into the existing on-road and off-road cycle routes,'' the spokesman said.
Dr Lang was also concerned about the safety of storage facilities for bicycles on the hospital campus.
''There's two bike cages and to some extent they're okay. There's swipe card access and they're floor-to-ceiling caged. But they're built over what looks like a drainage trough. It overflows with water whenever it rains. The floor's covered in mud, lighting is poor, it's an occupational health and safety issue.''
Ms Gallagher’s spokesman said bicycle lockers were available at the hospital adjacent to buildings two, four and five which had facilities for helmets and baggage.
Two secure bicycle storage areas were available for staff and visiting medical officers only. Lockers for helmets and baggage would soon be provided in one of the two staff bicycle areas.
Pedal Power communications manager Matt Larkin said Canberra had a good network of on and off-road paths and lanes for bicycling.
"There’s missing links and we’re campaigning to fix them, especially around town centres," Mr Larkin said.
- A Ride2Work Day breakfast will be held in Garema Place between 6.30am and 9am on October 17.