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Shared Civic cycle way 'most logical option'

Date

Larissa Nicholson

Prominent Canberra cycling group Pedal Power ACT has backed a controversial plan to make Bunda Street in Civic a shared area, with pedestrians, cars and bicycles given minimal signage or line marking.

According to the proposal from consultants GTA and Macgregor Coxall, a 10km/hour speed limit would be set and ''all road users will have to actively navigate the area, avoiding conflict with others''.

The plan is one of three in an ACT government design competition for the redevelopment of Bunda Street, part of a $6 million Civic Cycle Loop that will circle the centre of the city.

The Canberra and Queanbeyan Cycling and Walking Map, launched in Civic.

The Canberra and Queanbeyan Cycling and Walking Map, launched in Civic. Photo: Graham Tidy

Pedal Power ACT communications manager Matt Larkin said all the proposals had merit, but the GTA and Macgregor Coxall plan was the most logical option.

''It facilitates the free mixing and flow of people, bikes and cars in an environment in which all move around safely,'' he said.

''It proposes setting a speed limit that will ensure all groups feel safe and will enhance a vibrant street life in Canberra without preventing access for anyone.''

Mr Larkin said similar schemes had worked well overseas, including in London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin. ''These are cities that have larger populations and larger volumes of traffic than Canberra.''

He said Pedal Power ACT had discussed the plans with the ACT government in the regular meetings they had together.

On Wednesday the ACT government released a new map for Canberra's walkers and cyclists, without most of Civic Cycle Loop redevelopment.

The updated  Canberra and Queanbeyan Cycling and Walking Map indicates a shared-use path along Marcus Clark Street, but has marked Rudd, Bunda, and Alara Streets as ''connector streets.''

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell said the previous map had been released five years ago and was due for an update, and paths that had not yet been completed were left out. ''That's part of a growing city, there will always be things that are growing, changing and developing.''

Mr Larkin welcomed the updated map, and said next on Pedal Power's wish list was a completed cycle path around Lake Burley Griffin, more paths in Kingston and Jerrabomberra, and a new path to replace that collapsed in front of Duntroon.

About 8.50am, an hour before Mr Corbell's announcement, a cyclist and a pedestrian collided on Alinga Street, Civic.

The pedestrian bumped her head and was taken to Calvary Hospital for observation.

26 comments

  • What a total joke - especially given the feedback and conversations presented last week in this newspaper forum.

    The cycle lobby's strident appraoch is to be commended but it has skewed public areas away from what they are intended for. Civic is Latin for the people. Bunda Street redevelopment is seemingly only for one small segment of the community. Make it a pedestrian mall with a world food theme and avoid the ambiguities this $6 million design will bring to the area.

    Commenter
    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 4:03PM
    • Of course pedal power back the proposal, in six months they will bucket about to many cars and they are a problem and need to go.
      Wake up Canberrans next thing the ACT Green Labor government will be letting the lycra clad lasses and lads ride through your house.
      Can someone explain the latest cycle path trend, lines six metres long then a long gap before another line, have not seen any get off and carry their bikes to the next marked line yet.
      What about CID and the V8's.
      Angry, hell yeah I"m bloody angry.

      Commenter
      Nitro Gangster
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      January 23, 2013, 4:21PM
      • Maybe take a lead from Vancouver, where shared areas are actually policed with radar and their 15kph limit policed strictly?

        Commenter
        Ted
        Date and time
        January 23, 2013, 5:16PM
        • If Bunda Street is so horrible, why are there so many people there?

          Commenter
          Economist
          Date and time
          January 23, 2013, 5:19PM
          • This is completely nuts (and of course Pedal Power endorsed it - they are one of those particularly self-interested 'stakeholders')! Just remove on-street parking from Bunda Street (and close it to motorised traffic, if that would help) but stop with the 'we are trying to be Europe' stuff already. It is particularly infuriating that the official feedback form for these proposals does not provide a 'none of the above but here are my suggestions' option -- you can only offer comments and suggestions if you first rank the 3 proposals. Yes -- they are all fairly 'rank'!

            Commenter
            Karina
            Location
            Belconnen
            Date and time
            January 23, 2013, 5:39PM
            • Shared zones are notoriously chaotic. It wouldn't be long before a child gets knocked over. Why not choose the safest option which is segregated cycleways and pathways.

              Commenter
              Jason D.
              Location
              ACT
              Date and time
              January 23, 2013, 7:26PM
              • As the mother of two boys aged one and three, there is no speed limit at which I would feel safe with us freely mixing with a flow of bikes and cars. Pedal Power is a self interested and vocal lobby group; let's not forget the rest of us.

                Commenter
                Andrea
                Location
                Palmerston
                Date and time
                January 23, 2013, 11:07PM
                • I dont understand why any changes are being proposed. Bunda St has become the vibrant heart of the city because it is one bit of the city that feels like a real city - a little congested, a little crowded, and dare I say it, a little unplanned and organic. I really can't see the problem that is it is trying to solve - is there really a safety issue here? Most vehicles already seem to travel slowly through this part of the city. Why are we trying to fix something that is already working well? Why do we need to make it easier for people cars and bikes to get through this area, isn't it the destination?

                  Commenter
                  Random guy
                  Location
                  ACT
                  Date and time
                  January 23, 2013, 11:15PM
                  • Of course Pedal Power endorse this, they're a cycling action group. Shared zones don't work. Firstly, most cars do not have a speedometer that indicated 10km/h. They usually start at 20km/h. Secondly, 10km/h is very slow, and I can guarantee that most cyclists would break this limit as well. So now we have cars and bikes going to fast in an area they share with pedestrians. How is this a good idea? Remove all cars AND bikes from the area, and go with a pedestrian only zone.

                    Commenter
                    James
                    Location
                    Belconnen
                    Date and time
                    January 24, 2013, 5:34AM
                    • Pedal Power you have your head in the clouds and clearly demonstrated you have no idea about the behaviour of you community. 10kmh they can't obey existing rules and display common sense. What are you proposing to do to change the mentality of your community to respect and share with all other users??????? Random guy I like your thinking. Turning it into a pedestrian only section (which in reality will end up being pedestrians and cyclists) will result in a bit of a ghost town like the rest of the mall. We simply don't have the population. Bunda Street at the moment does have bit of big city feel because of some chaos. Lets shelve this idea and spend the money on some bike only and pedestrian only paths and restrictions for cyclists from unsafe roads. May be bring the raising of the guard rail on Commonwealth Bridge forward.

                      Commenter
                      Marie
                      Date and time
                      January 24, 2013, 8:29AM

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