Some of the city's lakeside shared paths have become so congested the ACT government needs to consider building separate facilities for walkers and riders, according to a peak cycling lobby group.
In its submission to the up-coming ACT budget, Pedal Power acknowledges last year's boost to funding for cycling infrastructure, but says there is more work to do, not only on maintaining existing paths and cycleways, but in some cases building new, cycle-only paths.
Submission co-author Richard Bush said conflict between pedestrians and cyclists was on the rise, with complaints ranging from pedestrians walking on the wrong side or walking with headphones, to cyclists riding too fast past pedestrians and not giving adequate warning. Those conflicts usually resulted in calls for ways to slow cyclists down.
"We say, no, hang on, that's the wrong approach, you should be thinking of ways to separate the pedestrians from the cyclists because we are well past the point where we can continue to manage them together," Mr Bush said.
"Especially at certain times like lunchtimes, Saturday mornings, it's no longer possible to manage them together on paths. Separate paths would benefit all users, not just cyclists."
Separated cycle paths have been common for decades in many parts of Europe and are increasingly being installed in Australian cities, including some parts of Canberra.
Pedal Power has identified several areas around the popular Lake Burley Griffin waterfront path that should be separated, on a trial basis initially, at East Basin and Yarralumla, adjacent to the Royal Canberra golf club. The submission also identifies the eastern side from the northern end of Lake Tuggeranong and the eastern side of Lake Ginninderra to John Knight memorial park in Belconnen as areas that should be separated.
Mr Bush said Pedal Power had also changed its views on on-road cycleways, which should be eventually converted to separate, segreated paths.
"Years ago it was a good way to introduce commuter routes quickly and inexpensively, but now they've reached the point where they won't attract new cyclists. They need to be converted into separated cycleways, I think you've already attracted those you're going to attract to riding alongside 80km/h traffic," Mr Bush said.
Northbourne Avenue needed separated cycle paths on both sides and Yarra Glen and Adelaide Avenue should also have separated cycleways constructed, according to the submission.
The group said the existing cycle path network had suffered through years of neglect and underfunding, and despite a commitment in the 2016 Labor/Greens parliamentary agreement for additional maintenance, this had not occurred. The submission calls for eventually doubling the current maintenance budget from about $6 million to $13.5 million a year by 2022-23. In total the group wants an additional $71.4 million spent over the next four years.
A spokeswoman for Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT government welcomed input from the community on priorities for the upcoming budget.
"All submissions form part of the budget deliberation process which will occur over the next few months. The government has already fulfilled the parliamentary agreement commitment to provide $30 million in better active travel infrastructure over the past two budgets," the spokeswoman said.