Making riding easier in Hobart

Thursday’s Bicycle Network barbecue next to the Hobart Rivulet Track generated plenty of discussion amongst those seduced to drop in by the aromas wafting off Phil Joughin’s hot plate.

We collected riders’ ideas on three white boards and we are rolling the results out this week.

People were free to write down their ideas or to support the ideas already contributed by ticking them.

The first question: What would make cycling easier for the people of Hobart?

The biggest tick was for removing narrow points on roads such as kerb bulbs and pedestrian sanctuaries.  City traffic engineers, please take note!

This was closely followed by: practical, sensibly placed secure bike parking at all shopping centres and public places.

Related to that was a suggestion that businesses should be able to convert on-street car parking spaces to bike parking without needing council permission.

The other ideas were:

  • Social behaviour change.
  • Dedicated bike lanes with no cars.
  • An education/advertising campaign.
  • Lower speed limits.
  • Better driver education.
  • Prohibiting car parking in cycle lanes.
  • An easy bike hazard report form (not an app).
  • Signage around town regarding the safest routes to major suburbs.

All these issues are being raised in the forums Bicycle Network is part of and there has been progress on some of them.

For example, questions about bike safety are now included in driver’s licence testing in Tasmania.  The Government has rolled out education campaigns on sharing the road and on the minimum passing distance rule change, backed up by signage on major cycling routes. It will also introduce a minimum-passing-distance law this year.

Sandy Bay Rd/Channel Highway now has a 50km/h speed limit from Taroona to the city, and there will be speed limit reductions implemented in some Launceston CBD streets under its City Heart project.

However, reductions to 40km/h in some urban areas and 30km/h in school zones are our target.

There has been some progress on bike parking but demand is still not being met – as anyone can see by the number of bikes in Tasmanian urban areas chained to poles, railings, bollards and the like. Bikes get you right outside where you want to be and the parking is free. And that’s good for business.

These issues and more will be at the heart of the Bike Futures conference in Hobart on Thursday, March 9. It’s our big Bike Week event, open to all and it’s free, so register now by emailing [email protected]


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