Committee endorses draft bike plan

15 April 2014

Wheels are in motion for major upgrades to AlburyCity’s bike network after the Engineering and Works Committee endorsed the Draft Albury Bike Plan 2014-19 for public exhibition.

The plan outlines more than $200,000 in improvements to the network over the next five years which would be jointly funded by Council and Roads and Maritime Services. The majority of works will extend the Albury-Thurgoona Trail and connect cyclists to the Jelbart Park Sporting Precinct, Lavington Swim Centre and Mirambeena Community Centre.

The East Albury Trail will also be extended from Old St John’s Road to Table Top Road. This path will link cyclists to nearby housing estates and the Thurgoona Community Centre.

Engineering and Works Committee Chair Cr Ross Jackson said that Albury is a cycling city and investment in the long term future of the network was needed.

“Albury has approximately 45 kilometres of off road cycleways spread across the city. Most of the trails are flat, shared pathways that allow cyclists to access a range of services,” he said. “This plan outlines a number of improvements that will make it easier and safer for cyclists to commute to key city locations.”

“Cycling is the third most popular activity in Albury. 22.9% of residents would choose to ride a bike than do anything else. This is a significantly higher participation rate when compared to the New South Wales state statistics which has cycling listed as the sixth most popular activity at 7.7%.”

The Draft 2014-19 Albury Bike Plan has been developed based on community consultation undertaken throughout 2013. Cyclists were invited to a series of community workshops and more than 2,000 people responded to a city-wide survey.

“The survey showed that 76% of Albury’s cyclists alter their routes specifically to use the bike path network,” Cr Jackson added. “74% indicated that there are not enough bike tracks in Albury. It’s a sign that cyclists enjoy the network but we need to invest in extensions that adequately link the east and west of our city.”

“This plan will achieve that, while ultimately encouraging people to leave the car at home for short trips and consider riding a bike instead.”

Proposed works until 2019:
- Construct 850m of off road path on the Riverina Highway connecting Old St John’s Road to Table Top Road.
- Widen the existing off road path on the northern side of Union Road between Yarramba Crescent and Dick Road to 2.5m.
- Widen the existing off road path on Dick Road between Union Road and Nowland Avenue to 2.5m.
- Construct a 400m path on the northern side of Nowland Avenue from Dick Road to Moore Street.
- Widen the existing off-road path on the eastern side of Moore Street from Nowland Avenue to Kaylock Road to 2.5m.

Council will also complete an audit of bike parking facilities to eventually offer more secure parking options for the city’s cyclists. Council will also continue to create more on-street bicycle lanes in the city’s CBDs, similar to works constructed in Smollett Street.

The Draft AlburyCity Bicycle Plan 2014-19 will be presented to Council’s 28 April meeting for full endorsement before going on public exhibition.