Active Travel is where you make the physical effort to move from A to B, like cycling or walking. There are many benefits including health, environmental, and financial, but not many people can or do make that choice.
Firstly, please share your thoughts on Active Travel with me. You can go in the draw to win a $50 gift voucher to Cookies Cycles in Franklin. You can also read more about Cookie’s business during Light Rail construction, bushfires, and now Covid.
The benefits of Active Travel are obvious, but why don’t more people make that choice? Popular reasons include safety, ability, and comfort, but the most common reason I have heard boils down to convenience.
People are more likely to use Active Travel in more casual or social journeys instead of for work. Our work days are busy with meetings, appointments, and errands. We generally need the flexibility of a private vehicle to fit everything in.
I am looking at the blockers to Active Travel with a view to overcoming them. I would like to see cycling, walking, and public transport a more viable choice than they have been.
A lack of confidence to cycle the whole way to work has been an common issue raised on my campaign. How do you deal with a puncture? Where and how can you store your bike at the end of your journey?
Bike to Work
I am proposing regular weekend “Bike to Work” sessions to introduce people to cycling to work. In these sessions, experienced riders will collect riders from a given suburb and lead them on the best commuting paths. There, they will lock up their bikes and host an information session on basic bike maintenance and safety. At the end of the session, the group will cycle back to the starting suburb.
These sessions will allow a stress free, safe, and organised introduction to cycling to work. They will also help you form connections to other beginner cyclists for commuting as small groups.
Pedal Power ACT are well positioned to be a key stakeholder in this initiative.
Quality of bike and shared paths
Poor quality infrastructure discourages people from cycling. It leads to more punctures, general wear on bikes, and unsafe riding conditions.
In a 2017 ACT Auditor-General report, it was noted that Canberra’s path network is rapidly aging, and needs urgent attention.
According to Pedal Power ACT “The current level of funding for path maintenance (around $4.7 million per annum) is not adequate to properly manage and maintain this important public asset.”
I support additional funding to maintain our path network at a higher standard. These paths should be suitable for a variety of vehicles including bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and pedestrians.
- Establish a “Bike to Work” program in cooperation with Pedal Power ACT.
- Support a comprehensive condition assessment of the entire ACT path network, and a rolling program of proactive maintenance.
- Continue to engage the community to identify and overcome Active Travel blockers (fill in the survey now).