Tassie to get first protected lane

Tasmania’s first protected bicycle lane in Glenorchy’s city centre may be short but it will provide an example of the type of infrastructure Tasmania needs to get more people riding.

Work has begun in Peltro Street to link the Intercity Cycleway with the city centre via a protected bi-directional lane.

A new, wider path off the cycleway should allow easier crossing of King George V Avenue on to Peltro Street.

The work is part of the revitalization of Glenorchy’s city centre which will involve wider footpaths, slower traffic speeds of 40km/h, more street plantings, new seating and lighting and more bicycle parking stands.

The council has had to remove a handful of on-street car parks to create the bicycle lane but there is plenty of off-street parking in the area.

By narrowing traffic lanes and slowing drivers the council is hoping to make the city centre more “cycle friendly”, although the Peltro Street lane is the only dedicated bicycle lane being installed.

Bicycle Network has been campaigning for a protected bi-directional lane to be built in Collins Street in Hobart. This lane would link the popular rivulet path with the city centre and waterfront and on to the Intercity Cycleway.

But with the increase in university accommodation, new university buildings and other residential buildings boasting bicycle friendly parking and design, the pressure is on the City of Hobart to ramp up its protected bicycle infrastructure.

A network of protected lanes running through the city centre that connect with the Intercity Cycleway, Rivulet Path and Sandy Bay Lanes would provide university students and staff and new city residents with a cheap, quick and healthy way to get around.

The new Brooker Avenue pedestrian and cyclist bridge also provides impetus for new protected lanes leading to its Bathurst Street entrance.

Protected lanes can be quick to install and relatively inexpensive if parked cars are used as the barrier instead of bollards or planter boxes.

A wider path should make it easier to exit the Intercity Cycleway.