Road projects could have bicycle spin-offs

The Tasmanian Government has made close to $800 million in promises for new and upgraded roads for the state over five years, and we’re keeping a close eye on which ones will include bicycle infrastructure.

The government’s Positive Provisioning Policy for Cycling Infrastructure states that for new or upgraded roads:

“Where the improvement or upgrade provides traffic engineering improvements such as the installation of roundabouts, traffic islands, traffic signals, new intersections and changes to line markings and lane widths for other road users, these improvements will also cater for cyclists.”

We’ve set up a page on our website under our Campaigns section to keep track of  road projects and what they are offering for bike riders.

While the government promised $8 million in dedicated funding for cycling infrastructure, more could be spent on improving conditions for people riding through individual road projects.

It makes sense to make improvements for bike riders when roads are being upgraded because of costs savings, but it also raises the question of how these new treatments are connected to create cycling corridors and networks.

Bicycle Network believes a standing infrastructure fund for bicycle facilities should be created by the state government, with contributions from the federal government, to ensure there is a steady stream of funding to build useful, connected, Safe Systems designed bicycle networks.

Promised road projects with bicycle options

South East Traffic Solution

Multiple small projects to improve the traffic flow between Hobart Airport and Sorell. This booming residential area should have a continuous bicycle corridor but at the moment it is fragmented and not direct.

  • Two roundabouts have been suggested at Midway Point and between Midway Point and the Hobart airport that would include bicycle infrastructure.
  • On-road painted bicycle lanes have been included in designs for the Hobart Airport interchange.

Sorell to Hobart planning study

This study will help shape future projects between the airport roundabout and Hobart, as well as options for active and passenger transport (pedestrians, bikes and buses) between Sorell and Hobart.

Bass Highway, Cooee to Wynyard planning study

Suggestions to improve traffic flow along the highway include a new bridge over the Cam River but bike riders will be sent to the yet to be built North-West Coastal Pathway.

Bass Highway, Leith overpass

Options have been developed for overpasses over the Bass Highway to connect residential areas of Turners Beach with Leith and Forth. No bicycle infrastructure was detailed in option designs but a path on an overpass could be useful for residents trying to avoide the high speed, high volume traffic on the Bass Highway.

Bruny Island Main Road upgrade

Finishing the sealing the main road between Alonnah and Lunawanna, and Lunawanna and the start of Lighthouse Road. If shoulders are also sealed when this work is being done it would provide a comfortable place for residents and tourists to ride.

Domain Highways Planning Study

Takes in the Domain Highway, Brooker Highway and Tasman Highway around the Queens Domain. Consultation has occurred and consultants are now formulating options. There is potential here to provide safer connections to the Queens Domain for bike riders and a shared path along the Brooker Highway.

Channel Highway Planning Study

Consultation is finished for this study looking at current future needs of the community, with a plan due to be finished in August.

Evandale Road duplication between Launceston Airport and Breadalbane roundabout

With more pople coming and going from the airport with bikes as tourists or workers, the project should include provision for bicycle facilities or at the very least wide, sealed shoulders.  

Huon Highway Sandfly interesection upgrade

Consultation is underway on this project, which must include provision for cycling needs at the interesection as it is part of the popular Commando loop ride.

Lyell Highway Ouse to Strickland shoulder sealing

The Lyell is a popular leg for cycling tourists taking in the west coast. Shoulder sealing is being done to improve safety for motor vehicles but it will improve space available for comfortable riding.

Richmond Road masterplan

Shoulders along sections of Richmond Rd are being sealed which will benefit riders, as Richmond Rd is a popular cycling route, although the surface will be spray sealed rather than asphalted which can leave chips in the shoulder. Once all the sealing is done the department will review the speed limit.

Southern Outlet fifth lane

Options are being worked on to add a fifth lane to the Southern Outlet for buses and emergency services. Consultation happened in 2018 but not mention was made of adding a cycling option to the outlet.

Tasman Highway Great Eastern Drive

This is a collection of projects designed to make the road easier to drive on but no mention is made of the fact it’s the most popular tourist riding location as well. We’d expect any road widening to seal shoulders to give touring cyclists a more comfortable space.

West Tamar Highway projects

Some of these projects involve widening and sealing the shoulders which will benefit the many cyclists who use this as part of their training loops. Consultation has closed and final designs are scheduled for late 2019.