The member for Clark, independent MP Andrew Wilkie, has secured $850,000 in federal government funding for bicycle infrastructure for Hobart.
The welcomed funding announcement came at the end of Tasmanian Bike Week and comprises a list of projects put forward by the City of Hobart.
The breakdown of the cycling funding is:
- $500,000 for a bike lane on Huon Road between Hillborough Road and Pillinger Drive
- $100,000 for an outbound marked bike lane on Collins Street from Victoria Street to Molle Street
- $50,000 for a bike lane on Forster Street from New Town Road to Valentine Street
- $100,000 for on-road bike parking stations
- $80,000 to upgrade the access link from the Cenotaph car park to the new Macquarie Point cycleway
- $20,000 for a cycleway connection from Marieville Esplanade to Sandy Bay Road.
Hobart City Council last month approved its own funding of $475,000 to make more room for bicycles on Huon Road.
No plans have been released for where the extra road space will be created, although the City of Hobart has in the past investigated sealing the verges above Strickland Avenue.
Visitation to kunanyi/Mount Wellington has increased, creating a tighter squeeze for road users on the winding road. Since 2015, the number of annual visitors on the mountain has increased by more than 64,000.
The City of Hobart has allocated $100,000 for an outbound lane on Collins Street between Molle and Victoria streets. At that price, it is likely to be just a painted lane, which is not what we want to see on busy city streets without an accompanying drop in speed to 30 km/h and other traffic calming measures.
Collins Street connects the Hobart Rivulet Path to the city centre and is a prime location for a separated cycleway.
The Molle to Victoria length of Collins Street could be a first-stage for a cycleway, although ideally a cycleway along the entire length of the street could link the Rivulet Path with the Intercity Cycleway via a cycleway on Campbell Street.
Forster Street, New Town
At $50,000 this is likely to be another painted lane, which will give space to confident riders but does not seem to connect to other lanes and is unlikely to encourage many more people to ride.
On-road bike parking stations
Bike parking is overflowing in some places around Hobart, so this initiative will come in handy to expand what’s available.
Outside the Hobart Private on Argyle Street, the Hobart Town Hall and the state library on Murray Street are all places that would benefit from more bike parking.
Undercover parking such as the State Library site is popular, and any bike parking station that was also covered has the potential to get more people using it.
Macquarie Point connection
The new Macquarie Point shared path is already being used by recreational and commuting cyclists but the $80,000 to connect it to the Intercity Cycleway will open it up to more riders.
Improved signage would also help direct people to the new path so they can head straight to the waterfront or just bypass the awkward sections of the Intercity Cycleway along Davey Street.