Update: On 31 July ACTEA attended one of the workshops organised by Parks & Conservation to gauge cycling community views about the Best of Canberra Project. It was very well attended and both it and an earlier workshop were booked out to the point that a third workshop was added.
It was interesting to hear mountain bike cyclists complain about the facilities in Canberra. Their biggest gripe seemed to be that what was available was no longer fashionable and nowadays bike parks needed height – lots of it. People were making it quite clear that they wanted to be out in the higher parts of the Bullen Range and the Brindabellas and wanted to be able to get there by cycling links from Stromlo.
This puts West Stromlo in the frame. While some attendees were whinging about how many horses were cluttering up Stromlo these days (Thanks Grant!) others acknowledged that it was always intended to be a shared facility – so they preferred to be elsewhere.
ACTEA has just been invited to participate in a revitalised
Stakeholder Consultative Committee so it will be interesting to see what it has to say about the Best of Canberra Project
The Best of Canberra Mountain Bike project is aimed at linking existing mountain bike destinations and creating new ones as an attraction to the mountain biking community both here and interstate. Find out more at https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/CanberraMTBExperience.
Obviously the government sees this as an economic project as much as a recreational one. There has so far been very little consultation with other users of our public open space who are likely to be impacted by bike focused infrastructure. We have already seen plans from some segments of the cycling community to co-opt the Bicentennial National Trail as part of the network and there will be calls for more trails in places there are not as yet cycle tracks. New walking and cycling trails are being built in the Arboretum as we speak. ACTEA and the BNT will be making written submissions about safety and equity. In the meantime it is important people other than cyclists got to the Your Say website above seeking registrations for public workshops in north and south Canberra at the end of this month. They are an opportunity to find out more about this project and how it might impact on amenity for open space users other than cyclists in the Territory.
If you have any info or suggestions to ACTEA for inclusion in submissions or conversations with the government about this project please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.