Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 639 ..
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Children's and Youth Services) (3.17): Mr Speaker, for the information of members and pursuant to subsection 19B(6) of the Children's Services Act 1986, I present the Official Visitor's Report for 1994-95. I move:
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
Debate (on motion by Ms Reilly) adjourned.
MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (3.18): Mr Speaker, today I wish to speak about the initiatives the Government is developing in an effort to promote the safety and viability of cycling as a transport alternative for Canberrans.
MR DE DOMENICO: The ACT Government is committed to promoting more efficient and affordable forms of transport such as cycling. In this context, as part of Bike Week 1995, the Traffic and Roads Section of the Department of Urban Services organised the "Share the Road" seminar. The purpose of the seminar was to give members of the community an opportunity to raise issues relating to the safety aspects of on-road cycling in the ACT. A workshop for transport practitioners was held the following day, looking more deeply at the technical aspects of on-road cycling in the ACT. A number of initiatives have been instigated in response to some of the issues raised at these two sessions.
Participants at both the "Share the Road" seminar and the workshop raised the need for improved awareness amongst ACT motorists as to why cyclists are using roads. The perception amongst motorists is that roads are for the use of motor vehicles only, when in fact they are for all vehicles, including bicycles. This problem is not peculiar to the ACT. However, the ACT has the additional problem that the off-road cycle system is of an extremely high standard. Unfortunately, the off-road system does not cater to commuter cyclists, as it tends not to be direct, rather taking the more recreational or scenic route around parks and the Canberra lake foreshores. Therefore, many commuter cyclists prefer to use the more direct routes along the major arterial road system. This can contribute to agitation amongst motorists, as they cannot understand why cyclists do not use the off-road system.
In an effort to address this problem, the Department of Urban Services and the NRMA have combined to jointly release "Share the Road - A Guide to Bicycle Friendly Motoring". This brochure, which was officially launched yesterday, jointly with the NRMA, illustrates how motorists can become more conscious of the needs of cyclists on the roads. Media coverage of the launch was widespread and very positive.