Page 3618 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 13 September 2017
width at this stage to allow marking the sides as cycle laneways. It is, therefore, quite a danger for cyclists attempting to use it, and I can speak from personal experience on that. Of course, it can be used to gain access to Mount Taylor or also just to traverse from east to west on the southern side of town.
The Mount Taylor parking area itself is simply a potholed and rutted dirt area between Sulwood Drive and the reserve’s boundary fence. It is often the case that peak traffic periods coincide with peak times for accessing the Mount Taylor parking area, which makes it even more problematic, with vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians trying to enter or exit the parking area at the same time. The parking area is still being used well into the evening and throughout the day, and I think it is pretty clear to most that some safety issues are becoming evident.
There are no exit lanes to facilitate a smooth exit from Sulwood Drive nor for getting back onto that road from the parking area, so motorists often have to make a sudden turn off onto the dirt with someone right up on their back or to beat oncoming traffic to get back onto Sulwood Drive. Motorists entering or exiting the parking area must do so in one of the rare moments that there is no oncoming traffic. There is no signage to warn road users that they are approaching a busy parking area. Pedestrians from Kambah and Wanniassa must take their chances against oncoming traffic, particularly so from Mannheim Street, where pedestrians and cyclists must confront traffic from a multiplicity of directions.
The parking area is well used after sunset in all seasons. The only lighting available to those using the parking area of an evening is that from oncoming traffic. A few years ago these deficiencies probably were not as significant as they are now, but with the steep increase in popularity of this access point the risks and the dangers for motorcyclists and pedestrians are escalating. I think we need to consider some basic measures to improve the safety and accessibility for this parking area, not only to cater for the current level of usage but also in order to cope with future growth, to futureproof Mount Taylor we might say.
We need entry and exit lanes to facilitate safe exit and entry to the parking area. We need signage to alert motorists and cyclists that they are approaching the parking area. We need a defined parking area with a decent surface to accommodate existing and future patronage for motorists and cyclists alike. We need some lighting in the parking area to improve night-time accessibility and safety. I would love to see a defined pedestrian crossing at a suitable point. We need a dedicated cycle path from one end of Sulwood Drive to the other to provide direct route access to the Mount Taylor parking area and proceeding onto the path along the Tuggeranong Parkway.
We appreciate that all this comes at a cost, but I think the community value, the health benefits, the safety gains are also considerable. I have been a regular user of the Mount Taylor Sulwood Drive car park for many years. I have been moaning and whining about it for a long time, and during my time here in this place I have raised it in the Liberal Party room as an issue that we should be addressing. As we were moving forward in that direction, I was most pleased to see a public petition appear online, and I commend the work that has been done by Taryn Langdon in this space.