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Wed, 19 Jan 2011

Wetlands development cycle access problems - 17:14
Some new wetlands appeared behind O'Connor shops (near where I live) a few years ago. The ACT Government and various community groups obviously liked them enough that they are spreading. Development near the Banksia St tennis courts in O'Connor blocked and then changed cycle access off the bike path to Banksia st for a while to develop the wetlands there.

The interruption was not too annoying as it left the bike path in place and open for the entire development time of the wetlands, also the access to Banksia st toward Lyneham shops from the bike path there was never really a high traffic cycle destination so did not really interrupt cycle access (and now with the changed paths around the wetlands still has little problems). However the two latest developments in this wetland spread are not so easily ignored.

There is some discussion on abc and riot act about the new Lyneham wetlands near the high school and the Dickson wetlands near the Dickson ovals, The environment ACT site about this is also of some interest to view. So the plans look pretty and cycle access will be fine and dandy in both locations once construction is finished. However my big complaint is that they seem to have completely ignored cycle access and safety during the construction.

Dickson is not the worst, it at least has some crossing points and gravel laid on the ovals to make cycling possible away from roads and traffic, not optimal but it will do I think. However the diversion at Goodwin St in Lyneham during construction is dangerous, adds a lot of time and is serious inconvenient. This is one of the highest use cycle paths in the inner north of Canberra and the diversion suggested during construction is to cross Goodwin st twice and go well out of your way on the path toward Gungahlin before diverting back toward Dickson past Lyneham High. This may not negatively impact too many high school students as they can go along that diversion. However any access between ANU/O'Connor area and Dickson shops via bike path is a mess now.

The quick way to go is simply to stay on Goodwin st, which unfortunately means mixing it up with traffic a lot of the time. I notice construction workers parking along the verge there often on the drain side of Goodwin St, however the best access compromise during construction here would be if they made a separate dedicated cycle lane for two way cycle traffic along that side of the road there. If it had only been a 1 month interruption to cycle access we could deal with it, however the slated finish date is June 2011, 7 months of this dangerous diversion onto Goodwin st, or extra distance and two crossings of Goodwin st is annoying.

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