The BayWest aim is “To promote cycling in the West” and part of this ethos is to provide safe cycling. Fortunately:
The risk associated with cycling is still very small. Consider that a Melbourne worker who makes the average one-way commute of 6.5 km every day will come close to cycling 3,000 km in a year. That compares very well with one cyclist being hospitalised in Melbourne on average every 1,185,000 km of riding.
The Urbanist magazine dated 19 Sep 2017
A single accident is one too many. For this reason, the BayWest BUG has a good working relationship with the Hobsons Bay, Wyndham and Maribyrnong City Councils. There is ongoing discussion about potential black spots and ways to reduce the risk of harm to cyclists and to other users of trails and roads. The councils listen and usually act on proposals. This alerts councils to danger before accidents happen.
The list of safety initiatives ranges widely, but some of the successes are:
● Installing a bicycle lane on the narrow stretch of the Altona Road, Seaholme.
● Separating cyclists from off-leash dogs at the “Dog Beach”, Seaholme. [vastly improved but still a work in progress].
● Enclosing the dog off-leash Doug Grant Reserve/ Apex park, Altona separating cyclists from dogs.
● Traffic lights where the Federation Trail crosses Forsyth Road, Williams Landing.
● Signage improvements along the Coastal Trail, Hobsons Bay.
● Various other safety concerns are currently under consideration and the process is ongoing.
Similarly, the City Councils are keen to encourage cycling for the many benefits recreational cycling brings to the community. Again, they are open to suggestions and are prepared to commit resources to attract greater participation. Our older paths are being replaced, additional water points and tool stations are being installed, signage is being upgraded.
The BayWest BUG represents cycling in the West on various committees. Currently, it has representation on two; the Westgate Tunnel Project Community Liaison Group (where a significant part of the project is dedicated to improving cycling; in particular, providing an off-road transit route between Werribee and the CBD) and the local Aviation Road, Laverton, Level Crossing Removal Stakeholder Liaison Group.
Proposing safety and amenities initiatives is an ongoing process and a shared responsibility for all BUG members. If you see some cycle-related danger or deficiency on your rides then, please, raise the matter with the Committee.
Each time the BUG holds a ride offers a fresh opportunity to identify a safety concern that can be brought to the attention of the City Councils to be sorted early and, hopefully, prior to the accident.
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