On your bikes – everyone – Wollongong

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a Covid-inspired novice or a fair-weather commuter, Wollongong City Council wants to hear what you think of our draft Cycling Strategy 2030.

The document will be available on public exhibition for six weeks after Council decided tonight, Monday 29 June, to seek community input on the ambitious Strategy.

“There is no question, cycling is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in cycling participation rates across the city and our shared pathways and roads are certainly busier with more people opting for pedal power. Council has been working for some time on this document, with a round of community engagement and targeted stakeholder conversations last year. It’s good to be able to put it out to seek community comments and feedback.”

Research for the draft Strategy showed the city has a diverse range of skill and confidence levels when it comes to cycling. Less than 1 per cent of people considered themselves as confident cyclists like on-road commuters or enthusiasts, 3 per cent said they were cautious cyclists who only cycled recreationally or avoided traffic and 26 per cent said they were non-riders who were interested but concerned over safety, comfort or convenience.

Men were twice as likely to ride than women and cyclists under 10 years are far more likely to ride than teenagers.

“We’ve looked at these statistics and what our community has told us about wanting off-road shared paths and separated cycling routes. We’ve listened to the desire for bicycle parking and connections between bike paths, shops and public transport and this document responds to those comments.

“Through this strategy we’re actually realigning the priority delivery of significant routes, including looking at east-west routes in the CBD, and considering the reallocation of road space.”

The Strategy, which will be available on Council’s Join the Conversation pages this week for community feedback, identifies 42 actions in five priority areas. These areas; safe, convenient, planned, ‘business, tourism and events’, and innovation will support the goals of the draft Strategy.

The pages include interactive maps where people will be able to see the proposed cycling routes and ‘drop’ in their comments and feedback.

“This is an ambitious draft Strategy with ambitious plans but I believe our community will be interested and support Council’s focus on supporting this activity and the infrastructure it requires,” Cr Bradbery said.

“I encourage everyone to have a read and share their thoughts. After all, this draft Strategy is for the whole of our community.”

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