Get on ya bike – that is the message from Wollongong City Council.

The draft City of Wollongong Bike Plan 2014-2018 is on public display and Council has called for feedback.

The plan is said to address a wide range of cycling issues and implement a number of strategies in order to establish and promote the city as bike-friendly.

Developed in consultation with the community and Council’s Active Transport Reference Group, the proposal promises to meet the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Wollongong Bike Plan Engagement Officer Sophie Williams said while the project aimed to increase participation in cycling, the whole community will benefit.

“By creating a better-connected cycling network, we anticipate that pedestrians will be able to enjoy the benefits of increased pathways,” she said.

“It also offers a range of non-infrastructure measures that will encourage safer interactions between cyclists and motorists.”

University of Wollongong student and avid bike rider Lennon Petkovic is supports the Bike Plan.

“It can be so dangerous riding your bike in the afternoon because everyone is trying to get home as quickly as they can,” he said.

“Motorists rush and they get less considerate and less patient towards bike riders. Better bike paths will make it much easier and much safer to ride.”

Mr Petkovic said there is not enough bike tracks around the area and he is looking forward to seeing more.

“Even just to get to the shops or the University you have to ride on the road because there’s no bike paths available. It really isn’t safe,” he said.

The draft Bike Plan includes proposals to extend and upgrade existing cycling paths, with the goal to double the number of recreational and commuter cyclists in the Illawarra.

“The aim is to improve network connectivity. Joining existing sections of the bike network, by filling in missing links between the City, Figtree, Dapto, Kembla Grange and other areas, is a major focus of the Draft Bike Plan,” Ms Williams said.

The Draft Bike Plan also includes strategies to improve existing cycling infrastructure, such as signage, line-marking and maintenance. If the plan goes ahead, a range of non-infrastructure measures to encourage safe behaviour among cyclists and other road users will also be implemented.

The City of Wollongong Bike Plan 2014-2018 is on public exhibition until 19 May 2014 at the Wollongong City Council.

Multimedia Reporter: Kathleen Ryan


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