Keen cyclist Tony Keogh from Bentley about to brave the Lismore CBD on two wheels.
Keen cyclist Tony Keogh from Bentley about to brave the Lismore CBD on two wheels.

Councils still dragging the chain on cycleways

TONY Keogh knows riding a bicycle in Lismore can be dangerous.

The keen cyclist and Harris Cycles employee said more needed to be done to make the streets safer for people on bikes.

“There’s just no cycleway network,” he said.

“Lismore just has all these small, separate cycleways.

“If you want to take your kids for a ride, you take them to Ballina.”

He is also calling for the old railway line to be turned into a cycleway from Casino to Murwillumbah.

“Rail trails are worldwide tourist attractions,” he said.

“Ours would be famous – we’ve got the coast, the mountains, tunnels and bridges. It would be fantastic.”

Goonellabah resident Tim Davis agrees.

“I’ve got a boy who’s nine and there’s so few places in town where we can cycle,” he said.

“Crossing the highway is just a nightmare – you have to put your life on the line.”

Cyclists in other parts of the region are also complaining.

Byron Shire Bicycle Users Group spokesman Bernard Grinberg has called for ‘significant increases’ in bike infrastructure.

He said the Byron Shire Council had committed to improving cycleways, but so far there had been ‘little results’.

“The unfortunate recent death of a bicyclist on Kings Creek Bridge on the road into Mullumbimby underscores that,” he said.

“Most of our high-traffic, town-connecting roads have no shoulders, and even when there are decent width shoulders, they are not good to ride on.

“There is lots of gravel and debris, including broken glass.”

But both the Byron Shire and Lismore City councils have defended their bicycle strategies.

Byron mayor Jan Barham said they were ‘dedicated’ to improving cycleways.

“We’ve made a solid commitment,” she said.

“It’s a shame people are playing that down.

“The plan for a integrated and sustainable bikeway system is moving forward.”

Lismore City Council’s road safety officer Lisa Marshall said a lot of work had been done over the past 18 months.

This year the council will connect Lismore Square to Dawson Street; connect Lismore Square to Magellan Street and plan a connecting route from Trinity Bus Exchange to High Street.

Ms Marshall said the strategy would increase safe travel options for the community.

“We encourage members of the community to visit council’s website if they are interested in viewing the cycleway plan and finding out more about the proposed cycleway network,” she said.
 


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