Bike lanes begin

GROUND has been broken on Vincent council’s bike network, with workers rolling out the bobcats on Bulwer Street this week.

Just over a year ago mayor John Carey—then a councillor—peered at the miserly amount budgeted for bike paths and told colleagues “we’re greatly underfunding bicycle network infrastructure” in the face of crisis-levels of car congestion.

Soon a $2.5million plan was on the table. There were a couple of petitions against the plan from people concerned about the cost and loss of car parking, along with a chorus of cyclist voices in favour of the lanes, but now the year-long works have kicked off.

Bulwer, Vincent and Oxford Streets are up in the first stretch to be finished by June next year. The project’s funded by cash from the sale of land up at Tamala Park, so it’s safe from any belt-tightening needed to address the council’s budget deficit.

After that there’s plans to put lanes down Scarborough Beach Road, though the council’s hoping Main Roads works on that street will see some WA government contribution to the cost.

Mr Carey says with a traffic crisis hitting, a local government “can’t build more roads, we can’t build more public transport, but there is one thing we can do and that’s make a serious investment in bike lanes to encourage people to get out of their car and cycle.

“You’ve got to invest money to encourage people to do that. If people do not think they’re going to be safe to cycle on our roads, they won’t do it.”

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