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Cr Greg Clancy

Councillor answers cyclists’ call for safety

Greens councillor Greg Clancy has gained the unanimous support of his fellow councillors “to improve the safety of people who ride bicycles in Grafton and elsewhere in the Clarence Valley”.

Councillor Clancy tabled a notice of motion (NOM) at the September 22 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, which will ultimately result in a “report back to Council on this issue in May 2021”, informed by a report to the October CVC meeting “on any requirement for funds to implement this motion”.

Councillor Clancy wrote in his NOM that the “completion of the new Grafton Bridge project [had raised] significant issues … regarding the safety of its associated shared-use path along Iolanthe Street and Pound Street, and lack of a safe connection to other parts of South Grafton”.

“These issues highlight ongoing problems with the connectivity and safety of the cycleway network across the Clarence Valley.

“…It is timely to amend the Bicycle Plan adopted in February 2016 and to work with Transport for NSW to address immediate safety risks as a priority.”

Councillor Clancy also raised similar issues with cycle “paths associated with … the Big River Way gateways and the new Pacific Highway interchanges at Ferry Park, Harwood and Yamba Road”.

“Cyclists have contacted me with concerns for their safety,” Cr Clancy said in his media release about the decision.

“One has told me it appears to be ‘open season’ on people who ride bikes on our streets.

“People are concerned about unconnected bike routes throughout town as well as poorly-designed shared-use paths associated with the new Grafton Bridge.

“Safety risks associated with the new shared-use paths include traffic cutting across the paths to access businesses, and paths ending in dangerous locations such as busy roundabouts with no safe or legal way forward.

“…I’ve also been told of near misses where vehicles have illegally cut off cyclists at roundabouts or when turning into driveways.”

Councillors unanimously supported:

Work with Transport for NSW to complete a cycling connectivity and safety analysis of the cycleway/shared-use path network in the Clarence Valley…

As a priority, prepare and publish updated maps on its website (Lifestyle & Recreation >> Walks & cycling) to promote safe cycling routes in its towns;

Make the Local Traffic Committee aware of concerns relating to incidents impacting cyclist safety due to poor motorist behaviour (either actions or inaction);

Review the 2015 Bicycle Plan, incorporating changes to the road and cycleway network and making further recommendations where necessary so that cyclists can safely and conveniently access the facilities of the towns in the Clarence Valley; and,

Place a draft of the Bicycle Plan on public exhibition to seek public feedback before being submitted to Council for adoption.

“Grafton, with its wide and flat streets, is a town made for cycling,” Cr Clancy said in his media release.

“It is simply the best way to get around town, improving health outcomes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This was celebrated last year as part of the ‘Festival of the Bike’ and the Bike Town Heritage project.”