Town of Vincent looks at cycling speed limits

From The West:

Cyclists may soon be forced to abide by speed limits when pedalling in the Town of Vincent’s parks and reserves under a proposal being considered by the inner-city council.

The council last week voted five to two in favour of looking into establishing bicycle speed restrictions, including where they could apply, enforcement and approaches that improved pedestrian safety without discouraging recreational cycling.

It is also obtaining legal advice on the move, believed to be a first in WA.

Vincent councillor Dudley Maier, an avid cyclist who suggested the speed limit, said yesterday that a recent incident where a cyclist hit and badly injured a dog in Robertson Park highlighted the increasing conflict between cycling, dog exercise, pedestrian and playground areas within the town’s parks and reserves.

He said speed limits would force cyclists to slow down and were better than the alternative of putting up fences or imposing cycle bans.

“We’re getting a few people, generally commuters, who are going too fast and we have no stick to wave at them,” he said. “I don’t think you need to use a stick, but you need to actually say ‘look, there is a rule’.”

The Town of Vincent maintains more than 50 parks and reserves, including Hyde Park.

Cr Maier said a speed limit would be needed only at parks where a potential for conflict of uses existed.

He said the actual limits would come out of the investigation, but noted that the Slow Bike Movement viewed 15km/h as reasonable.

But Bicycle Transport Alliance convenor Steven McKiernan, who represents 1000 cyclists, said at a time when councils were pushing bike use, it seemed “a very aggressive response to what might be a very minor problem”.

Mr McKiernan said existing road rules, including speed limits, applied to cyclists and in implementing more rules the council had to explain how they would be applied and how cyclists were supposed to monitor their speed.

“Not every cyclist has a speedometer,” he said. “There’s a degree of common sense that needs to apply.”

A report on the matter is expected before June 30.

About Roland

I returned to cycling around 5 years ago, when I decided to start commuting by bike to work. I'm now cycling around 13,500km's annually, and love it.