Bicycles integral to CBD — mayoral candidate

Bicycle facilities and cycleways should be integrated into transport policies for Perth City, Lord Mayoral candidate Anne Bontempo said today.

She would support proposals for secure bicycle parking because one person had complained about a new bicycle being stolen in Adelaide Terrace while he attended a conference – it was the first day that he had used it.

Perth City Council wanted cars in the city because it owned 32 parking stations and wanted the maximum revenue from them.

She would support a proposal for bike racks in existing carparks.

Parking for bicycles and cars could be improved in the longer term by adopting the system of stacking used in Tokyo, she said.

Other systems and techniques for a range of programs that worked in other cities around the world could be adopted relatively quickly because there was no need for exhaustive inquiries into their feasibility.

All that was needed was to put the proposal out for public comment.

She wanted people and organisations to bring their ideas and solutions to the council, which then could go out for public comment.

Various groups already had identified issues and submitted proposals for solutions to the Perth City Council but the submissions had been ignored.

Renowned Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl had been commissioned by the council and State Government in 2009 to do a plan for public space in the city.

(The Gehl plan – Public Spaces Public Life – said cycling infrastructure was needed in the city and provided detailed maps of where it should go.)

The council had ignored all the Gehl plan, Ms Bontempo said.

Perth City Council Doesn’t Want Cyclists

Despite constant requests to upgrade inner city roads to integrate bicycle facilities and cycle ways by daily commuters, couriers, weekend riders and city dwellers, the current Perth Lord Mayor and Perth City Council seem happy to live in the last century with tiny lanes that don’t accommodate cyclists.

‘It seems Perth City Council wants cars in the city to fuel its 32 parking stations even though there are rarely cat buses to get you from your parking station at the edge of the city to another part of the city,’ says Lord Mayoral candidate Anne Bontempo.

Renowned Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl was commissioned by the Perth City Council in 2009 to design a plan for the public space in Perth city. The Gehl plan titled Public Spaces Public Life said cycling infrastructure was needed in the city and provided detailed maps of where they should go.

Alas, “the council ignored the entire plan”, says Lord Mayoral candidate Anne Bontempo.

“The city remains fragmented and anyone hoping to get healthy by cycling into the city can think again.”

“This is just unacceptable. We are sending mixed messages – get fit on one hand  – which by the way reduces stress on the roads, bus and train services, but on the other hand what the city has put forward as secure bicycle parking are not very secure as bicycles are stolen weekly if not daily.” said Mrs Bontempo.

“Again, what we’re talking about is infrastructure at its most basic. There should be bike racks in existing car parks along with what other cities around the world are doing – small secure facilities where you can shower, leave your possessions including your bike and pick them up later knowing your possessions are being looked after. These facilities should be all over Perth. They don’t even have to be owned by the Perth City Council. In Europe and the US this trend is growing…  some will even do your laundry – as the trend of cycling grows. We need to listen to what people want and focus on services people expect when they come into Perth.”

Mrs Bontempo says she supports bike racks in existing car parks as one solution as well as other innovative systems including stacking used in Tokyo. There are so many systems and techniques that work so well around the world that could easily be adopted relatively easily and inexpensively.

“More and more people are raising the lack of basic infrastructure like toilets, the limited cat bus routes, a dirty city and the lack of cycling tracks in Perth with me. Cycling is just one of a growing number of issues that really need to be addressed if Perth is going to grow into the international city people want to visit and live in instead of going to Bali. Even Perth residents don’t like coming into Perth.’

Unless Anne Bontempo gets in and reviews cycling paths, cyclists must deal with the abuse of drivers and those other killing machines – narrow city roads.

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Media contact: Tony Monaghan, The Brand Agency 0428 280 593

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