The BTA is primarily about cycling advocacy. Advocacy involves lobbying for improved cycle facilities, and we do this by having input to a wide varietyof bicycle related policies and planning at the State level through various government consultative committees, by input into several Main Roads Strategic Planning workshops to present issues from a cyclist perspective, involvement with local government and the release of media statements
Some of the areas in which we have lobbied for cyclists in the past are –
- The issue of legalising cycling for all ages on footpaths in WA remains unresolved. We believe there is widespread support for its adoption, but necessary regulatory amendments have yet to be made.
- ‘Head Start’ prioritisation contract with main Roads to identify and prioritise possible sites for the installation of ‘Head Start’ facilities at signalised intersections. This important step sees Main Roads recognising the benefits of consulting the wider cycling community through the BTA before commencing the rollout.
- Mount Henry Bridge – following professional consultations between John Reddel of the BTA and the contractors working on the expansion of the Mount Henry bridge to accomodate the Mandurah rail line, the designs were revised to accomodate more cycle friendly approaches to the shared path under the bridge.
- Bikes in bus lanes – following pressure from the BTA a trial of Bikes in Bus lanes was conducted in Beaufort Street, Inglewood, and another is planned for South Street between Karel Avenue and the Murdoch Railway Station.
- Trafalgar Bridge – this bridge spans the entrance to the ‘cove’ in East Perth, (it actually supports a major sewage line) and forms part of the cycle network around the river. After some undocumented compliants about cyclists on the bridge, the Perth City Council banned cyclists from riding across the bridge, enforcing the ban with heavy ranger presence. Cyclists, we were told would have to either walk their bikes over the bridge or cycle around the edge of the cove. The PCC has refused to reverse this ban or modify the bridge signs to state “Pedestrians always have right of way’ as suggested by the BTA. Situation remains formally unchanged, although informally common sense seems to have prevailed.
- Claisebrook bridge over the railway and freeway – following some pedestrian/cycle conflict on the bridge and attempts by railway guards to book a cyclist for riding over the bridge, it was determined that the bridge is owned by MRWA and therefore not under the guards jurisdiction; cyclists are entitled to ride across the bridge but must at all times give way to pedestrians; guards may only issue infringement notices for improper use of a bicycle only when on railway property (which includes the ramps down to the platform). Subsequently the PTA had the bridge surface clearly marked to encourage responsible behaviour by all bridge users.
- BTA members have been been fundemental in running a number of cycling workshops, particularly aimed at new women riders. The BTA also ran, at very short notice, the Perth breakfast for the 2008 national ride to work day, and also a breakfast at the Art Gallery as part of 2009 WA bikeweek.
Current campaigns are covered in more detail on the following pages.