It is the City of Albany’s ambition to become one of Australia’s primary cycling destinations. To provide strategic guidance to enable this to happen, in 2014 with significant community support and engagement “The Cycle City Strategy (2014-2019) was developed and endorsed by Council.
The strategy focuses on 5 key objectives being
Objective 1 The Cycling Network – To develop and maintain a bicycling network of safe, connected and accessible routes and facilities.
Objective 2 Cycling Participation – To be a city where walking and cycling becomes the easy choice for travel of trips of up to 5kms around identified community hubs
Objective 3 Safety and respect for all users – To develop a bike riding culture in the City of Albany so that cycling is seen as a legitimate and normal use of the road, with mutual respect between all users.
Objective 4 Cycling Tourism – To be a City that is recognised as a prominent regional cycling destination, delivering economic and tourism benefits for the community
Objective 5 Management and implementation – to develop management mechanisms to support and guide the ongoing implementation of the Cycle City Albany Strategy (2014-2015)
Albany has an extensive network of cycling infrastructure including on-road cycling lanes, shared paths, trails and end-of-trip facilities such as bike racks.
An Albany TravelSmart Map is currently being produced that will clearly show the cycling network, associated facilities and points of interest such as schools, shopping centres and community facilities to assist both residents and visitors to easily plan their trips by bike around the city.
The Strategy also identifies a further 82 infrastructure projects designed to improve the network valued at more than $37 million that will be completed as funding is secured.
Short term projects planned include new shared paths as part of the upgrades to Centennial Park, improvements to cycling lanes on Middleton Road and improved signage throughout the network.
Planning is also well advanced for the establishment of a network of Mountain Bike trails in and around the city.
Through the Cities TravelSmart Initiative and by working with community partners such as the local cycling group, schools and businesses, Albany is developing and supporting a range of activities and projects to encourage cyclists of all types, ages, backgrounds and skill levels.
Cycling as a form of transport, as a recreational pursuit or for competition is steadily growing in Albany.
Cycling events are regularly run during Bike Week in March, while both the Albany Mountain Bike Club and the Albany Cycling Club regularly run both social and competitive cycling events.
Students from many schools in Albany participate in Ride to School Days and participate in cycle education programs in the school system.
Cycling education programs for less confident riders are also run throughout the year by the cycling groups and/or private cycle coaches.
During 2015 the City supported the Albany Cycling Club to produce a “10 Great Rides Map” and associated online resources to help promote some of the more popular cycling routes to both Albany residents and visitors.
To achieve its objective of developing a bike riding culture in the City of Albany so that cycling is seen as a legitimate and normal use of the road, with mutual respect between all users, the City of Albany is working with the community and other agencies to implement a “Share the Road” awareness and education program.
This will see:
- 50 “Share the Road” signs installed by Department of Main Roads on key cycling routes during 2016;
- Radio, Television and print media promotion of the “Share the Road” messages;
- Promotion of the Share the Road message via the Cities social media platforms;
- Development and distribution of educational material to community members purchasing new cars and bikes; from local motor vehicle dealerships and bike shops;
- Increased cycle training within the local school systems and in the wider community.
Cycling is one of the largest participation and fastest growing outdoor recreation activities in Western Australia.
Cycle Tourism is also experiencing significant growth in WA as has been the case both nationally and internationally in a number of countries over the past 20 years.
Cycle tourists also tend to bring significant economic benefits to host destinations as the need to travel ‘light’ means they are more reliant on local services.
Albany’s stunning scenic cycling routes (see 10 Great Rides), safe roads and moderate climate makes the area extremely attractive to cycle tourists and residents alike.
The proposed development of a range of Mountain Bike trails and the expansion of the number of State and regional level cycling events held in Albany will further assist in promoting Albany as a prominent regional cycling destination delivering economic and tourism benefits for the community.
With funding from the Department of Transport, the City of Albany has employed a TravelSmart Officer who is tasked with helping community members and visitors to use their cars less and choose alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport. The initiative helps schools and businesses to plan and implement programs to encourage their students and staff to walk or ride to work and school. The program also helps to promote the benefits of active transport for peoples health and the environment.
Part of the TravelSmart Officers role is also to assist with the implementation of the Cycling City Strategy.
The City is committed to maintaining the cycling network and infrastructure with a focus on the safety of cyclists and the wider community with other projects identified in the Strategy to be implemented as funding is secured.
Community members are encouraged to report any issues or maintenance needs on the cycling network to the City by lodging a service request using our online E-mail submission form.