On Monday 9 April I wrote on the subject of changed traffic conditions affecting one section of the dedicated cycle way along Yamba Road. A road on which this small town’s main traffic volume flows.
By 12 May The Daily Examiner was reporting on the same safety issue where the cycle way now ends as the road approaches the Freeburn Street T-intersection and, its article quoted Clarence Valley Council's deputy general manager :
Clarence Valley Council's deputy general manager Rob Donges was aware of Mr Hunt's complaint, however he said that particular section of roadway did not include an officially designated cycleway.
"It's a shared zone and includes car parking," Mr Donges said.
"If it was a designated cycleway, then it would be marked with a solid line."
Mr Donges said the cycleway was, in fact, a shared bikeway/pedestrian pathway and there were signs provided to indicate this.
"Anyone is allowed to ride on the road and must follow normal traffic conditions," he said.
Responding to Mr Hunt's concerns regarding a lack of community consultation, Mr Donges said the pedestrian refuge had been on the drawing table for "a couple of years".
I’m not sure which I find the most offensive; the fact that council management would so misrepresent that particular section of the roadway or the fact that The Daily Examiner (which has a staffed office in Yamba) obviously didn’t bother to sight that same section before it published this quote.
One has to hope that council management displays a higher level of professional discipline when it advises Clarence Valley Council’s traffic advisory committee on this matter later this month and that in future the newspaper does not uncritically accept statements by local government staff.
Here is a segment of the map Clarence Valley Council attaches to its own 2008 Bike Plan and Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan which clearly indicates that the dedicated regional cycling route (marked with pink broken lines and arrows) extends beyond the Freeburn Street T-intersection with Yamba Road and that the road section in question should be marked as such. That the shared bikeway/pedestrian pathway referred to does not commence until a subsequent T-intersection leading to the gantry wall.
Section of Yamba Map
Click on image to enlarge
If Clarence Valley Council has varied the provisions in its bike, pedestrian access and mobility planning document, then it has allowed residents and ratepayers to largely remain in ignorance of the fact as it still displays the 2008 plan and maps on its website as principal documents.