In Australia, I've never, ever seen so much consideration for bicycle riders in town planning as I have in Canberra.
Now, not saying it's awesome, or that all the routes are great. Or that I've lived in many many cities. But this is compared to the other places I've been to. I haven't lived in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth; visited, yes. From my visits to Melbourne city, maybe they have great spots. NB: I mostly cycle off-road, but do cycle on-road. And also live on the south-side.
One of the bridges beside Duntroon damaged: detour is built quickly, and tarred even. OK, fine it was part of a the LBG Eastern Loop, so maybe that deserved quick action. http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-35.3 ... 8&layers=C
One of the bridges in Curtin washed away early 2012. Things take longer (community consultation etc), but bridge is replaced about a year later. Seriously, I know most/all bridges can be used by pedestrians. But not this one. It led straight to Yarra Glen road. http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-35.3 ... 8&layers=M
Molonglo cycle path requires a detour because of new housing estate. Replacements are built immediately (still evolving, but ridable). http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-35.3 ... 7&layers=C
Even now, you can already see some connectors into the new suburb at Wright. And when the pathway through Chifley/Pearce was built, it was wide and asphalted. http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-35.3 ... 7&layers=C
I can think of some lousy bicycle routing decisions: bicycle paths that become footpaths that intersect driveways. Excessive traffic lights, or just poor routing (e.g. there aren't many good off-road paths into Canberra Hospital, or even into Woden Plaza). On-road: the disappearing cyclepaths of Hindmarsh Drive. The parts where they disappear and reappear are just… very odd. https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=canbe ... itory&z=21
And then there's the Bowen Drive crossing. I think the umming and ahing about this is pretty much par for the course in the rest of Australia. In e.g. Sydney, (outside City of Sydney), that's probably as far as the decision process will get. If you compare things like cycling along the Sydney light rail extension, or replacing the stairs on the north side of Sydney Harbour Bridge, or the walkway connecting Pyrmont Bridge to King Street, you'd see how much easier it is in Canberra.
And then, there's bike racks on buses, bike parking—not that all of them are top class, but they are there. You can sort of tell that some infrastructure have a half-hearted design e.g. the ending of the route at the Arboretum, the ending of the route at Canberra Airport. Bike lockers…
fatdudeonabike wrote:- Drivers hate us. I never noticed this before. I just thought they were crap drivers. They're not, they're vitriolic.
- Pedestrians hate us. Even on the most obvious of truly shared paths, such as around the lakes, we're treated like we're out to kill every child dumb enough to go for a walk.
I've lived here for 2+ years now, and haven't noticed either of this to be the case. a. prove it. b. IMO the hyperbole is unhelpful.
I'm a car driver, and so is my wife. We vitriolic? I'm a pedestrian…
fatdudeonabike wrote:I'll keep this short (unlike me...)
How did Canberra get this reputation? Is it just because other cities are horrible for cycling?
Yes, and probably because it's a smaller, richer, place. Because there's only 1 level of government (unlike state government/council elsewhere). And because a relatively high percentage of the population are part of the local bicycle group (about 1%, from memory). I think all these have positive feedback loops.
Also, car volume. Percentage-wise, Canberra is a typical Australian city: very car dependent. But not in terms of absolute numbers. e.g. the route to Tidbinbilla, or to Lake George. If this was Sydney, there'd be far more cars traveling along that route, making it much less pleasant.
fatdudeonabike wrote:- Canberra isn't at all flat! Driving around I always thought it was... it's not!
Yea, well. It's not Melbourne. But neither is San Fran. Canberra isn't the Copenhagen of Australia, but it's pretty damn good. And I haven't even mentioned mountain bike trails.