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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Safe cycleways

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: There is no place like home… actually there are no places

Local low income residents in Byron Bay are the human koalas of our Shire. They too have lost much of their habitat. We need affordable housing now, not in three years, or five years, or ten. Now.

Calls for fewer cycleways? More cars? Whoa! Our world may not be ideal but it is rapidly changing. As fossil fuelbecomes too expensive for day-to-day transport, bicycles are a vital part of that change.

I find my new electric bike is even better than I imagined. Now I can easily get up steep hills and so make full use of Byron Bay’s small lanes and byways. This means I can avoid using the main cycleway along Bangalow Road. Here cyclists and pedestrians are over-crowded into inadequate footpaths while cars and trucks monopolise the roadway. I am glad to avoid this area now.

But out to the industrial estate and to my friends in Ewingsdale I rely on the cycle path and the new connection over the bridge. I am also delighted with the avenues to Suffolk Park.

More places to lock up bikes are important. A bonus would be battery recharge stations, free loans of bikes, trikes and even trailers for town use. I dream of roads for bike use only. Recently I and others have been hit by cars. A smart fear of traffic plus the new electric ability now guides my route selection. So do the standard rules of the road. I give all traffic this respect and I expect as much too.

On a bike, you are a small part of the big changing future. Sure, you make adjustments but I’ll admit to you the secret bonuses – the new views, the savings, the gentler pace, the flexibility. It’s fun.

Well done on the council for enabling safer cycling! As these improve further, more people will be able to try an ‘energy-descent lifestyle’. It’s not all bad.

Mary Gardner, Byron Bay

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