Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Transport Tuesday

The more bikes on the road, the less cars - which means more room for yours!

While I’m not setting out to replace the Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group, I’m going to again mention how annoying it is that the cycleways in Blacktown don’t go anywhere.

It seems each one was built at the time the local subdivision was made, to get people around within that subdivision to the school within that subdivision. Which is nice.

Unless you’re going to the shops, or to work, or “anywhere other than school”.

The whole issue came up in all places on the Whirpool technology website, where there is a cycling discussion. Chris mentioned that he thinks ” a lot of people won’t ride to work because they are scared of getting on the road among the traffic, and the stories (and increasingly HD video) of angry encounters with irate motorists only makes this worse.” I’ve certainly experienced this around The Druitt, and it makes it difficult to choose between “keeping my kids active” and “keeping my kids safe”.

Yet, apart from “up and back”, the cylceways don’t take my kids anywhere. Even the one to get from my home to the pool involves, riding across a street which is quite busy, where the sign for “bikes crossing” is too close to where the bikes cross the road.

Chris goes on to say ” Once the cycleways are built, dedicated ones – you’ll see more people using them. And those people will encourage others, and there the cycle begins. But they have to be useful cycleways, not pipedreams like a cycleway to nowhere that is not properly connected – or built in a hurry to satisfy a promise. They have to be properly thought out.

For the kids to ride to school, even though it’s no that far – that would be outright irresponsible given the road they would have to ride along, which even though it is a “overwidth” single lane, does not have a cycle lane marked. If it did have a lane marking, my kids could easily ride their bike to school in dedicated cycle lanes. Which would help my son in arriving at school, having had some exercise already in the day – making his morning at school that much more productive (do you remember spending at least half an hour in the playground before school? “It’s too dangerous” for special needs kids to do this apparently). This one road would join about half of the suburb to the wonderful cycleway along the M7 – which runs from Liverpool through to Castle Hill!


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