Community proposes Learn to Ride cycleway in Miles Franklin Park

PRACTICE: Poppy Smith, 6, rides her bike in Miles Franklin Park, Yass where the community has proposed to add a Learn to Ride cycleway. Photo: Hannah Sparks
PRACTICE: Poppy Smith, 6, rides her bike in Miles Franklin Park, Yass where the community has proposed to add a Learn to Ride cycleway. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Parents say they support a plan to add a Learn to Ride cycleway in Miles Franklin Park in Yass to teach children to ride safely.

The looped track would emulate real roads with footpaths, roundabouts, pedestrian crossings, line markings and road signs.

This will be much more engaging and fun for the kids.

Local mother, Samantha Jones

"I think it's a fantastic idea! Any initiative designed to help our little ones stay safe would be great," local father Chris Inglis said.

"Riding a bike supports children's social connected, physical health, as well as independence," local mother Samantha Jones said.

"Our roads are busier and in some neighbourhoods it is difficult to provide the safe space to learn to ride.

"You will often see many kids down at the netball courts learning to ride in a straight line. This will be much more engaging and fun for the kids!"

Behind the plan is the new Yass Community Development Group, which aims to help the council develop community facilities and seek government funding for those facilities.

The group estimates the cycleway will cost $150,000 and the council will support the group's application for the state government's My Community Project Funding in July 2020.

"These facilities are intended for children from preschool and upwards in age groups to provide a non-threatening environment where they can learn safe, independent and secure bike riding," the council's October 23 report said.

"They provide an environment for children with broad ranging skills and needs, including children with additional needs and contribute to improving road safety for vulnerable road users by providing a controlled environment to educate and practice bicycle safely."

The cycleway was originally proposed for Riverbank Park but the council was concerned about the park's proximity to the river.

Miles Franklin Park would allow riders and people walking to get to schools and child care centres and is close to emergency services if there was an accident, the council said.

The site would be visible to surrounding homes, local businesses, roads and pathways and the proposed location will go to community consultation.

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