BALLARAT cycling advocates have welcomed a revolutionary rider warning system on the Surf Coast, but said more basic infrastructure for cyclists should be a priority for this city.
Ballarat Bicycle Users Group will watch with interest the introduction of flashing warning signs to improve cyclist road safety near Lorne.
Amy Gillett Foundation, which pushes for safer bike riding in Australia, has unveiled solar powered Cyclist Ahead warnings on the Deans Marsh-Lorne Road on a narrow, hot spot climb.
The technology can differentiate between cyclists from motorcyclists and cars. Signs are triggered by passing cyclists into a standby mode, then activated by vehicles, warning them cyclists are on the climb.
BalBUG spokesman Matt Briody said the city’s user group wanted to see more dedicated bike lanes in main Ballarat streets, particularly to promote everyday commuters to get on their bikes.
“Anything that makes things safer for a cyclist, and makes motorists be more aware of cyclists, is a good thing,” Mr Briody said.
“Sturt Street and Lydiard Street are so beautiful and wide, yet there is no designated room for cycling.”
City of Ballarat hosts the annual Cycling Australia Road National Championships each January, featuring a popular criterium on Sturt Street and the well-known road race in Buninyong.
This is when the city’s cycling culture is in the spotlight, but Mr Briody said there was no protected infrastructure for people to ride between the criterium and road race courses.
The Cyclist Ahead warning signs near Lorne are part of a 12-month trial, after which Amy Gillett Foundation will consider deploying across Victoria and Australia.
Signs are funded by the foundation with grant funding from the Transport Accident Commission.
Amy Gillet Foundation chief executive officer Phoebe Dunn said the signs were an important step in protecting vulnerable cyclists on dangerous roads and reducing the risk of collision.
Signs were unveiled for the foundation’s biggest annual event, Amy’s Gran Fondo.
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