Roadworks under fire: markings leave narrow lane for cars … and heaps for cyclists

OUT OF LINE: Ross Preen and Cr Neil Jones stand in the vehicle lane with all the space to the side to be for cyclists. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0816jkmoulder1
OUT OF LINE: Ross Preen and Cr Neil Jones stand in the vehicle lane with all the space to the side to be for cyclists. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0816jkmoulder1

New line markings that squeeze cars and trucks into the middle of a busy street and leave wider areas for bicycles have been criticised for being too narrow.

Nearby resident and mechanic Ross Preen and retiring Orange City councillor Neil Jones said the traffic lanes on Moulder Street near Woodward Street were “a safety issue”.

They said the vehicle lanes were about three metres wide while bicycles had about four metres of the road.

Council has defended the work saying the 3.25 metre lanes would improve road safety and were within Australian road standards.

Mr Preen said the lanes needed to be widened.

 “They’re squeezing everyone into the middle, it’s crazy,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful wide street, it’s a safety issue, as simple as that.

“There’s a lot of trucks going up and down this street and you don’t want to squeeze them.

“You want to see them as far apart as you can.

“Sure we need bike lanes, but not to this extent, it’s madness.”

Cr Jones raised it at this week’s council meeting with staff to report back.

“It’s a safety matter in having the traffic unnecessarily close together,” he said.

“How much do you need for a cycle path?”

Council’s Director of Technical Services, Chris Devitt said line-marking would start soon.

“Orange’s streets were designed in the days of the bullock drays and are very wide,” he said.

“The design of this section of Moulder Street continues a strategy aimed at improving the safety of the roads by encouraging drivers to stay within a narrower area in the centre of the roadway.

“As well as extra safety for drivers, a narrower centre lane leads to extra safety for cyclists, the drivers of parked cars and pedestrians walking out onto the road,” he said.