THOSE choosing to travel around Orange on two wheels are feeling steadily more secure as the number of bicycle lanes grows, according to one of its councillors.
In recent months, line painting has occurred on Moulder, March and Hill streets, with more to come on further sections of Moulder Street between Woodward and Peisley streets, Anson Street from Summer Street to Warrendine Street and Kite Street between Hill and Sampson streets in the coming weeks.
Linemarking crews made their latest visit to Orange before Christmas but rain interrupted the planned schedule of work and in some locations, the centre line has already been painted.
The bike and traffic lanes will be 3.2 metres wide, with work to resume next week, however exact dates are still to be finalised.
Despite some complaints last year about roadways narrowing to accommodate the lanes, councillor and regular cyclist Stephen Nugent said he enjoyed riding in them because they grew a rider’s confidence on the road.
“It makes me feel as though I have a right to be there on my bike and vehicle traffic that’s going past knows that I’m allowed to be there,” he said.
“It’s my space as opposed to riding on the road and sharing the space with the cars.”
Cr Nugent hoped the work was a step towards creating a wider bicycle network, which allowed cyclists to reach destinations across Orange using designated bike paths and lanes for the whole distance.
“When we’re building new roads, we should be looking at having dedicated bike lanes,” he said.
With limited bicycle lanes in the heart of the CBD between Byng Street and Kite Street, with no lanes in Lords Place or Sale, Peisley and Hill streets and only a bicycle symbol painted in Anson Street, he said he wanted to see more designated lanes to help cyclists get around.
“I think you have to have the lines down the side of the road so that it’s a consistent message all the way along,” he said.
“Those areas should be priorities.”
Cr Nugent also hoped there might be future scope to create divided lanes similar to Adelaide, where garden beds separate bicycles and cars.
“From a cost and logistics point of view, that’s not possible to do everywhere but it looks like the ideal situation.”