Bring on the bike racks

While I was waiting for my coffee at Al Dente the other day (using my recycled plastic KeepCup, I might add), I noticed a sign on the counter asking cyclists to lift their bikes over the railing into the garden area rather than have them crowd the footpaths. Al Dente, like Elie’s, is a favourite among our lycra cyclists. Now I see that there’s a controversy over whether or not there should be a bike rack on that corner, with some other businesses in the area saying no.

I think there’s an excellent business case (as well as an environmental one) for saying yes to more bike racks in Keppel Street. Keppel Street is arguably our most charming street, with the grand sweep down to the railway station, the line of heritage street lamps, the library and art gallery complex and plenty of cafes and boutiques. It’s a foot-friendly street, perfect for strolling in, unlike the shopping malls that invite you to drive underground into a concrete car park that could be anywhere.

The beauty of many European cities flows directly from the fact that they were established before the rule of the private motor car and that they continue to support pedestrian precincts, cycling and excellent public transport. Keppel Street has a touch of that vibe now, and encouraging cycling is a great way to enhance it. It’s in walking, strolling and cycling that people are more likely to spend the “moseying” time needed to wander into a shop and check out the wares.

At the same time, we need more dedicated cycle paths. It’s these that will get the daggy, non-lycra cyclists among us out on our bikes more often. If it’s rude to be on the footpath and dangerous to be on the road, we’re less likely get to the bike racks in the first place. (Fortunately, the Council’s new bike plan takes this on board.)

A key player in wind farm energy is coming to town. Jonathan Upson, Senior Development Manager of Infigen Energy, will address a public meeting in the Courtyard Room at the Bathurst RSL on Thursday, April 28 at 5pm. Jonathon Upson will talk about the success of wind energy overseas, give a brief overview of the technology and “explode wind energy myths”. All are welcome.

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