For young cyclists in Yass, the town’s new cycleway looks like lots of fun with its lookalike road complete with stop signs, a pedestrian crossing and even a roundabout. But the new Learn to Ride facility may also help to save lives.
The cycleway, in Miles Franklin Park, was officially opened last weekend by Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, Yass Valley general manager Chris Berry, and Ania Wardle from Yass Community Grants.
The new facility imitates a real road environment with its road signs, roundabout, pedestrian crossing and footpaths, allowing young cyclists to experience what it is like to ride on a road without the associated dangers of the real thing.
Yass locals had their first ride on the cycleway at the weekend, with bike road safety information provided by NSW Police.
Plans for the project began in 2019 when four women from the not-for-profit Yass Community Grants approached Yass Valley Council for support in establishing a Learn to Ride track for young cyclists.
They had discovered the Learn to Ride cycleway was listed as a future proposal under council’s Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan, and worked with council to develop a grant application for it.
“We are very pleased to have played our part in making the Learn To Ride cycleway possible, and look forward to working with the community and council again to find additional grant funding opportunities and continue to make Yass a fun, inclusive and safe town,” said Ms Wardle.
Mr Berry said Yass Valley Council hopes the project will make cycling safer and open the doors for similar facilities in the region.
“We hope local schools, preschools, parents, grandparents and guardians utilise the Learn to Ride cycleway regularly to teach young people about safety when cycling on our roads,” he said.
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the NSW Government is proud to have provided $114,000 under the Stronger Country Communities Fund to build such an important community asset.
“The NSW Government has invested record amounts to deliver community projects such as the Learn to Ride cycleway, which will make a difference to everyday life,” she said.
“The Stronger Country Communities Fund aims to make sure that no matter where young people are, they have opportunities to train and upskill, feel connected to their community, and can easily and quickly access mental health support when they need it.”
Design of the Learn to Ride cycleway took place between July and September 2021 with work undertaken from October to November.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund which, together with the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, is delivering once-in-a-generation infrastructure that generates jobs, opportunities and investment.