A NSW council is putting the brakes on settling on the location of a new bike path, after concerns were raised about safety and usability.
A pump track – a purpose-built bike track that relies on a rider’s momentum to push them through the course – is set to be built in the Queanbeyan suburb of Jerrabomberra.
An October 2023 meeting saw Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) approve Jerrabomberra Creek Park on Waterfall Drive as the track’s location, but a rescission motion at their latest meeting last month saw that off the table.
Councillors Mareeta Grundy, Michele Biscotti and Ross Macdonald signed the motion, which was carried unanimously.
Speaking to Region, Councillor Grundy said she was “very buoyed” by the result.
“I’m very pleased that my colleagues acknowledged that there was a community sentiment where they wanted this project site to be revisited [and] that the process of community consultation had been inadequate,” she said.
Cr Grundy said she put the motion forward after multiple residents contacted her about the pump track’s proposed location on Waterfall Drive.
“They were very upset that they – in their words – had been overlooked and their views and opinions had been overlooked, in terms of the siting of the pump track,” she said.
“They had concerns that there were safety issues around the decision, and there were issues relating to the inappropriateness of the site.”
Cr Grundy said her objection came down to questions about the Waterfall Drive site being the best location for the pump track.
“It wasn’t supposed to be what they call a destination site, but mums and dads would have to inevitably drop their children off and there was talk about barbecue facilities being installed – if that’s the case, it’s definitely a destination site,” she said.
“Therefore, there will be consequences in terms of parking, traffic congestion, etc., and the site just did not lend itself and still does not lend itself to that sort of development.”
At their January meeting, Cr Grundy also put forward another motion, calling on QPRC to move the pump track to the Regional Sports Complex, also located in Jerrabomberra.
“The community felt that that was a good option, in that there are already facilities in place at that site, such as adequate lighting, security and toilets,” she told Region.
“There will be greater capacity for what they call passive surveillance, because the facility will have other sports running there at the time.”
That motion was not successful, with councillors instead voting in support of a motion to consider “all possible locations within Jerrabomberra” and to undergo a new public consultation process.
While QPRC was looking at moving the pump track, Cr Grundy said progress on the project would continue.
“Over the next several months, there’ll be ample opportunity for our residents to attend workshops and drop-in forums, to contact their councillors to exchange comments on the website with council which is usually through the avenue of the Your Voice QPRC website,” she said.
“[This is] with a view that construction will commence later in the year to be finished, and the facility up and running by the end of November.”
According to the January meeting agenda, QPRC is to receive a report on the final design, including updated traffic counts and speed data, at its 14 February meeting.