A NEW bike loop proposed for central Albury includes Melbourne-style hook turns for cyclists turning right at intersections
The measure should enable riders to turn more safely, by not having to mix with vehicles going right from the centre of the roadway.
It would see cyclists stay to the left, stop in a box marked on the roadway, swing their bike 90 degrees and then proceed when the traffic light turns green for the crossroad.
Hook turns are used in central Melbourne at intersections, where tram lines cross, to ensure light rail vehicles are not impeded by cars.
Albury councillors learnt of the plan to incorporate the hook turns in a fresh CBD bike loop, during a public briefing this week.
City projects chief Andrew Lawson flagged a new circuit involving Kiewa, Swift, David and Smollett streets.
Previously a wider loop over Wodonga Place, Creek Street, Englehardt Street, Swift Street, Young Street and Smollett Street had been proposed.
Omitting Young Street removes a state-controlled roadway and dropping Englehardt and Creek streets means markedly fewer trees would need to be destroyed.
Mr Lawson said hook turns would be a "lot safer" but noted there would be "issues" with CBD intersections where there are pedestrian-only traffic light phases.
Councillor Darren Cameron slammed hook turns.
"I think that they'd be a retrograde step, I think they're confusing," he said.
Cyclist and deputy mayor Amanda Cohn said a major educational campaign would be needed if hook turns eventuated but added it was "very frightening" to turn right amid traffic in the centre of the street.
The loop's fluid bike lanes with some gutter side and others between parks and traffic also upset councillors.
Councillor Henk van de Ven argued lanes should all be adjacent to traffic because of the risk of passenger doors being opened into riders with gutter side lanes.
He said altering them was a "non-negotiable" for his support of a loop.
Quizzed about the cost of the entire project, Mr Lawson said he did not have an estimate but noted $100,000 was in the budget now for work.
The proposed loop is expected to soon be released for public feedback.
Pedal Power Albury-Wodonga president Anthony White, who represents about 80 leisure riders, supports a loop and hook turns, which are legal in NSW for cyclists.
"A lot of cycle tracks just stop at intersections and you're on your own and if those markings were on the road it would be an excellent thing," he said.
Mr White also wants lanes on the outside of parking bays, having ridden regularly on Smollett Street and been forced to stop and walk around cars impinging on the gutter side bike strip.