A two-way Paterson Street could be the catalyst to introducing integrated bikeways on Launceston's CBD streets and improving cycling infrastructure throughout the city, the region's peak cycling group believes.
The Tamar Bicycle Users Group believes the City Heart project missed an opportunity to restructure the way roads work in the CBD, but the University of Tasmania's Inveresk shift opens up a new chance for modern urban planning.
Addressing the implications of Launceston's one-way block street system was an initial aspiration in City Heart following on from the 2011 Gelh report, but appeared to become a lower priority as the project developed.
TBUG president Malcolm Reid said making Paterson, George, York and Charles streets two-way had been "placed in the too hard basket" but Launceston was well-placed to begin investigating the idea again.
"The City Heart vision was to make the CBD more people-friendly by making it less car-centric, and changing traffic flows to enable one-way streets to become two-way," he said.
"It should slow traffic down in the CBD and widen footpaths, create separated bike lanes and make it a much better and more attractive palce for people to enjoy themselves.
"People in areas like Trevallyn could ride into the city, down Paterson Street, through the CBD and out to the university.
"The current 'blockie' route does nothing for business and nothing for outdoor dining."
The Launceston 'blockie' route:
Bicycle Network Tasmania hosted a seminar in Launceston last month where planning experts from Adelaide and Geelong outlined how those cities had integrated cycling, including Adelaide's separated CBD bikeway network.
TBUG believed there were countless examples of the idea working elsewhere, but Launceston needed to first address gaps and maintenance issues with its existing cycling trail network.
The Rocherlea-Inveresk cycling trail has a significant gap at the Mowbray Racecourse, preventing the route from being entirely off-road for cyclists. The condition of the trail and a lack of signage was also an issue.
Mr Reid said the current state of Launceston's roads was putting people off cycling.
"Painted lines on the roads are not enough, it's not safe, it's putting people off," he said.
"It's not just about trying to annoy drivers by providing better cyclist facilities. If more people are riding bikes, then there's going to be less traffic on the roads."
Council: Studies looking into Launceston transport movement
The City of Launceston is studying people movement through the Smart Cities and Suburbs grants program, but concedes the city's narrow streets could be a barrier to better cycling infrastructure.
Mayor Albert van Zetten said Launceston had 35 kilometres of bicycle lanes and 55 kilometres of off-road paths and trails.
"Research shows that cycling infrastructure which is separated from vehicle traffic is the preferred option for cyclists, but unfortunately separated infrastructure is not always possible given the narrow and often constrained nature of many of Launceston's streets," he said.
The council is "exploring options" to fix the missing link in the Rocherlea-Inveresk cycling trail.
The Bike Strategy was developed in 2015 as part of the Transport Futures project, and lockable bike cages have been installed at the CH Smith and Paterson Street east and west car parks.