Good Cycles sharing good vibes

Department of Transport (DoT) partner DM Roads and social enterprise Good Cycles have joined forces to create a safer and smoother ride for cyclists in Melbourne’s north-west.

DM Roads has been engaged by DoT to inspect hazards and defects for the western Melbourne road network. 

As part of this partnership, DM Roads maintains 66 kilometres of shared user paths along the Hume and Western freeways and Metropolitan Ring Road. 

Contract manager Martin Kinski said DM Roads traditionally inspected the paths using a utility vehicle with flashing lights. 

“We recognised that this may present a safety issue, as pedestrians and cyclists may not anticipate a vehicle travelling slowly on a shared path,” he said.

As a result, DM Roads paired up with Good Cycles, a social enterprise that provides commercial asset management services, creating job opportunities for at-risk young people.

Martin explains that Good Cycles had a skilled team and the necessary resources to inspect share user paths using e-bikes instead of utility vehicles, leading to better community safety and social outcomes.

“Good Cycles inspects the footpaths every three months to identify hazards to pedestrians and cyclists, such as broken footpath or overhanging trees,” Martin said.

“The Good Cycles crew are equipped to rectify these issues and make hazards safe until a permanent repair can be completed.”

Martin said the partnership had delivered several benefits.

“By using bikes, we get to experience the paths from the perspective of the customer, whether they be a pedestrian or cyclist, leading to better outcomes for our customers,” he said.

“Removing utility vehicles has made the operation safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and more environmentally friendly as there are no carbon emissions.

“DM Roads has worked to train Good Cycles staff to complete inspections and rectification works, expanding their experiences in this field and creating a pathway opportunity for their staff to transition into infrastructure maintenance.” 

Nathan from Good Cycles was trained in hazard and defect identification on these paths by Frank Romero from DM Roads.

“I love the travelling aspect,” Nathan said. 

“I'm an avid cyclist myself, so it's really rewarding maintaining the bike paths and getting the freedom to ride along the beautiful paths in Melbourne.”

The ongoing partnership between DM Roads and DoT ensures that we can manage, maintain and deliver the best outcomes for our western community, whether they choose to travel by car, by bike or on foot.