Sydney cycleways move from plans to reality
The City of Sydney will substantially expand its cycleways with a number of implementation reports to go before Council for approval this month.
The City has committed $70 million for cycling works during the next four years, and is calling on the Federal Government to contribute $295 million to help a collaboration of 15 inner City councils build connecting cycleways.
The implementation program is part of the City's pledge to deliver 55km of separated cycleways as part of a 200km cycling network.
"We have now moved from the planning phase into the reality of delivering safe, convenient and accessible cycling infrastructure to get more Sydneysiders on their bikes," Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said today.
"The reality is we don't have a choice, there is an urgent need for investment in sustainable urban infrastructure as we face the threat of global warming and a world financial crisis."
"Priority must be given to investing in green infrastructure - projects which will make our urban areas more sustainable and better equipped for the future - while providing health improvements, jobs for our community and benefits for the economy."
"Developing cycling and walking as viable and attractive ways to get around the city, as real alternatives to driving a car, will help relieve pressure on our congested roads."
"More people are switching to bicycles to escape crowded public transport, reduce car usage, do something for the environment and get fit," Ms Moore said.
The Bureau of Transport Economics estimated that under a do-nothing scenario, the cost of congestion in Sydney would rise from about $3.6 billion per annum in 2005 to $8 billion per annum in 2020.
The implementation program involves:
- Prioritising up to 35 kilometres of separated cycleways on local streets that could commence construction as early as 2009. This would involve minor work on local streets, separating cyclists from moving traffic and parked vehicles. Cycle lanes would be painted green.
- Commencing design work on a shared pedestrian and bicycle path adjacent to Hyde Park on College Street in the CBD, to greatly improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Initial design plans will be considered by Council on Monday 15 December.
- Pushing the Federal Government's Infrastructure Australia to fund a 245km Inner Sydney Regional cycle network of separated cycleways worth $295M across 15 inner city local councils. This would provide a network from Willoughby in the north to Rockdale in the south and Canada Bay in the west.
- Building Sydney's first separated cycleway on King Street in the CBD. This provides a critical link into the City for cyclists from the inner west. Construction is due to be complete in mid 2009.
- Consulting with the local community to develop detailed designs for a 4.3km separated cycleway on Bourke St from Zetland to Woolloomooloo. Subject to endorsement by Council on Monday 15 December, construction could commence in mid-2009.
- Consulting with the community on designs for a new cycleway along Union Street, Pyrmont. The public exhibition period ends on Wednesday 3 December.
- Consulting with the local community on a new separated cycleway proposed for Missenden Road, Camperdown.
- The City of Sydney is well advanced in its feasibility study on introducing a bicycle hire service, initially for the CBD and later as a network across metropolitan Sydney. Research by the City has found more than 80 per cent of people favour the introduction of a public bike hire service, and one in three said they would definitely use it.
Ms Moore said the City aims to create a cycling network across Sydney safe enough for a child to use.
"We want to create the infrastructure so more people use cycling as a means of ordinary, everyday transport," Ms Moore said.
"As the major centres for greenhouse gas emissions, cities are where we have to make real changes that will enable us to survive on this planet. We have to re-imagine how we live and get around our cities.
"This implementation program is testament to our promise to get on with the job, after a long period of talking and consultation.
"Following detailed research, extensive consultation, and a rigorous design process, we are applying world's best cycleway practices, customised for Sydney's unique streets."
I think that $295m will be money well spent if Federal government funds this. People should be encouraged to peddle for commuting. It is far quicker and safer than travelling by public transport or cars.