The NSW Government troll Sydney’s growing number of cycle enthusiasts
By Vic Saule
Forget any dreams you may have of riding around the CBD, concerned by only the prospect of potentially falling off your bike or spandex chaffing…
New bike lanes promised by the NSW Government to connect up bike lanes already in the CBD may only operate “part-time”.
Aaaaand the cherry on top: the current bike lane connecting north and south Sydney down College Street will also be removed to make way for the construction of an elaborate light-rail system around the CBD that is costing the government $2.2 billion to $600 million more than expected.
NSW Road Minister Duncan Gay announced that the replacement bikeway down Castlereigh Street will be trialled as a “part-time” bikeway, exclusive to riders only during 6am-10am and 3pm-8pm – a concept many have deemed more ludicrous than a “part-time” 24 hour McDonalds.
"I'm not aware of any bike network anywhere in the world that has a part-time option," said Professor of Public Health at Sydney University, Chris Rissel, who believes new cyclists would be wary of a cycleway with vehicles blocking it outside peak hours.
However, the bikeway, along with the other proposed lanes around the city would be an obstacle for vehicles trying to access loading zones.
Patricia Forsythe, the executive director of the Sydney Business Chamber said: "I think the minister in his ever practical way is looking for a way to accommodate the needs of a majority of city users.”
The number of cyclists around Sydney has increased 110% since they were first introduced back in 2010.
Cyclists, health expects and business lobbyists have protested the Government’s decision, with the Lord Mayor of the CBD pointing to the increased number of business facilities established to accommodate cyclists.
Tim Williams, the chief executive officer of the Committee for Sydney, said: "It is an international delusion that you can reduce congestion by expanding road capacity. Demand for road use has to be managed. Walkable and cycle-able cities are economically successful."
The NSW Government are currently in a race to connect cycleways around the CBD before development on Sydney’s light-rail begins mid-2015, yet many of the plans finer details are unknown.