Cycling in Sydney Australia
More of a long blog than a discussion, but I welcome any thoughts.
I went to a workshop tonight hosted by U(topia)rban Growth for residents and sporting and recreational clubs and groups, to discuss planning for recreational needs in the Inner West when the Bays Precinct (Blackwattle, Rozelle, White bays) gets about 10000 new dwellings in the next 10 years or so. Leichhardt and City Council staff were also there, as was Jamie Parker who set up the meeting.
The population of the CBD is also expected to grow significantly, to 230,000 by 2030, which dwarfs just about everything when discussing need for sporting fields and "active" recreational facilities, (as opposed to "passive" recreation in parks and gardens), not to mention new schools.
Interesting that I was invited, and i dont know who did invite me, because the first UG speaker showed a slide on the Scope of the UG recreational study, and cycling didnt rate a mention. They suggested I join the skate park/youth subgroup.
UG considered cycling to be covered by the Active Transport Plan, details to be released later this year or next. But several of the club reps and UG staff supported my call to include cycling as a recreation and put in facilities such as learner or child bike tracks as in Centennial Park, perhaps in conjunction with a skate park in Wentworth Park, when the dog track goes. One Pyrmont resident even suggested a velodrome. Who knows, it might flourish.
This same resident complained that there were no sporting clubs or rec groups in Pyrmont because there are no facilities, and families all had to load their kids into cars to get to facilities elsewhere. I made I thought a telling point that about 40 or 50% of households would own bikes and could (and probably do) cycle around the foreshores etc and that cycle groups did exist in the area. A staffer said that cycling was the third most popular activity after walking and (i think he said) swimming.
That statistic is one good reason to consider cycling as a recreation and provide good recreational bicycle infrastructure, which of course can double as transport infra as well. Families could ride to netball, tennis, baseball, football venues, and schools if any do get built.
A prime example will be the reuse of the old Glebe Island Bridge, to open up the Inner West to the thousands of city dwellers looking for a weekend escape to the greener and opener pastures of the Inner West, where some recreational facilities could be outsourced. Leichhardt Council is obviously hoping to benefit from this!
A bike path up the old goods yard towards Leichhardt would also supply a great recreational facility, if Westconnex doesnt completely block it. The ultimate would of course be the CWCL through the railway cutting to Hawthorne canal.
They said their boss in UG was looking for "innovation" and "big ideas", so feel free to pitch some.
To contact UrbanGrowth NSW's consultant email or phone:
Michala Lander - Senior Community Engagement Specialist
P: 02 9391 2949
inside Utopia tonight at 227 Elizabeth St, (they are probably sick of that joke)
supposedly everybody hated the velodrome being sighted at bass hill -the person who owned the land didnt though
Yes, but its there now and its a first class facility. Ultimately almost everyone drives there so the position isn't as critical
It's a pity the nearest public transport (that takes bikes) is 2.8km away ... not very good since a track bike are about as useful as a cello, and probably more illegal when used on the road
I've done that, caught the train and walked carrying my bike. It was a hard slog
2.8 km is a pretty short ride though. If it had no downhills I'd ride it without brakes. And I missed the fixie craze so can only just skid stop.
There's no way I'm going to risk my tyres riding them on the road with the potential of picking up a foreign object. A rear flat on Dunc Gray gives you about a 50% risk of crashing, a front flat about 90% risk of crashing.
Also don't forget the gearing, it takes a lot longer to haul up a track bike than a brake less fixie
though you could build something like lidcombe (does that still exsist?) I don't think it would need to be banked or undercover just somewhere where the kids could race
Lidcombe is still there. About 2 years ago it was resurfaced and the sharp corner coming onto the start finish was reduced making it easier to hold line during a sprint
"Families could ride to netball, tennis, baseball, football venues, and schools if any do get built."
Nah, sorry Bob. Won't fly. As a motorist once told me at a meeting re sports field provision, "You can't carry a baseball bat on a bicycle". Hence massive car parks and roads are essential. EOS.
Thanks (again!) to Bob Moore for his initial post and comments on this subject.
Can I suggest that the BUGs should set up quarterly (later, monthly) meetings with Urban Growth? First, to remind them that commute and recreational cycling MUST be constantly on their agenda for each and every one of their Bays "precincts", and second, to provide feedback to "us" on this and other sites?
Just a comment in support of kid's cycling tracks like the one in Centennial Park. Its packed on weekends, and has playgrounds in the middle. The new cafe there suits parents who also cycle. Alternative designs I've seen include this (click on Earth to view it as its not mapped road structure):
This is specifically to teach road safety skills to children. It should be improved to include cyclepath-road transitions though.
More kids-centric cycling facilities, with cycleway links to and from adjacent areas (along the foreshore especially) would be great.