Announcing- the Inner West Bicycle Coalition- first up, Lilyfield Rd

Bike Marrickville, Bike Leichhardt and ASHBUG have formed the Inner West Bicycle Coalition to present a more unified voice to the recently amalgamated Inner West Council and other authorities like Urban Growth and Westconnex. We are retaining our individual structures for the time being, but will endeavour to cooperate on the bigger issues through the Coalition, which will have a coordinator and input from the three groups.

Early days, and we don't presume to be the only cycling groups in the Inner West, so looking to join forces with others, including people or groups in Canada Bay, Burwood and maybe Canterbury. If interested let me know on

Better still, join one of the three groups above and get in on the action.


(Edit, I added Lilyfield Rd to the title, since that is the first matter we are looking at).

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Wasn't advertised further west, which is out of Inner West LGA. Should have been advertised by TfNSW to LGAs further west, since the whole idea behind the cycleway is it is part of a future Regional Route. 

Actually Bill, quite a few cyclists did make their opinions known on the proposal, almost all negative. 

Below is a photo of the dive site for the CWCL, in Charles St, off Lilyfield Rd. 800 m through to Balmain Rd.

Yeah, that's right. The cycleway tunnel will emerge through the cliff face just to the left of derelict house.

It will be fitted out with the latest LED flood lighting and jet fans which will reverse the tunnel wind direction every ten minutes - you simply use the online app to time your entry when the wind is blowing in your direction of travel. 

I have to wonder about wind from a bus in there.

French in general are a pretty farty lot. All those patisseries. Yum, drool. 

Oh, too wussy, wussy.  We need a cycleway like they build them overseas:-


good one too

Update on the Lilyfield Rd Cycleway. 

The project has been sent back to the drawing board as previously posted. We sought a meeting with Council to discuss alternatives.

IWBC met with Council staff, GHD staff and Mayor today. One rep only allowed from IWBC (Neil Tonkin), so we were greatly out-numbered. A resident rep didn't show up. Neil presented our case for alternative routes on Allen St and Francis St, continuing on Moore and Catherine Sts. City West Cycle Link raised, pooh poohed by some staff, but it was pointed out that there will be a lot of tunnelling equipment nearby soon for WConnex.

Staff dutifully took notes, raised a few issues about Darley Rd crossing. GHD still stuck to their one way street scheme that got residents opposed.  But we have heard funding is still available from RMS if a solution that doesn't cause community outrage can be found. This is what we are offering, a way around (literally) the Lilyfield Rd hill issue, and that will encourage new cyclists, and put them closer to the shops and services in Leichhardt.  Mayor seemed keen to find a solution, but oddly (in my view) resisting telling GHD to investigate alternatives and come up with a consensus. He is leaving it to us.

A public meeting on the cycleway is scheduled for May 29. Will be pointless or just nasty if residents are still up in arms about one way streets etc. 

Anyone good at making videos, I am thinking of doing a run through of the alternative routes and showing the easier gradients etc?

Note that IWBC is still saying that Lilyfield Rd needs improving, as it will remain an attractive route to many.

Notice of public  meeting on 29 May at Leichhardt High a School in Balmain Rd to discuss Lilyfield Rd project.

IwBc having a meeting this afternoon with council. Interesting to see if they have any new ideas, or willthey try to crash through resident opposition to one way streets and our opposition to bi-dis (on the steep bit mostly) in the now on-hold plan. 

We have put forward an idea to provide novices and anyone who might be put off taking up cycling by the Hill an alternative route. It is to develop a route via Canal Rd, Darley, Francis, Allen, Moore, Catherine, then rejoin LF Rd or go via Booth or Brenan. Other alternatives are possible, eg via LAC, but Francis/Allen St seems easier and also uses existing bike routes.

Current commuters would probably continue to use Lilyfield Rd, which we are saying could be improved, particularly if parking is removed or relocated Gordon to Balmain Rd, as in the last (on hold)  plan. We are hoping to find out what parts (that we like) of the old plan could be retained.

TfNSW has indicated to us that they can be flexible on the design and actual route so we are hoping IWCouncil will be too. So maybe at the foot of the Hill, there will be a big sign post, offering alternative routes to the City. 

Public Meeting is on tonight. 630 pm Leichhardt Secondary College, entry via Derbyshire Rd.

Neil Tonkin from IWBC will be speaking on our alternative routes plan and our views on the whole project, along with Council speakers and the Consultant.

Not sure if it will degenerate into a slanging match or not, between residents, cyclists and council, since there is no new plan being put, except for our alternative route idea, which is to bypass Lilyfield Rd via Canal Rd and Francis Sts to Allen St and come back via Balmain Rd or Catherine St. 

We were given some assurances at the meeting a couple of weeks ago that they would accept some changes, but there is nothing in tonights presentation, which we have seen a copy of, to suggest any change in their thinking. They still say they want the bi-di down the steep hill to the canal, but it could just be that someone did a copy and save out of the last council meeting and they might be prepared tonight to propose dropping it.

the Mayor definitely wants a solution so cyclists need to give him one. Email details below if you can't attend.

email the council on the issue at cc the mayor at

Don't read the plan details below  if you havnt the time, just send an email! -  Support IWBC, no bi -Di down to the canal, OK (maybe) with wide bi-dis Victoria Rd to Balmain Rd....look at alternative routes around the steep hill for new cyclists if you want to increase numbers, 3 m cycleways, ....

and urge the council to push StateGovt and Westconn to build a tunnel. The mayor has even expressed some interest in this.

the last plan was, from east to west:

one way west  for motor traffic Victoria Rd to Gordon St( changed from one way east in the first version), with a 3 m bi di on south side. We are going along with that even though the Gordon St intersection could be a problem if apartments get built on the corner after Desane won their court case against RMS and Westconnex resumption plans. 

remove all parking on south side between Gordon and Justin Sts and instal a 3 m bi-di. We are going along with that, as it removes a few side street hazards and the inside bend on the blind crest near Lamb St, and it sets a good precedent.

alter kerb line and relocate power poles Justin to Balmain Rd to retain parking on south side and have room for a 2.4 m bi-di, which could be 3 m, and we have some hope they will go the extra 600 mm there, so we are supporting this, while noting there is little justification for retaining parking along there and they could save a lot of money by just removing the parking.

Look at having the crossover point from Southside bi-di to Northside bi-Di at Balmain Rd, rather than at a mid block crossing as in the previous plan,  facilitated by some appropriate traffic light signals and phasing. They said they would look at this, but we don't know how it will go. Probably not a deal breaker.

One way east between Balmain Rd and Norton St and install a wide 3 m bi-Di on north side. Residents may or probably will ignite over this, so we don't know if the council will buckle and retain it as a two way street. If they do that, we don't want a narrow 2.4 m bi-Di, but would just prefer some traffic calming, lower speeds, and swapping the current wide bike lane over to the north side between Norton and Rayner, since that is the uphill direction and would be more useful in the morning peak to have it on the east bound side. If they don't buckle, at least we get a 3 m bi Di or room for bike lanes on both sides, which would be our preference, mainly because westbound cyclists wouldn't have to cross over at James St.

The council has said they would rethink the proposed removal of the slip lane from Mary into Lilyfield Rd and retain the four parking spots outside the chocolate shop in Lilyfield Rd ( near the corner of Mary St). This would compromise any bike treatment. Those four parking spots are the only spots to be lost outside residences, the rest are all along the railway or commercial premises soon to be demolished byWestconnex- Gillespies etc.

We we were given to understand they might relent on the down hill bi-di from Mary/James St to Canal Rd, but nothing so far to indicate they will drop the bi-di and definitely retain the existing uphill bike lane/shared downhill treatment as we would prefer, or a version where the uphill bike lane gets put between the parked cars and the kerb, which we would support if that was all we could get.

our argument is that a bi-Di is unsafe on such a steep road and that the existing system works well, with some improvements or modifications. And we are 

if they decide to keep the bi-di on the north side between Balmain Rd and James St, they would need a crossover treatment at Mary /James St, to allow cyclists the option of not using the bi-di Down the hill, or if there is no bi-Di, to get across tothe west bound lane anyway. They have said we should have that option. Such a crossover treatment exists, there is an example in a Vic Roads publication, but it looks very cumbersome, so cyclists may just do some unorthodox movements near Norton St to get into the westbound travel lane. 

a bit long and complex I know. But if you want to have a say come along tonight. Particularly if you want to retain the downhill to the canal as it is. They need to commit to looking at dropping the bi-di there.

email the council on the issue at  cc the mayor at 


how'd the meeting go?

Mayor and traffic engineer Stephens said the plan has been "shelved" and everything is on the table for developing a new one.

Not clear if the consultant GHD will continue with the project. There was a fair bit of negative opinion on them, and Bill H gave them a huge spray,  but mayor Byrne and councillor Porteus were blaming the outgoing administrator for delays and inadequate consultation.

on a show of hands (at the request of Cr Stamolis)  the meeting agreed that Council should look at our alternative routes, but the consultant rep, Lee Allen, was dismissive, "too roundabout". Well, true, buts it's a lot easier than tackling the "hill", and gives cyclists a choice, plus it develops the bike network through Leichhardt, and the consultant can charge more for planning it, so get on board Lee. Council seems interested in the idea, and could even do it themselves.

Most residents are still opposed to one way streets, except for some rather sensible people down the Victoria Rd end, who get the brunt of fast traffic off Victoria Rd. They'd be happy to see traffic reduced, but it seems unlikely now.

 Cr Porteus, Greens, was defending the status quo, no one ways, on the grounds that LF Rd is an "arterial" road, when any right thinking person would see that the City West Link is the arterial, deficient as it may be in peak times. Plus Balmain and Perry Rd is the other arterial, also clogged in peak. I think she was mainly trying to appease residents who didn't like being called rat runners.

so if the one ways are dead, everything really is up in the air. Unfortunately council didn't say what happens next, or what process to develop a new plan for Lilyfield Rd. They have set up a Bicycle Working Group, to look at cycling matters in general, which meets on 26 June. LF Rd would be on the agenda I hope. Anyone interested might be able to attend. I'll post details. 

Kinda says to me that it's not really about bicycles; it's about commuter traffic bursting out of arteries and that's supposed to be OK because we like OUR car thank you.

Methinks the main game, especially with new motorways designed to induce traffic, is not so much cycle routes but the embuggerance of parking and rat runs.


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