Cycling in Sydney Australia
THE Sydney CBD's controversial network of bike paths has hit a major road block - Premier Barry O'Farrell.
Declaring war on Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Mr O'Farrell will today announce new laws that will take away Ms Moore's transport and traffic planning powers.
Under the changes, a joint state government-City of Sydney committee will manage the city's transport issues.
The move comes after it was revealed yesterday Ms Moore was planning to make on-street parking as expensive as commercial carparks and hoped to turn dozens of parking bays into bike racks.
"There will be no extension of bike lanes, no change to traffic routes unless it goes through this committee on which the government has four nominees," the Premier said.
"The Sydney CBD is too important to be held hostage to the political constituency of Clover Moore. It's very clear Clover Moore's pitch for re-election is built around more bike lanes and making the CBD as unfriendly to cars as possible. That is why we have decided to act in the best interests of wider Sydney."
The committee will have four representatives from the government, including the transport ministry director-general, as well as three representatives from council.
Asked what he would do if Ms Moore did not fill the council spots, the Premier said the committee would operate with only the government's nominees.
Mr O'Farrell said the government was taking action on behalf of CBD workers, businesses, residents and visitors to "ensure major transport decisions are properly co-ordinated between the NSW government and City of Sydney Council".
The Premier said the government was in disagreement with the council on speed limits and car access to the CBD, the provision of layover space for buses, the extension of the network of bikeways and the extension of low-speed shared zones.
"The lord mayor's vision of the CBD is at odds with Sydney's position as a global city," Mr O'Farrell said.
The Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee would be responsible for "co-ordinating plans and policies for public transport and traffic within central Sydney and making decisions on major transport issues".
"Sydney is Australia's only global city and the CBD deserves a first rate and properly functioning roads and transport system," Mr O'Farrell said. "Transport issues in the Sydney CBD have a far broader impact on the state's economic activity. We need to ensure both levels of government working together to deliver the best results for the state's economy.
"I've come to the conclusion that the only way to ensure this is to establish a legal framework that requires coordination between the state and the council, modelled on the successful Central Sydney Planning Committee."
Mr O'Farrell said the committee would "for the first time, bring all traffic and transport decision-making under the one umbrella".
This is not a good development for anyone... I guess i need to get active and let BOF know that I think he's wrong.
Can he point to a "Global City" that doesn't have bike lanes, isn't moving towards pedestrian friendly spaces, is not reducing speed limits in the CBD, is not considering congestion tolls?????????????
This is all about the Council Elections in September!
>Can he point to ...
Its Sydney FTW.
We would all love to see more bike lanes but taking those lanes from drivers would just result in more animosity towards us riders. I think if Cover wants to turn Sydney into a city like New York, London or Paris then you need a city rail system like those cities. I've been on trains in INDIA better than the trains we have here. If you want a modern city then you have to bring your public transport into the 21st century.
Exactly Bof should concentrate on state issues and not remove council powers
Time for another protest at Town Hall? Perhaps BoF can speak to us directly and explain himself.
this still needs to pass parliament correct?
I would like to hear what Clover has to say in response to this.
I can't help but feel disappointed and even sad at the comments. So much hatred. I doubt most of these people even drive in CBD. Seems like a bunch of peds telling one side of the story. I bet most of those "cyclist almost knocked me down at a crossing" stories have left out the part where the ped was jaywalking. The only time I talk to peds is when I have to remind them to "watch for the little green man"
There were positive cycling comments I am sure. I was one of them. They are routinely not published as it doesn't suit their agenda.
The way i understand it, Clover Moore has planning powers, but all the decisions on actually building things like cycleways goes through a state committee already, consisting of the very same people that will be making the decisions that come from the Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee. To me, and i'm happy to be corrected, it sounds like a streamlining of the decision making process that would actually be a good thing.
Dont know if the proposals went through any State Committee, they did have to get RTA, Police and Bus approval through the Traffic Committee system, if it affected intersections etc, so that was always the big hurdle. The irony is that CoS's cycleways were approved by the RTA , mainly on the grounds it wouldnt affect traffic and their precious volumes too much... Now BoF has (maybe) taken the fRTA (RMS) out of it, approval will be by DG of Transport and presumably reps from Planning, Premiers Dept and one other, plus 3 from CoS. Barry had better hope the DG of Transport is a bike troglodyte like him. O no, isn't it Les Wielinga, fmr RTA head?