Cycling in Sydney Australia
Hey, some good news :)
An independent review of environmental factors surrounding the Bourke Road cycleway has found no significant environmental impacts.
The report by leading engineering, architecture and environmental consulting company GHD says there is no need for a formal Environmental Impact Study into the cycleway and lists a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the cycleway and its impact on the surrounding area for the Council's consideration.
The report will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days from Monday to allow the community to provide further feedback before Councillors decide which recommendations should be implemented.
The report noted there had been a reduction in traffic accidents since the cycleway was completed and also stated the loss of on-street parking, at less than six per cent of the overall 4,488 parking spaces available in the precinct, was "not significant" as the area was mainly industrial with most businesses having off-street parking for staff and visitors.
Two interesting aspects of this report for me were
1) a recommendation that police do a safety perception report (I'm paraphrasing their terminology here), as people working in the area said they felt unsafe walking to the station in the evening. This is great, as it also feeds into the debate about how dangerous it is to get to Green Square station because the fRTA thinks pedestrian crossings to get to the station are an expensive luxury.
2) the perception of people working in the area that they had an absolute right to drive to work and park right outside. So LA 1950!
I agree. The perception of safety notion is a very interesting aspect, as we know from many of our would-like-to-cycle friends who say they think roads are too dangerous. If there were more people on bikes then perhaps there would be less fear. More "eyes on the street".
I can understand that a lot of people who work in the area are working odd hours where there are less people around = a sense of fear = a perception that driving is the best option. A shame, but I can understand it.
I liked (in the sense of being shocked and amused) the section on amenity where people complained that the "amenity of driving" was reduced by the speed cushions.
I would think that anything that reduced the "amenity of driving" would lead to less of it, and therefore to greater amenity for the area as a whole. Overall the report seemed a bit light on stressing that point - that the reduction in driving on Bourke St is a positive thing. Everything the windshield-perspective folks complained of seemed like a great positive to me.
who paid for the report?
Oh, I'm sure a special rate increase can be organized for Hannan's Business Park to cover it ;-)
If not that then parking meters all over!
Spoke to one of the folks interviewing on Bourke St - it was Nick from MC. Clipboards are actually iPads and they only spoke to one person wanting to rip up the cycleways. Interviews were with pedestrians today, the general theme seems to be riders going to fast and not giving way at pedestrian crossings. Interviews with cyclists soon.
I wonder if those who think riders are going too fast are some of the ones that step right out in front of me mid block leading to some VERY close calls. If someone asked them what they thought, cyclists going too fast would be the most likely human reaction, not "I almost got cleaned up by cyclists doing 30 km/h because I stepped right out in front of them without so much as a sideways glance".
Most cyclists I see do stop, or at least slow or go around peds on the crossings. Although once when the CW lights went red near the church between the bakery and Cleveland I was the only one that stopped and someone almost punted into the back of me.
It's possibly a similar problem to when that older guy was killed in Melb when he stepped into that peloton - an expectation that bicycles are only really toys (hence why they shouldn't be on the road, that argument continues) and thus couldn't really travel *that* fast, could they?
Excellent sight this morning: traffic banked up going not-very-far over the Gladesville Bridge, and then two little halogen lights popped through the gloom - two guys, riding over the deck of the bridge, easily and swiftly filtering through the stationery traffic. If that isn't a good advertisement for getting out of yr car, I don't know what is... :-)
More bikes than cars travelling in that pic (of the Bourke STREET CW).
Rip up the vehicle lanes!
"a fantastic example of pure spin to raise revenue"
I agree. A good way to lessen this effect is to not post links to it, particularly in places where the locals are guaranteed to have a strong opinion about it.