Cycling in Sydney Australia
Experience has shown that the only way to influence projects is to get in at the project design stage rather than wait for the "community consultation" roadshow. So, we did.
BIKESydney, BIKEast and BicycleNSW this week scored the coup of meeting with Transport for NSW in a meeting devoted to discussion of cycling's integration with the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) Project.
Check out all the updates on the BIKESydney website.
Please DO contribute ideas (in this thread, on our website, or via facebook). Like the current Sydney Airport consultation, there's a real chance to influence outcomes here. Winning those outcomes will certainly depend on the community making a noise.
The biggest question with this is - can we use the light rail corridors to cycle on - eg George St when that has a lightrail down it. Devonshire St - and tunnel and overpass over Southern Cross Drive and Anzac Pde?
If you can walk there, you can cycle there I suppose.
Regardless of permission- just be careful crossing the tracks at shallow angles.
CoS says George St will be a car free zone between Bathurst and Hunter, with bikes able to share the space with pedestrians and trams. They dont see it /want it as a through route, but in the absence of alternatives it might be, despite having to battle traffic north of Hunter - maybe the buses will be less numerous, or are they all going to be turning round there?
Pitt St north of King is supposed to get a bi-di path according to the RMS Access strategy but CoS is reluctant to give it any priority, even though it would give a north south route via King and Castlereagh. One reason may be because they have to pay for it but dont get to design it.
That strategy also had a big arrow coming off the Cahill Expressway, but no definite route south, so that is all unresolved. We'll just have to bodge along if wanting to get to the opera or dinner with the Govnr, as Maquarie St is for real traffic, not bikes, according to Dunc.
Macquarie street seems to be a bit of a bike highway at the moment. Haven't seen too many issues with it though, everyone seems to be getting along.
Yes, I ride Macquarie Street now and then.
Down to Wooly-loos is another story, drivers will swerve into the breakdown lane in order to obstruct me cycling past them. Not a little paint and panel has been adjusted on this account.
Remember CoS also said that replacing the paving in 1990/2000 wouldn't cause any issues for cylcists or pedestrians - they sure got that wrong.
Given the current State Govt's loathe/hate relationship with cyclists (how many bike reference group meetings have they held again?) then I won't hold my breath. The City 'business' group are lobbying against the cycleways already.
I was at an engineers forum a couple of months back and they stated that cycleways on any of the six major city streets would KILL tourism - the head of TNSW just nodded his head in agreement. It was put in this way;
"There is no other city in the world that is going out of its way to kill tourism the way Sydney is with its proposed cycleways supplanting parking and taxi ranks on major roads. Do you really expect tourists to walk hundreds of meters from side streets with all their bags in 35+ degree heat in Sydney so a few cyslists can ride along Elizabeth St, or Castlereagh in dedicated cycleways?"
We would like to share with you the growing community concern over the CBD & South East Light Rail project, given its long-term negative impacts. Just to name a few . . . .
1 The light rail will REDUCE, not increase PUBLIC TRANSPORT CAPACITY
The present efficient bus service serving the CBD and South East will be replaced by a hybrid system that is less efficient, involving increased travel times by re-routing buses to light rail interchanges. Current bus services are faster and more reliable than light rail to and from the CBD and Circular Quay. Many popular bus services to the City are being cut to bolster light rail patronage.
Changes under consideration include cancelling the 5 ‘all-stop’ bus services to the city along the light rail corridor. The routes affected are 391, 392, 393, 394, 399. The M10 and M50 may also be cancelled.
In 2010, morning peak-time ‘all stops’ buses transported 8,400 passengers to the CBD from Randwick and Kingsford. [EIS vol 2], however the light rail will carry only 4,800.
2 INCREASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION
The NRMA says “the CSELR project will involve a number of major changes to the city’s road network and it is expected the expansion of light rail will come at a cost to motorists [while] growth in overall transport demand means that there will be more, not less cars travelling to the CBD in the future . . . we expect there will be many people right across Sydney who will be unaware of the full extent of the TfNSW proposals to significantly reduce the number of traffic lanes, and increase the number of turn bans at intersections . . . the at-grade crossing of South Dowling Street will exacerbate current levels of traffic congestion.. . . through the removal of parking and restriction of east-west movement and right-turns along the project corridor, NRMA believes the CSELR will adversely impact all motorists who live, work and visit the Randwick LGA”
3 ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES (and retailers) SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED
The light rail in High Street would make it extremely difficult for the thousands of patients to access the medical centres in High Street and Belmore Road. If the light rail is located in High Street there will be no parking in the street and the clearways would prevent dropping off and picking up patients. All bus stops and parking outside the hospital will be removed, and there will be no light rail stop to replace them.
4 PEOPLE WILL LOSE THEIR HOMES
Well over a hundred people are being deprived of their homes to make way for the CSELR through the compulsory acquisition of 69 properties in the Olivia Gardens residential complex in Surry Hills – this was gazetted on Friday August 29. Every property owner who has settled with TfNSW has felt forced to agree to a price significantly under market value so they can’t afford to buy back into the area they love.
We believe NSW needs more, and improved public transport, and effective strategies to manage traffic congestion. We need transport solutions that can grow as Sydney grows. Cutting public transport capacity is NEVER the solution, and especially at the cost of communities and their businesses.
Like many - based on the government's marketing material, we thought the CBD & South East Light rail would be terrific. But the devil is in the detail.
2 INCREASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Good. The more congestion the less people will drive. "expansion of light rail will come at a cost to motorists" sounds perfect to me.
Sorry but TNSW itself states that they can NOT increase capacity any more than their claimed 30 trains an hour.
The reason is that for every train going into the city there is one also coming out. So 30 in and 30 out = 60 trains passing through every traffic intersection. Due to the LR trains being given PTIPs priority (over buses as well that is) - then with 60 crossings of EVERY intersection an hour means the traffic lights will have to complete their phase times (every direction including pedestrian crossings) in less than 55 seconds. Why 55 seconds due to the red light delay for safety.
In 2012 the TNSW study and again in the EIS - it was stated that a likely true maximum frequency will be just 24 trains each way per hour.
As the CSELR stands it is taking away up to four current width traffic lanes (train line each way is wider than one standard road lane, as well as traffic lanes taken out by the platforms/stops which will be raised above the surrounding road height.
That is why George St becomes a pedestrian only zone - there's no room for any traffic lanes from Bathurst to Hunter.
If Melbourne is anything to go by then riding down the pedestrian mall that George St is to become will be speed limited if at all possible. Notice the TNSW videos - past and present do not show any bicycles. Try riding through Pitt St mall and see what happens to you.
Unfortunately TNSW is prone to make unsubstantiated claims and then claim 'commercial in confidence' when asked for the proof.
Cycling through the city, like I used to for years up to 7 days a week is only going to get slower and more dangerous as all the buses from George St are rerouted to Elizabeth (in the EIS) as well as all the taxis serving the hotels and office towers in George St.
There is a MYTH that the CSELR is environmentally friendly
The light rail network will emit more carbon per passenger per kilometre than buses or trains by 2021, unless it switches from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Documents before the State Government predict the emissions intensity of the Sydney and South East light rail link to be 171g of carbon dioxide emissions per passenger-kilometre, compared with 120g for buses and 105g for trains (EIS). UP TO 1,000 MATURE TREES WILL BE LOST along the route, and PARKLANDS ENCROACHED UPON. City of Sydney Council has advised that there is no where / no space to replant the trees lost.
Oh boo hoo, somebody doesn't want to lose the on-street parking spots in front of their home and has resorted to astro-turfing.