Cycling in Sydney Australia
It's 2011 - Earlier this year we say the road rage attack in Brazil, and there are several YouTube are out there, and some with comments enabled.
This Friday on the last week of Nov is the Critical Mass SHB event. (event)
If it is anything like last year, it's be a short ride around the city followed by claiming the bridge for all of 10 minutes in a bit of bike raising exercise or so before proceeding to North Sydney.
What do you think Critical Mass means?
Does it serve a purpose?
If you could participate, would you ?
BNSW along with Bike North have been working the Harbour Link issue for some time. We first tried to influence the designs being put forward by the RTA and those in the previous elevated HL study - but then saw the need to bring focus and accelerate the certain elements that were the most problematic from a safety or "bollard" point of view - namely the crossing of the West Street ramp to the Warringah Fwy and a ramp access to the SHB - we called this approach HarbourLink Fast-Track.
On the SHB ramp, we commissioned a BNSW member to help come up with a realistic depiction of what a ramp would look like - attached here. This proposal was presented to Minister Gay just over a month ago and he thought it was actually quite good. The Minister has since asked his team working with folks from Transport (Matt Faber) to deliver an assessment of the best proposals within the first half of 2012.
Meanwhile North Sydney Council had also thrown their support behind a concept review and offered to participate with money towards a matching grant program under the Fed's Liveable Cities program. RMS have turned down that collaboration and say they can fund this on their own. An interesting new perspective given what we often hear about a lack of resources. (ref attached note from Matt)
The next step will therefore be for the best proposal to be given high enough priority in the "Transport Master Plan" to push forward next year. Given that it is the 80th anniversary of the SHB - there is some added reason to commit to this upgrade next year.
There are many hurdles yet but for the first time we appear to be getting some traction in at least addressing key concerns including funding. It would be great to think that this government will see this through.
We will of course keep everyone updated and ramp up a campaign and media if we believe things are not progressing as promised.
I hope this is useful.
'ramp up' a campaign- haha!
Good to see both engagement from BNSW and funding from our taxes.
As with other things the schedule is a concern, also the language "would" in Matt's response.
Since there are potential blockers cited, perhaps it would be good if BNSW were to ask for an alternative. In the meantime I use the train, and acknowledge that takes up space at peak hour which would not occur if the cycle route Macquarie Park to City were acceptable to me.
Thanks to City Rail, the cycleway is around 400mm narrower than it used to be, yet it has undergone a usage increase significantly beyond that of the roadway.
Spring Cycle blocks the roadway for a lot longer and apparently hinders no-one's cause.
Well said, Paddy!
Has the media been ignoring us lately?
The state government certainly has.
Media hasn't: in the last week there's been a "Cycle to be seen" article (also known as "the new golf"), there's been a "bike lanes are a waste of money" article and in Adelaide there was a "I don't wanna see blokes in lycra cos I'm a homophobe" article.
A nice cross section of the shit the mainstream media publishes about cycling.
Critical Mass is both advocacy and a celebration if you ask me.
Although there are great improvments such as the developing cycleway network, these are at some risk, especially with the negative attitudes expressed by some members of the State Government, e.g., threats to "rip up cycleways", the seeming lack of interest in accepting federal funding for the Harbourlink B..., and the Deferred construction of the inner west Greenway
Critical Mass is not just about the Bridge, it's about advocacy and awareness of cycling in general.
As a celebration, the Bridge Ride is one of the major cycling events of the year and attracts hundreds of cyclists from all over the city, the state and even overseas. Response from motrists is not as negative as some people seem to think - we actually get support too.
As for holding up traffic, in fact if we ride in the peak hours we're frequently the FASTEST vehicles in the city, cars really do hold US up! The crossing of the Bridge itself is well after 6 pm and is done (as some have mentioned) in 10 minutes.
I think people are being unrealistic or perhaps even disingenuous when they say "it's only for ten minutes, the traffic is gridlocked anyways" etc.
Just one car breaking down in one lane creates a large bottleneck in any traffic system.
There are fluid dynamics engineers out there who will be better at this than me, but I'd say that slowing and then halting all northbound traffic on the bridge, during peak hour, has a very significant effect on traffic flow.
Isn't that the intention anyways?
The delay last year was waiting for traffic to clear the bridge. The cops held us on the Cahill for a while to achieve that. Then we pretty much caught up, and rode off the bridge behind them.
Not sure if there was a significant effect on traffic behind, or how much extra was sucked up by the tunnel.
Yours is an interesting point tho, you only have to do something which invites rubbernecking, and there's an effect. The old CM certainly was meant to affect traffic.
I think this is a wonderful idea. Show motorists how we beat gridlock rather than adding to it, if only momentarily.
"More effective would be a Critical Dispersal"
Isn't that what happens every day as thousands of cyclists leave the CBD at around 5pm? Apart from a few concentrations (Union St, Oxford St etc.) I don't think any non-cyclists notice. Dispersals by their nature aren't very noticeable. Concentrations are.