Cyclists to be told to walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway?

Cyclists are to be instructed to walk together with pedestrians between 8am and 12 noon on 15th, 20th, 24th and 28th January 2011 while 12,000 visitors from Amway China walk the Harbour Bridge. This is reported in the North Sydney Traffic Committee agenda - Item 4:07  which meets Friday 26 November.

Bike North asks that you send polite emails to North Sydney Council (council@northsydney.nsw.gov.au) asking for their support in discarding this impractical proposal for mixed use of the cycleway. This would be not
only a huge convenience to people cycling to work but also a danger to
pedestrians and cyclists.


UPDATE: Department of Premier and Cabinet has been identified as the organisers and approval body.

Please send your polite emails to:

Department of Premier and Cabinet: contact_us@dpc.nsw.gov.au
The Premier: ThePremier@www.nsw.gov.au
Minister for Roads - David Borger: minister@borger.minister.nsw.gov.au
Your local MP




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The organisers seem hell bent on separating the visitors from the locals, whereas it should enhance their experience if they mixed with Aussie capitalist running dogs of western imperialism Sydneysiders.

I was amazed to read that they intend to regiment the Amway reps in three-abreast blocs across the Bridge. What is that about? Making sure anyone with the temerity to try walking the other way gets trampled??

Anyway, here is what I said to Council at NorthSydney.nsw.gov.au with copies to Jillian Skinner and Russ W:

As a cyclist I frequently use the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway, which carries many hundreds of cyclists per day and the narrow confines of which form the only cycling access across Sydney Harbour.

I am astonished to hear of a proposal to close the cycleway to riders next January in order to accommodate the needs of a commercial operator and its walking event.

My understanding of the event from a brief perusal of the 14 pages of the report in the November 26 Traffic Committee papers is that fewer than 3000 people will be walking on the Bridge during each four-hour event, or fewer than 750 per hour, which is less than the flow of cyclists on the cycleway during peak hour. These numbers could surely be accommodated on the eastern side of the Bridge along with the normal pedestrian traffic, especially if the participants were instructed to walk only two-abreast, thus easily allowing two-way pedestrian flows, instead of the ridiculous suggestion of three-abreast. Mixing the visitors with locals will also enhance cross-cultural interchange and benefit international relations.

Cyclists will not tolerate being forced to walk, pushing their bicycles, the full length of the cycleway in shoes which are not designed for the purpose and which could be severely damaged by such a requirement.

If it is deemed necessary to create more space on the bridge for this event it should not be at the expense of an environmentally benign form of transport but should be accommodated by closing one or more traffic lanes on the Bridge itself, especially as this will be at a time of year of low motor traffic flow. If, for some reason this is impossible, at the very least provision should be made to allow pedestrians and cyclists free train travel across the Bridge during the event.

I trust Council will recognise the importance of the need for cyclists' access to the Harbour Bridge cycleway to be uninterrupted and will not support this unnecessary closure of cyclists' only route across the Harbour.

Yours sincerely

Neil
Three abreast across the bridge! A dry run for the P.L.A.?
just got this response from council


Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the proposed Amway Harbour Bridge Walk to be held on the 15th, 20th, 24th and 28th January 2011.

Council is not the approval authority for this event. It is being organised and approved through the State Government’s NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The event is listed on the North Sydney Traffic Committee agenda for information only.

It is understood that since the Traffic Committee agenda was prepared, the event has been rescheduled to occur outside the morning peak. That is, after 10am.

The matter will be considered at the next meeting of the North Sydney Traffic Committee. This meeting is scheduled to occur in the Supper Room at Council Chambers, at 10am on Friday 26 November 2010.

All members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting and address the Committee. Registrations to speak must be made ten minutes prior to the meeting, at 9:50am, outside the door to the Supper Room. Should you wish to speak all discussion is limited to 3 minutes per item. These items will then be brought forward, in agenda order, and dealt with before items in which there is no interest from the public gallery.

The minutes from the Traffic Committee will be available on Council’s website (www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au).

Regards

Cathy Edwards-Davis
Traffic Engineer
Phone: 02 9936 8100
Fax: 02 9936 8177
Postal Address: PO Box 12 North Sydney NSW 2059
I got the same message.

"Council is not the approval authority for this event. It is being organised and approved through the State Government’s NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The event is listed on the North Sydney Traffic Committee agenda for information only.

It is understood that since the Traffic Committee agenda was prepared, the event has been rescheduled to occur outside the morning peak. That is, after 10am.

The matter will be considered at the next meeting of the North Sydney Traffic Committee."

I don't get it, if they are there for Information only, then why are they considering it ?

It also sounds like in order to get to use the SHB cycleway on these days requires me to turn up on to a meeting on a workday with a reason/submission.

Edit :add

Also after 10 am makes all the more sense for 1, or 2 of the car lanes to blocked off.
If BNSW can do it for the Spring Ride and Sydeny Marathon, surely Amway can organise to do the same.

Does any have the email addresses of this band of merry bandits please? : "State Government’s NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet"
I suspect they will consider the potential impacts to N Sydney, and what it means for the council (for example they may be tasked with implementing 'no parking' zones etc.) That doesn't mean they are able to stop it happening.

I have also sent a mail to Gillian Skinner (MP for N. Sydney). Clover Moore (both her mayoral and parliamentary offices) and also the the NSW Premier.
contact_us@dpc.nsw.gov.au

and the Premier

ThePremier@www.nsw.gov.au
Thanks, will forward the reply from Cathy and drop the hot potato into their lap.

PS : premier@nsw.gov.au according to this.
Well Cathy Edwards-Davis has been busy sending out emails pointing at the Premier!!

I have nothing against special events and this will make a great impression on what will become a valuable source of tourist dollars for NSW.

The issue for me is safety.

Safety of cyclists (me) having to walk on cycling shoes.

Safety of pedestrians who are going to be squeezing past bikes that have bits sticking out at them.

This really was NOT thought out.

The event has now been scheduled outside peak times which makes it easier to close lane 1 and allocate it to cyclists.
Tourism dollars for NSW,

True, but why hamper cyclists as 2nd class citizens? , closing 1 or even 2 lanes will not add 20, 30 minutes of commute off-peak to drivers in their aircon shells.

I was so very tempted to add to my email something along these lines :
I also note that organisations like BNSW / Spring Ride and the Sydney Marathon managed to organise the closure of some traffic roads, this is something that could also be considered. Similarly, I'm sure the NSW public will be keen to be educated why a visit from Amway China requires the dedicated eastern pedestrian footpath of the SHB and will see the logic in closing one or 2 traffic lanes which will not impact them as much they will not need to dismount and push their vehicles.
Might be worth putting in a call to the Herald newsroom
Considering not all cyclists trying to use the bridge on those days will know about it in advance, and having I-don't-know-how-many Chinese tourists probably in no hurry to get off the bridge, this video comes to mind...

In your letters request that Amway ride their bikes across instead.

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