Lilyfield Road bike route - the latest Concept Plans

Two cycleway options are presented.

The first is the original cycleway plan presented in 2017-2018 with its two one-way sections, Balmain Road to Norton Street and Gordon Street to Victoria Road, the bi-directional cycleway and accompanying loss of 136 parking spaces. It is admitted that this plan is unlikely to be popular.

The second option is to leave Lilyfield Road unchanged except to move the bike lane from one side of Lilyfield Road to the opposite, up-hill, side in two places and also to fix the pedestrian crossing at Grove Street so that pedestrians are more visible to eastbound traffic.

Also presented for comment are four supplementary cycle routes which start and/or finish at Lilyfield Road but otherwise bypass it. Two of these routes commence on the other side of the Inner West Council area adjacent to Timbrell Park and finish at Balmain Road. Another route goes via LPAC and Wharf Road, to avoid the steep hill in Lilyfield Road.

I prefer the third which is a route behind the City West Link (CWL) noise wall from Charles Street to Henry Street or even Derbyshire Road. It uses an existing shared path for most of the route and existing pedestrian crossings and footpath along the CWL between James and Norton Streets. This route takes advantage of the gentle CWL gradient to avoid the Lilyfield Road hill. The hill in Charles Street could be avoided by extending the route  west, behind the CWL noise wall, to Canal Road.

The Lilyfield Road Feasibility Report is now on exhibition until Sunday 25 September 2019. You can see more detail here -

As part of the exhibition the following drop-in information sessions will be held to answer any questions:

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 6.30 - 8.30pm at Centurion Lounge, Leichhardt Oval, Mary Street Lilyfield

Saturday, 7 September 2019 2 - 4pm on the pedestrian/cycleway bridge over Hawthorn Canal, Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield

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Keep the Lilyfield bike route as it is except for the following modifications:

[1] The two up-hill sections of the bike route which have no bike lane in the up-hill direction but rather in the down-hill direction should swap the bike lane over from down-hill to up-hill.

These are the up-hill sections from James Street to Rayner Street and from Justin Street to just beyond the blind corner after Ryan Street. In this latter case, it may be advisable to keep a section of the existing bike lane in the vicinity of the blind corner and this may necessitate the loss of two or three parking spaces on the southern side of Lilyfield Road.

[2] The pedestrian crossing at Grove Street needs the northern access raised to curb level so that pedestrians can be seen by eastbound traffic. To this end, the flowerbed may need to be reduced in size.

[3] I am happy with the proposal to paint a chevronned buffer strip on the parked car side of the bike lane in order to encourage cyclists to stay away from car doors.

I do not support any of the other proposed changes to the Lilyfield Road bike route and in particular the following.

[1] The attempt to confine cyclists to the extreme left hand side of the eastbound carriageway at the top of the hill at James Street using a concrete median. Cyclists will want to wait for a green light as near to the top of the hill as possible and there are often so many cyclists waiting that they will not fit in such a small space. I expect that many cyclists will just fill the left-most lane as they do now, regardless of any median.

A similar situation exists travelling west at James Street. In this case cyclists will take off fast and travel fast down hill ahead of cars.

[2] Footpath extensions at Charles Street will serve no purpose. All that is needed is a stop line. Charles Street has relatively good vision up hill. It is the streets and laneways to the east of Charles Street that have visibility problems.

[3] There is no need to modify James Street northbound.

[4] There already exists a bike lane from Mary Street eastbound along Lilyfield Road. No cyclist will use a short shared path under the shop awning.

[5] Curb extensions are of no use to cyclists at Catherine Street.

Supplementary Routes

The problems and solutions are as follows:

Route 1 The foreshadowed IWC Greenway plans will improve the tight access at the western end of the Hawthorn bridge.

Route 2 No problems.

Route 4 The one way section through the private section of Church Street in Callan park needs to be made two way for cyclists.

Route 3 This route should replace the parallel section of Lilyfield Road for novice and beginner cyclists. It replaces the steep hill with the much gentler gradient of the City West Link (CWL) yet is entirely off-road using existing shared paths behind the CWL northern noise wall and existing crossings of James and Norton Streets.

I suggest that the route could be improved at no cost by extending it eastwards to use Derbyshire Road rather than Henry Street.

To avoid the right hand turn into Charles Street travelling westwards as well as the hill in Charles Street, the route could be extended, behind the CWL noise wall, from Charles Street to Canal Road. The land required is all under RMS ownership. It would be necessary to move about 15m of the noise wall about 1m towards the CWL, lining up with the rest of the northern CWL noise wall to provide more width. A path with lighting would have to be constructed.


Thanks for putting this up Bill. 

The most detail is in the Feasibility Report 

id like to see some diagrams of what’s proposed, a bit hard to follow in just words. 

The kerb median you refer to at Mary St lights may just be those low profile “bicycle kerbs”, ie a yellow plastic rideable separator, rather than a high concrete kerb. These are the details we need to know. No need for that right turn arrow for cars heading into James  too, I’d say. That way cars going straight eastbound can stay in the throughtraffic lane. Can you get a photo of cyclists queuing at MarySt? Police have been known to wait there for any cyclists not obeying the lights.

I asked for plans but these location maps are literally all they have. What they say about James northbound doesn't make sense, perhaps they meant James eastbound? The quality and amount of effort evidenced in this Feasability Report is woeful. Did this report also cost $500,000 like the last two? Bob, we could have done a better one for the price of two coffees at Bar Italia.

The diagram shows and the text is explicit - 400mm x 150mm concrete medians not flimsy plastic. The idea is to push cyclists out of the way of the car traffic, there is only a short green time.

The delays for eastbound traffic are really too long. James Street gets a green even when traffic is banked up around the corner into Perry Street and the right turn into Mary Street gets 50%. It is much quicker to cross down at the CWL (travelling via the "noise walls" route) as the CWL gets green most of the time.

Another thing that will potentially affect things is the proposal aired on Chanel 7 a few weeks ago for a footy stadium in the new railyard parklands, opposite Easton Park. AFL and ARL apparently pushing for it. No doubt they would want Lilyfield Rd for parking. It would also mean cycleways through the park might need lengthy diversions around it. The Mayor is a big footy fan, but I hope the need for open space (and unfortunately Westconn smoke stacks) prevails.

We should ask for bike route details tonight at the WCX info session: 4 to 5:30 ans also 6 to 7:30pm at the WCX office corner of Gordon and Lilyfield Rd (68 Lilyfield Road).


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