Make it easy for the wheels to go round- this morning's SMH

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally's habit of cycling to work is part of a trend that will cause the number of Sydney bicycle trips to triple in the next 30 years, according to a landmark transport report.

Increasing numbers of cyclists will lead to more tension between drivers and riders on roads that will become ever more clogged as Sydney's population increases by 40 per cent.

A report produced by an independent inquiry into Sydney's long-term public transport needs recommends measures to make cycling more attractive but says tension on the roads must be addressed first.

Even though 70 per cent of cyclists are also drivers, the inquiry found both groups seem to believe they have ''the dominant right to be on the road''.

The inquiry, headed by former NSW rail and roads chief Ron Christie, found ''a major exercise must be undertaken to break down sometimes aggressive attitudes towards fellow road users''.

''In other words, 'winning hearts and minds' is a critical first step in bringing together all road users, both physically and ideologically,'' the report says.

The report, released yesterday, predicts 10 per cent of all car journeys to work, mostly the shorter trips of 10 kilometres or less, will shift to cycling, walking or small electric vehicles.

While 110,000 commuters rode or walked to work in 2006, that number will increase to 333,000 - an increase of 300 per cent - by 2040 as motorists swap their cars for bikes. In contrast, the number of car trips to work in the same period will increase by 5 per cent because road congestion and new taxes will make driving so much less attractive.

While cycling levels in hilly Sydney are not predicted to match those of flat European cities, the inquiry says much more support should be given to cyclists.

It wants a new body called Transport for Sydney to have responsibility for planning and running all transport in the city including defusing tensions.

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"A skinny lane"

I was talking to my chiropractor recently about her waiting room furniture. She has 4 ample seats with arms and 2 without arms. The 2 without arms are for those who are width challenged - and she said that there are lots of them in her client base. Imagine having to maneuver them around to manipulate them! Skinny is a perception - do fat people see themselves as fat or normal?
Wynyard's platforms 1 & 2 were intended for trains on the E side since their original construction in 1936. According to wiki. Trams there were an interim thing from the outset. So yes, train goes on the E side and happy days at least as far S as Wynyard.

With 800 bodies every 3 minutes of new public transport capacity in each direction the lost car lanes could simply be lost IMO.

The other thing that's being missed is the length of trains. Only 8 carriages per train is peanuts. 12 is normal, 20 not unusual for the rest of the world.

I guess we got super slow double deckers because they didn't care to upgrade to world standard platform lengths. Not only do these dinosaurs move slowly they take an age to get both decks of geese in and out thru just 2 doors per carriage.
Martin, your o/s experience may be able to add to this slightly off topic comment. Once a transport consultant told me that one of the major limitations to the electric train network is caused by the electricity that they use. Apparently it is DC, whereas the rest/most of the world uses AC. If they used AC power the running costs would be substantially less than they currently are because it is cheaper than DC. I think that he also said that they use more electricity because it is DC. If this is the case, they are adding to the ghg problem.

To bite the bullet with this and change to AC would be a major expense so it probably would never be done, but I wondered whether the decisions to go to Metro type systems, possibly where the trains were self contained on one transport loop, as an attempt to address this. Presumably then those Metro trains could run on AC power as they would not need to go on the current rail system.

AC v DC for trains?

I thought we used both in Australia?
I think the funniest thing I have seen in my life is someone dumping a bouncing Grumman into a carpark full of anoraked reggie spotters.

This is of course evidence for the existence of a god. Evidence somewhat weakened by the presence of lightning conductors on church spires.
Huh... who'd have thunk it?

With the electrification of suburban networks, which began in 1919, a consistent electric rail traction standard was not adopted. Electrification began in Melbourne in 1919 using 1500 V DC. Sydney's lines were electrified from 1926 using 1500V DC, Brisbane's from 1979 using 25 kV AC, and Perth's from 1992 using 25 kV AC. There has also been extensive non-urban electrification in Queensland using 25 kV AC, mainly during the 1980s for the coal routes. In 2008, plans were revealed to electify Adelaide at 25kV AC. 25kV AC voltage has now become the international standard.[1]"
This is indeed a big part of the problem... low voltage, so big losses due to high currents.
AC involves additional losses, but high voltage reigns supreme.

The 1500V system is why the longer freight trains have to have diesel locomotives.

Nonetheless upgrades can be done. Eurostars for instance used to run on 750V DC where the Poms only had that. High voltage AC over the rest of the trip. But the Poms upgraded and the old 750V gear has since been removed from their trains.

Pity they also did away with their locomotives set aside for dragging defective trains out of tunnels. Clowns!

25kV AC is pretty much universal hereabouts. It may not work with the Aussie double deckers, due to insufficient clearance. I suspect Railcorp would need to upgrade line-by-line with simultaneous train upgrades.

I suppose it might happen if Aussie woke up and put in fast train lines between the capitals.
Yes if they are off the normal system they can run AC.

Not sure what the existing trams use. Be funny if they get 25kV AC, yet the Railcorp dinosaur is still on DC.

The trams in Germany are a mix. Some are integrated with the regular trains, 4 foot 6,5 and all. Some not.

More volts Igor!
That train line's going through some extrememly NIMBY territory there Tony.
Tis true. There has been talk of upgrading The Spit Bridge for as long as I can remember, but a suitable plan never seems to eventuate. There are a couple of reasons I could see for this. Either NIMBYism, the fact that it wouldn't fix Military Rd anyway (in fact it would just create more traffic) or because it is a Blue ribbon Liberal area nobody is going to gain anything by giving them something. If you've ever driven from The Spit to the City, I don't see why you'd ever want to do it again, let-alone every working day of your life!

The train line I'm proposing is mostly underground. The bridges at Strathallen Ave and from Northbridge to Seaforth are the notable exceptions. Of course, the exact route is just a sketch...
IME, it's not so much NIMBY-ism... well it is... but not in the expected way. IME, most real Northern Beaches residents* do not want much better public transport (to the rest of Sydney anyway) because it will mean more people coming to the/their beaches at the weekend. Most will/do tolerate the longer commute times for that reason.

*i.e. not the "Eastern suburbanites who moved here [Manly] for the "village atmosphere" and promptly f**ked it [Manly] up" - Some random person in the letters pages of some newspaper (maybe SMH?) ~2004, paraphrased obviously.


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