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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Wake up people! The diagrams in today's Sun Herald don't suggest an increase in the width of the cycleway across SHB to accommodate this substantial increase in cyclists! Time to point it out and the problems faced with the current situation!
Yep, we should have a dedicated lane or two on the main bridge deck by 2040, or they could add a cycleway under the bridge deck next to the second train line the Christie Report is recommending. Apparently the RTA has recently strengthened the hangers on the bridge.
The more immediate problem are the stairs at the northern end and a safe route through north sydney.
I think the current cycleway is wide enough for handle an increase in patronage, for the time being.

The corner of pacific hwy and miller st must the most dangerous intersection for cyclists that I know of.
That's another place I do those hook turns - there and Walker St and Pacific Hwy coming south.
the bridge part is ok (as long as Lance Armstrong "wanna be's" aren't trying to overtake everyone else). It is just that both ends need to be improved greatly.

The Northern end is well publicised with the stairs and things are slowly getting done (surveys mostly) but the southern side is almost neglected when speaking of the bridge. The southern end is probably the most dangerous section of the whole path. Cyclists travelling south have built up speed from the decent on the bridge and cyclists travelling north have built up speed to hit the ramp onto the bridge proper. I have had several close calls there.
How's this for a thought Bob? Remove the peds and cyclists from the current level of the bridge and put all trains down one side of the bridge on the existing level by using the cycleway and one car lane. The ped lane on the eastern side could become a car, bus or motorbike lane. Then build a wide area underneath the bridge that will accommodate segregated cyclist and pedestrian facilities capable of handling the 200% + projected increase in this usage. Bikes and peds don't need a structure capable of taking many tonnes with the resultant vibration and static loads, so it could be done more cheaply and would not need as high a clearance from the existing structure, therefore not further limiting access by taller ships into the inner harbour. Wins all around!

But, obviously this would be too simple a suggestion to get a guernsey! It sounds like it would be much cheaper than the proposal by Christie, but obviously the contract commissions and management fees may not be in line with the goals of MacBank et al.
Thanks Kylie. I've never been on there, so I was just challenging the thinking! What other options are there for the bridge? Use existing car lanes for trains and put vehicles below - again, needs less structural strength than for trains! Perhaps limit vehicle weights in certain lanes?
"not everybody will just hop straight on over to the train instead."

True, but there needs to be a paradigm shift within the transport people. They can't continue to make it easier to take personal transport everywhere. Public transport needs to be easier than private vehicles, so that may mean that fewer roads and increased congestion drives people out of their cars.

Would love to ride across the bridge at some stage! I've always enjoyed the train trip, but you would get to see more than cars and trains.
The two eastern road lanes (that lead to the Cahill expressway) were once tram lines, removed in 1958 (see If you walk over the SH bridge, you can see the tunnel extrances that lead down to Wynyard, where there is a hidden platform (bricked up and now a carpark). And guess why there are 4 platforms at North Sydney? Close the Cahill and it would be relatively simple to re instate the tracks.
The old tram bridge near north sydney station was a beautiful steel arch, similar to the bridge itself. I'd dearly love to see the trams return.
"Landmark report" my arse. A series of politcally motovated articles designed to increase newspaper sales chaired by a disgruntled former public servant would be more accurate.
It is good to see that the NSW govt is getting this kind of advice, especially about tacking the aggressive attitudes. I haven't seen many aggressive attitudes from cyclists, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

I think this one is a great idea:
It wants a new body called Transport for Sydney to have responsibility for planning and running all transport in the city including defusing tensions.
It focuses on transport, not mainly cars & roads like the RTA currently does.

I wonder what concrete measures will emerge out of this.


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