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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I could fix the Spit Bridge problem in no time. Weld the bastard thing shut, buy a few ferries with lower clearance, then tell those yachties who hold the northern beaches to ransom to buy collapsible masts if they want to moor on the far side of Spit Bridge. Maybe even give them a bit of compensation. Then staple an extra lane or two onto the bridge.

Cheap, quick, democratic.
Spoken like a true RTA traffic engineer! ;-)
And move the congestion further up the road?

The congestion only really happens at peak periods (and late afternoons on sunny weekends) and the bridge is never raised at these times.
I've been in buses and cars during peak hour and have had to wait for the Spit bridge to open. Both in the morning and the afternoon.

The whole spit area is why I ride/ferry/ride when I work up that way. It takes longer to catch the bus then to ride it and yet the ferry is almost empty going back to Manly in the mornings.

I would suggest that you have an unusual idea of what constitutes peak times.

First bridge opening is 10:15. Last in the arvo is 14:15, then 20:15 (and 21:15 during DST).

I have been riding across it every work day for ~2 years and have never been caught by it. By 09:30-10:00 traffic along Spit/Military Rd is usually pretty much free flowing.
I wasn't making it up, I really have been stopped by that bridge on a number of occasions during peak hour.

Bridge was opening between 7.30 and 9.30 am and in the afternoon would have been between 5.30 and 6.30pm as that is the times I was travelling to and or from work

Have been heading up that way for contract work for over 7 years and have had it happen a few times.
I have been along Spit Rd from Mosman on occasions in the mornings, not even peak hour, and traffic has been crawling. As I approached the bridge, I noted traffic merging down to two lanes from three was the cause, not the bridge having been open.

It is a major bottleneck. Adding more capacity would be just a band-aid which would encourage even more car journeys. Tony's train line is what is needed.
And move the congestion further up the road?

Oh I've got a plan for further up the road too, don't worry ...
That P plater who abused me when he was driving up the wrong side of george street today certainly thought that he had a "dominant right" to be on the road.
"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."

repeat after me, There are no hills in Sydney, There are no hills in Sydney.............
Pete, a hill is a flat at a different angle that gets ridden in a different gear, not an impediment or obstacle! :-)
So, Dabba, perhaps you can explain what is a "false flat", so beloved of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen?

All I can think of is a bicycle tyre which doesn't have a puncture... yet.


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