I use the King Street Cycleway to get to work and I've not noticed anyone 'shunning' it yet. However, most people I see using it (including myself) ignore the red light at the intersection with Clarance Street and carry on provided there are nor cars wanting to turn left.
Here's one guy who shuns it. I ride in the road up King St as far as Pitt, often in the far lane. In a one-way street like that, I'm actually happier with drivers 'undertaking' me on my left - it's easier for them to gauge a safe passing distance. And with so many stop-starts up there, it's not difficult to negotiate a way across between stopped or slow moving traffic. Most of the time up there, I'm riding faster than the cars and trucks anyway.
I shun it on the way home too. For me, going through the Pitt St mall and then onto the Pyrmont bridge via Market Street makes more sense. As far as I'm concerned, the only value in the King St cycleway is in encouraging new or timid riders to commute by bicycle.
I'm with you Steve, I was living in London, riding to work every day noticed a big difference between the pre-congestion charge and post congestion charge inner city. Also, because they introduced the congestion charge, there was also a perception of safty amongst cyclists which in turm encouraged more onto the roads- thus improving the modal split. Sydney is in dire need of a congestion charging scheme.
Having just moved to Sydney from Melbourne and ridden in all of, oh, two times to work in the city, I am shocked at the lack of cycle infrastructure here and how damn scary it is on the roads - no forward boxes, side lanes or designated routes that don't just end for no reason.
Separated cycleways are important for getting people to start cycling. it's the beginners, or nervous ones that need this sort of infrastructure to get out and try it. We, the regulars, are mostly confident in traffic, but we also represent a pretty small proportion of travellers, and if we're to get more people riding, there does need to be some separated paths. Personally I like the bike boulevard idea, but politically I think this is dead in the water with the City of Sydney committed to the separated paths.
I can also see that the concept of shared roadways with low speed limits for cars (less then 30kph) has a lot of potential for creating a safe bicycling environment. Again it is a matter of the dynamics, if we have this sort of environment to ride in, more of us will utilize it then those who feel less sure of themselves will be encouraged to give it a go.
" Chris Harris said the council had sought expert opinion before settling on a final cycleway plan. "We got very, very high level outside advice on the safety of this," he said."
How high is 'very very' Chris? And why 'outside' advice? Surely Sydney cycle commuters are able to discern whats safe and unsafe in regards to cars v bike - how many cyclist were involved in the project? I also agree that a 30km/h or less speed limit in all minor city streets is the way forward - let em bung in a few speed cameras for revenue raising - that'll get more people thinking twice about driving from Redfern to Darlinghurst etc etc.
Shared passageways would work well in many narrow streets (IMHO). Unfortunately, these days, nothing can get done without "expert opinion" so that councils etc...are able to "justify" their decisions (whether they are found to be right or wrong). This is a good method because then you can wash your hands of things and feel good about yourself.
I'm tired of governement seeking overseas advice, aren't we smart enough, good enough or experienced enough? I think we are.