Cycling in Sydney Australia
The new Draft Transport Master Plan has just been released and the highlights pertaining to cycling follow.
The full Plan is accessible here.
The SMH coverage after the rather combative press conference with the Premier and Ministers is here.
I recommend this Analyis by Jake Salwick.
Strategic Plan. A concerted approach to integrate walking into transport planning and enhance pedestrian connections will be a strong focus of transport planning in the CBD. Connected cycling infrastructure around major centres and the CBD will be important to ensuring a sustainable, multi-modal transport system as will linking cycling with other modes so that it becomes a seamless part of an overall journey....
Cycling represents both a transport mode and a recreational activity. New measures relating to
cycling will focus on safety (particularly around roads) and integration with public transport. The measures we will pursue with regard to cycling include:
•• Improved access to customer-friendly, bike trip information.
•• A long term NSW Cycling Investment Program to improve the planning, management and delivery of cycleway capital programs, supported by design solutions and standards to reflect customer needs.
•• A program to increase and improve bike parking at public transport interchanges.
•• A Connected Cycling Network that targets investment in clearly defined cycleways within a 5 kilometre radius of major urban centres in the short term and 10 km radius of centres in the longer term.
•• Improved partnerships to deliver local cycling infrastructure, particularly in Greater Sydney,
including in Macquarie Park, Parramatta, Liverpool and Penrith.
•• Enhanced cycling routes in regional centres to increase the number of people who cycle.
As others below have pointed out, Document 4 (here) also addresses a number of the proposals
4.7.6 Encouraging more
Sydneysiders to cycle
More Sydneysiders than ever are cycling as a
means of transport. We will invest in short and
long term initiatives to support and grow cycling
•• Investing in the cycling network around Sydney’s urban centres and the CBD, and a cycling investment program.
Key to the draft Master Plan is the critical link to land-use planning, with other Government departments playing a vital role in informing the development of this plan.
Transport for NSW is now seeking your comments to help strengthen the final NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.
You are encouraged to comment directly on the draft Master Plan on this website. You can comment directly on this website shortly.
Comments close on 26 October 2012. The final Master Plan will be released in late 2012.
So, a number of references to a "cycling investment" program and the cycling networks and integration but it will remain to be seen what this means or how much is finally committed. No hint of anything bold.
I'd like to lash them on their motorway foolishness, but I think I'll just conserve my energy on working for positive stuff for cycling.
IMO we should really, really, ensure that every urban motorway project has to offer a fast parallel cycleway with limited intersections, high route priority that is not closed by works to the motorway (and a guideline availability) such that motorways do not prevent other modes of transport existing, or landlock suburbs into motor only, or create a road system that is not compatible with all vehicle types.
"A Connected Cycling Network that targets investment in clearly defined cycleways within a 5 kilometre radius of major urban centres in the short term" begs three questions of them (and comment isn't the place for questions):
1) Does "short term" mean prior to the next state election?
2) Does "major urban centre" means Sydney CBD, or that plus all the others in metro Sydney e.g Chatswood?
What's the definition?
3) A connected cycling network is what exactly?
This could just mean the ordinary road system!!
Next to nothing has been done (further work is needed).
Page 161 (chapter 4)
4.9.4 Cycling as a viable commuter choice
Further work is needed to understand the potential for continuing the steep growth in Sydney CBD cycling and how best to support it.
Much of this work will be incorporated into our longer term Cycling Strategy.
CBD cycling initiatives
As part of developing a street hierarchy that takes into account the needs of cyclists, we will introduce temporary measures to establish and assess user demand before making more permanent changes.
Temporary measures? does that mean using putting flower pots on the road to separate cyclists from cars?
>>[Despite other publicly available engineering studies, we have been unable to get policy level bureaucrats and elected officials to understand the vehicle movements per hour eliminated by public transport and cycling]
Which is to say the electorate votes for candidates on other than their transport priorities. I know I do (though my votes reflect my long term commuting interests, this is merely congruent with my real electoral motivations).
So are they going to build the Harbourlink?
At the "Bang for you buck" cycling infrastructure seminar in parra last week (sorry i promised a summary and haven't got around to it), Alan Stewart from Transport for NSW spoke about what they are trying to do.
Essentially (he used to work with transport for london) they are copying the london model from 10 years ago. Which was to encourage multi-modal trips. Such as bike-train-walk or bike-train-bike etc.
They would do this by improving local infrastructure in the suburbs to get more people to train stations, ferry wharves and major bus routes. Aiming to make it easier and increase catchments through indentifying missing links in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. Also involved is better bike parking facilities and signposted safe routes (they spoke about a legible city where as a ped or cyclist you would never be far away from a sign provifding directions)
Then at the destination end working with businesses to ensure adequate cyclist facilities (parking, showers, lockers etc) were provided, and a bike hire scheme etc. I haven't looked at the plan but it doesn't look (based on the comments here) like that has actually made it in, in a tangible way.
He mentioned that these would be run as complimentary projects to (and partially funded by) a congestion charging system. Though he then went on to say how hard such a system would be to implement in the sydney CBD due to the way it wraps around a harbour.
He made the right noises about priority in planning decisions being given to peds and cyclists first, then public transport users then private car users. Things like maximum cycle times at ped/cycle traffic signals of 96 seconds (same as copenhagen apparently), but again i'm not sure that has come through based on the comments here.
And what does the rest of NSW get, that is the regional centres outside Sydney?
Jake appears to be streets ahead of our national broadcaster, the ABC.
Apart from about a 3-minute report from one of the ABC reporters soon after the launch, both radio
702's morning program (half hour this morning devoted to trivia!) and Drive appear to have ignored
the report. Transport policy / inaction would seem to have been a major factor in the change of state
government in March last year. On the 7pm ABC TV news tonight we saw a pathetic segment,
the usual whinge about a possible increase in city carparking charges, the usual from the NRMA's
president, Wendy Machin, another whinge, then the head of Living Sydney (didn't mention bike
rego!) and one who made the briefest of comments that many here would find sensible.
Can't the ABC do slightly better on what is a very important issue for many people in this state?
,,,,,, but plenty of reporters to provide the latest All Ords / Oz dollar details!
There are plenty of bike projects with benefit / cost ratios of 4 or 5 to 1. Any train, bus, tram, ferry
or road projects with BCR's remotely near 4:1?
Very relevant to this has been the highlighting by Noel and BobM of Jan Garrard's article
in The Conversation on funding cuts for cyclists, with lots of good references on the
benefits of cycling.