Cycling in Sydney Australia
Finally got to Sydney and we were pretty shocked by cycling conditions in downtown Sydney. Please check out the post I wrote about Sydney cycling - I would love to get some feedback from local Sydney cyclists. I have mentioned this group in the post.
Hmm.. what feedback do you want?
1a/ Vancouver has Helmet Laws
as noted, it's not the helmets but the seperated infrastructure that gets people who cycle safe and out and about (even in the rain as per picture)
1b/ Possibly Vancouver police are focusing on gangs and violent crimes, luckily we don't have that problem in Sydney.
2/ cycling numbers have been steadily creeping up, mostly in part due to the cycleways .(take pictures of Kent street, Bourke St) put in by City of Sydney and advocated by Mayor Clover Moore
ref : Bourke st in 2011 http://clovermoore.com.au/bourke-street-cycleway-launch/
3a/ in 2011 Liberals were democratically voted in NSW parliament (ref https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_Wales_state_election,_2011
3b/ the Liberals proceeded to take control of Sydney roads (previously the responsibility of City of Sydney council)
3c/ today you see the effects of the Liberal policy over the last few years, democracy is a bitch when the majority party wants to endanger the lives of a minority and suppress the numbers/growth of cycling.
Thanks, I was hoping to get some insight into the politics.
You nailed it Average Joe Cyclist.
Unfortunately Australia has a background of normalised violence and other forms of abuse. Drivers are just as horrible towards pedestrians and one-another.
Hint: the lifetime rate of violence against a partner is 27% in Australia (source: OECD)
Those numbers for partner violence are pretty scary.
Question: Are you saying that motorist almost running down my wife in a pedestrian crossing is not very unusual behavior in Sydney?
We are on the Gold Coast now, and drivers are letting us cross the streets quite politely. Maybe because it is all holiday towns and people going to the beach?
I am afraid to say that driver's behaviour is quite common. Not everyone is so nasty, but many are.
And it is so normalised that getting the authorities to carry out compliance work is close to impossible.
We have fatalities where pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by the drivers of large vehicles not giving way as they should, and no charges have been laid.
Thanks for the reply. Sadly, that seems to be the reality in most of the world (the Netherlands perhaps excepted). All over the world, there is an extraordinary lack of charges against people who kill other people with their cars. Makes you wonder whether somebody is making money out of cars ...
Happened to me last week. Almost ran my 8 year old down on an elevated crossing. He was within a metre of her i.e. finally came to a stop on top of the elevated section of the crossing. Scared the bejesus out of me, and left her in tears. Driver just didn't seem to be aware there was a crossing. I put her in the car the next day.
Sorry to hear that, Pat. I took my 9-year-old daughter on a bike ride 11 years ago. I took her on a quiet bike route. A young guy in a big car came out of a side road at speed, without stopping at the stop sign, and almost hit her. Since then, I have actively discouraged my 3 daughters from riding bikes, even though I am a keen cyclist. I want them to ride bikes - but the reality is that there are just so many careless drivers out there, and I don't want my children to be killed for the sake of something I happen to love (cycling).
P.S. To clarify about the feedback I was hoping to get: I was hoping to hear that there are some safe places to ride in Sydney (we are coming back next month and would love to do some cycling).
I also had a (feeble) hope that we only saw the worst parts, and that in fact there is a lot of excellent cycling infrastructure.
Also, I can see from the forum that there are a lot of politically active cyclists on this site (such as that interesting post calling for cyclists to oppose the demolition of the College Street Cycleway). So I hoped that one of those insightful people would offer some insight about why such a modern and wealthy city does not seem to prioritize cycling (if indeed I am correct in my perception that cycling does not seem to be a priority).
Finally, I was hoping someone would know just why that cycleway was demolished. It seems like a really strange thing to do. In Vancouver, there was massive opposition to putting in separated bike lanes, because they cost a LOT of money (and we just have pot plants to separate the lanes, not concrete walls). So it seems strange to demolish something that must have cost millions of dollars to build in the first place.
We have a dumb government driven by ideology. In Newcastle - a couple of hours drive north of Sydney - they've closed down the last 2-3kms of the perfectly good main rail line into Newcastle. For the minor sum of maybe $500-600 million, they plan to replace it with a 2-3kms light rail. Now that may not sound too bad, but they are also going to spend an extra $100 million to take it away from the rail corridor a distance of maybe 50 metres for maybe a kilometre and put it down the main 2x2 lane street in Newcastle. Imagine how that's going to effect the traffic! There was nothing wrong with the heavy rail, but I forgot to mention that their developer mates want the land because it's not undermined, so they can build more ivory towers to pocket the money for themselves because the ivory towers are on prime real estate overlooking a magnificent harbour.
Did I also mention that we operate with corrupt governments too!
Thanks Dabba - I am starting to get this ...
Regarding safe places to ride, where cars are excluded it is pretty good.
There are cycling maps to be had which show the off-road cycling sections/routes such as the Parramatta Valley Cycleway and the Bay Run. Olympic Park offers cycling too.
For me, I just like to be behind locked gates, so mostly do mountain biking in the National Parks around Sydney
of which there are many.
Dabba is right, government here is both ideological and corrupt.