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.
Thanks again Wir. We will try one of the off-road sections you mention.
Sydney isn't typically my destination, and it's useless for me to ride through it to get North , the most unpleasant bit is the 'infrastructure' at north end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Better parts for cycling
That said I don't mind riding into the city if I need to, it takes about the same time as driving or the train and far easier to get a park.
From all accounts there are numerous riders in peak periods, try the Oxford St at the south end of Hyde Park or Kent Street cycleway, or Pyrmont Bridge. I'm sure you'll get better pictures and a more balanced view. No, I doubt if you'll see kids riding on any of the above routes.
For that, near the city you'll want to get to Bourke St cycleway and the Public school ref http://www.sydneycyclist.com/forum/topics/kids-cycling-to-school
or Cooks River Cycleway on the weekends
some insight about why such a modern and wealthy city does not seem to prioritize cycling
Australia is in deep love with the motor-vehicle, it's part of the Great Australia Dream alongside a landed property + 2 cars/family. Nevermind the reality is more cars simply equate a gridlocked city/car park.
Cycling is still seen as a specific clothing/personal protection sporting activity as the numbers of casual utility riders and children were dramatically reduced with the introduction of Helmet Law and scare campaigns in 1989. From all accounts cycling numbers have yet to recover. Thus, funding, general public interest in providing for a minority group is further weakened.
One more thing, politically Inner city doesn't vote for Liberals.
Democratically it should come as no surprise that the policies put in by the Liberal party attempts to reward their voters and punishes the Labor/Greens/Independent voters
why that cycleway was demolished.
College St cycleway (RIP) was created from parking spots next to Hyde Park, however the official line is the cycleway is in the wrong place.
Words attributed to the Liberal Roads Minister Duncan Gay indicates that he passes that route to Parliament and hates it. So now they are demolished the cycleway, effectively making College St a 3 lanes (northbound) for 450m before he turns right to Macquarie St, a 2 lane road.
Just to clarify, for the benefit of AJC, that "Liberal" in this country actually equates to "Conservative". There's nothing liberal about them - except for the manner in which they distribute public funds to benefit their mates.
Thanks! It is the same in Canada - although I am an immigrant to Canada from South Africa, I have worked out that "Liberal" = "Conservative." I have contempt for our current Conservative government. There is a federal election looming, and I look forward to helping getting them out.
Thanks Peter for the very in-depth and informative reply.
Re: "Australia is in deep love with the motor-vehicle, it's part of the Great Australia Dream alongside a landed property + 2 cars/family. Nevermind the reality is more cars simply equate a gridlocked city/car park."
Canada is deeply influenced by the USA, and shares the same love you mention. However, here in Vancouver we have been blessed since 2008 with a mayor who is very pro-green (Gregor Robertson), and who has simply ignored the majority who share that love. The funny thing is, after opposing and complaining about the new bike lanes we have got over the last 7 years, every one shuts up and forgets about it.
On the plus side, we have had for decades a consensus that we will never be able to get enough road space to get all the cars into Vancouver, so instead, there has been a conscious move to REDUCE road space. With the great result that people are actually giving up on getting their cars into Vancouver, and instead coming in on foot, transit, or bike. Not to say that some people don't oppose every single FOOT of cycling infrastructure vigorously, as if every single foot given to active transportation is an affront to motorists and "tax payers" (with the implied allegation that cyclists and pedestrians and transit-riders don't pay taxes, which is of course not true).
Regarding College St and parking spots - I obviously don't know about Sydney, but in Vancouver, that whole parking spot argument is just so much BS. A Vancouver businessman raised that argument, lamenting that he had lost business since a (very important and wonderful) separated bike lane went in. I went down to investigate, and found that the reporter had angled the photograph of the business man deliberately to NOT show a half-empty parking garage right next to his shop. Then I investigated further and found a two-thirds empty parking garage UNDERNEATH his shop. (I wrote about this here - https://averagejoecyclist.com/vancouver-bike-routes-parking-hornby-...).
I STILL don't get the demolition of that Cycleway. Even with all the destruction around it, it looks like it must have been such a great place to cycle. It seems that Duncan Gay has a lot to answer for. Maybe somebody needs to put him on a bike and send him to Parliament ...
... all about persecution, abuse, maltreatment, tyranny, despotism.
The same minister and government abandoned an approved cycleway (the Greenway) and instead spent a year's cycling budget on a footbridge to the cricket.
Regarding better parts for cycling - I will try my best to get more balanced pics at the right time and places. Thanks!
Manly is a lovely place to cycle along the beach and helmet laws continue to be un-enforced. Some half-assed but usable infrastructure if you want to venture further afield on the north shore.
Thanks Martyn - that sounds like a good place to have a great bike ride and get some positive photos.
Just to be clear - I have a five-year-old blog and try very hard to be positive. I WANT to believe, and I WANT to find good things to write about.
Maggie and I LOVED Sydney from the moment we set foot in it ... it is the most impressive and exciting Australian city we have been in - and we have been in quite a few, as most of my family live in Australia - and we envy them - we think this is an awesome country, beautiful, wealthy, blessed, and impressive - I have to admit that I frequently feel jealous of my siblings who have managed to immigrate here. We all started out in South Africa - my siblings came here, but I was too old for Australia to accept, so I went to Canada. Also a wonderful country, of course, but without the warm oceans, amazing bird life, and climate that Australia is blessed with.
As my MHL loving cycling brethren would say - HTFU.
Having said that, I tend not to bother playing chicken with aggro bogans in utes (or for that matter aggro rich women in SUVs or aggro P platers or clueless texters, etc) and usually just prefer to go slowly on the back streets giving all motorists a very wide berth or even cycling slowly on the footpaths bareheaded and playing chicken with the aggro constables who feel compelled to ticket me.
As you have gathered cycling in Sydney is not much fun - even though I usually ride everyday. Did you get to experience the excellent cycling facilities at the northern end of the bridge?
No Jim, but I heard about the bridge cycle way. That sounds pretty spectacular - we will try to do that!