Cycling in Sydney Australia
The Herald carried a report this morning of someone's bright idea about what to do with the old monorail track once it has been decommissioned. The idea looks pretty ugly for the most part and I'm sure it won't be implemented. But it did occur to me that part of it might offer a solution to the problem of pedestrians versus cyclists on Pyrmont Bridge. Why not build the Pyrmont Bridge bit, and make it a raised cycle track from just west of Sussex Street to Union Street or thereabouts?
Nah it would mean spending money on cyclists.
Politically impossible. Forget I even mentioned it.
yes its an idea I've also put forward, and an idea someone else has also put forward before me - though my preference is to go from harris st, over the bridge and over and into or over the park such that it makes a complete connection with the college st dedicated.
It'd actually be pretty easy to get off anywhere along the way, but much more of a problem to get on. In fact it'd be difficult to stay on it as its pretty narrow. All joking aside here was an earlier thread...
I would not want to be underneath when Peter Slipper is using it
This actually looks like a half decent idea
Yep, and Gladys agrees. ;-)
Here is her response to my suggestion that they keep the stanchions on Pyrmont Br to support an elevated cycleway:
"Thank you for your correspondence of 4 April 2012 regarding the future of the Monorail.
"The New South Wales Government's decision to purchase the monorail and light rail networks does give us a unique opportunity to provide innovative transport solutions for Sydney.
"I appreciate your suggestions and the time you have taken to bring your views to my attention. Valuable feedback such as this assists me greatly in my capacity as both the Member for Willoughby and Minister for Transport."
It's all go then!
Or you could double the ramp back on itself like they do at Pedestrian Overpasses?
While I like the idea, it's not going to necessarily end conflict between cyclists and pedestians. What is being proosed is shared infrastructure, and as with PB and the King St Connector, if some riders go too fast or recklessly there will be conflict.
Just make it 100% dedicated to cycles. Ramp it down at kent and at the pyrmont end of pyrmont bridge, and then the king st cycleway can be removed, along with the need to use the connector or the bridge main deck.
Superficially appealing as the monorail retrofit idea may be for about 5 minutes, and well-intentioned though it might be, it's pretty horrible when you think about it.
A whole side of every street it runs over would be degraded and blocked from sunlight by an ugly, 3 metre wide, Western Distributor-style concrete roof – far more conspicuous than a skinny monorail track. Shops below would miss out on foot (and bike) traffic passing overhead.
As a cycle route it doesn't make a lot of sense either. Generally speaking I'll take a separated path over riding on the road any day of the week, but I'm not going to lug my bike 10 metres upwards to a shared path with limited and poor access/exit points (i.e. the existing monorail stations) only to do the reverse a couple of minutes later.
The article mentioned NYC's High Line a lot but the comparison is grating and completely superficial. The High Line is 10-15 metres wide, leafy and spacious, and runs perpendicular to the streets it crosses rather than creating new roofs over the streets below.
This idea looks more like a separation of people from the street. More Le Corbusier than Jane Jacobs.
(EDIT: I do think there may be a few opportunities to create short bike links where the monorail was previously in the way – say, directly from the eastern end of Pyrmont Bridge to Kent Street like Jason B suggested – but this is a different story to converting the entire length of the monorail)
Re EDIT: Yep, we don't want or need the whole monorail route for a cycleway. Just across Pyrmont Bridge up to Kent would be good.
(BTW: good tweet on Q&A last night, Bf.)