Cycleway concept for St Johns Road Glebe

My computer keeps crashing so I will be brief. I would be grateful if people could consider this concept of a cycleway the length of St Johns Road - on the left side. We were sent letters by Council on 7 December, with a closing date for replies of 21 December. There is very litle specific information but my understanding now is that the footpath will be made narrow and trees removed. There will be a narrow two way bike lane and on the outside of it a concrete median strip with some parking for cars. (I think 23 car spaces will be removed).

This street is a stroll to Sydney Uni, a brisk 20 minute walk to UTS and a brisk 30 minute walk to the CBD. Many families walk around our streets. At present two adults with a child and pram can walk together along the footpath. If is made any narrower they will have to walk in single file and the proximity to the bike lane, and with parked cars on the other side, with people opening car doors and moving between their house and car, makes for a dangerous situation for everyone.

It is all very well to say inner city residents shouldn't have cars but people have to move in and out of houses, with removal vans. Tradespeople have to be able to put their vehicles somewhere. Will carpet cleaners have to run their hoses over the bike lane? Council has planted crepe myrtles down this street which are promising to do well and provide shade and air quality.

I've forgotten the numbers but Council is envisaging tremendous population growth and a transfer of commuter travel to bikes - Sydney will be like Bangkok. There is nowhere for bikes to be kept in the CBD during the day. How will people get to and from work in stormy weather ? Has any study been done to see how many people will use it ? If there are too many (it goes to Sydney Uni as well as towards the CBD) it won't be safe and if there are too few it will a waste of money that could have been spent making the road safer for everyone. Also it seems to stop at Colbourne Street - will bike riders be sent down Colbourne Avenue to Bridge Road where it sweeps around a corner with a concrete barrier?

Clover Moore has said cycleways are "relatively inexpensive". The concepts for Bourke St and St Johns Road will be be inexpensive. Apart from the removal of the footpath and trees, the power poles will have to be removed. Where will they go ? There are shop awnings extending to the edge of the footpath. Really this concept will be a desecration of a heritage area, spoiling the feel of village and community.

I would love to be able to ride my old mountain bike around Sydney but I don't think cycleways should be seen as a solution for commuter travel. My main concern is Council's attitude - giving us notice just before Christmas and not being able to provide sufficient information.

Views: 383

Comment by naomi on December 28, 2009 at 12:27pm
I would also like to add that change is not necessarily automatically a bad thing - Australians seem to always fear & fight change and it holds us back.
Comment by Tony Arnold on December 28, 2009 at 6:40pm
Susannah, I'm not sure whether Council provided you with the following information, but here are some links regarding the City of Sydney cycling policies. Here is a link to the CoS page about St John St. Specifications for different types of cycleways being constructed by the City of Sydney can also be found here.

You've raised a lot of concerns about cyclepaths. Many of your concerns can be addressed by looking at cities that have already adopted pro-cycling policies (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Tokyo etc). They deal very well with bad weather, shopping, taking the kids to school and all the other realities of life. It just takes a different mindset.

What concerns me about your post is that you are only considering what we have to lose and not what we have to gain. For example, you say, If there are too many (it goes to Sydney Uni as well as towards the CBD) it won't be safe and if there are too few it will a waste of money that could have been spent making the road safer for everyone.

I'd prefer to say, If there are too many people, then we will expand the cycle network and if there are too few then at least we haven't wasted B$5 on another freeway.

I would also look at many things differently:
- Cars make the streets dangerous. Not bikes.
- Pedestrian safety increases when there are more bikes since motorists need to drive more carefully.
- Parking a bike takes up 1/10th the space of parking a car.
- Commuting on bikes is exactly the time that bikes are most effective because they reduce congestion.
- Bicycle infrastructure is very cheap no matter how you look at it.
- Shopping on a bike is fun! You have all of your bags with you (the panniers) so no need for plastic bags. You always get a parking spot right at the door (if you choose the right shopping centre). You can carry at least 50kg of shopping on the bike so for a couple, I shop once a week and carry everything on one bike.
- Cycling is fun.
- Cyclists are fit.
- Cyclists are happy.
- Cyclists don't pollute or use heaps of natural resources.

So many positives! :-)
Comment by Dabba on December 28, 2009 at 6:50pm
And then there is always this image that puts it all into perspective.

Car space.pdf
Comment by Bob Moore on December 28, 2009 at 9:57pm
Susanah, your arguments are a bit all over the place but there are quite a few cyclists who dont particularly want to ride in narrow two way bike paths. CoS has this belief they are the answer to every problem, but I think in this case sharing the road with traffic is preferable (mixed traffic lanes in the CoS link). St Johns Rd is relatively quiet, west of Glebe Pt Rd anyway, and could be made 40 K, or 30 K if that was allowed, and cyclists could just act like normal traffic. Derwent St is a wide quiet street so dont know why bike lanes on both sides couldnt be marked.

I do hope CoS will remove the silly half road closure/No Entry sign in Junction St too (cant get to Bridge Rd legally now) and sign post the existing route to UTS and Haymarket from St Johns Rd down Glebe St. No mention of that in their plan.

If they want to do something really useful, improve The Crescent and Bridge Rd for cyclists. ( I think they are going to, long term, but not sure what is planned, hope it is one way bike lanes on either side of the road.) Also get rid of the squeeze points on Glebe Pt Rd caused by the kerb extensions at Williams St and at other points- very bicycle unfriendly.

Re Colbourne St, that is useful for cyclists coming out of the City on Bridge Rd, to avoid the hill and traffic lights at Glebe Pt Rd. They can go up to St Johns Rd and rejoin Bridge Rd at Ross St or Junction St. Maybe that is why the St Johns Rd cyclepath stops at Colbourne St.
Comment by Daniel S on December 28, 2009 at 10:04pm
You can walk on the other side of the road. The cycleway is only on one side.
Comment by Doddsy on December 30, 2009 at 7:56am
Susanah said "St Johns Rd near the police station is so narrow I think Council must be planning to make it one way at least."

St johns road is not narrow. Its is over 4 lanes wide, the only issue is that two lanes of traffic are blocked because they allow motorists to leave their cars parked on the road. Car parking is also the major safety issue with cycling up St Johns road. You can't let motorists past unless you ride in the door zone and even then it is a bit squeezy especially when getting overtaken by larger vehicles.

These issues combined with a steepish hill make it hard for cyclists to flow with 50kph traffic unless they are heading east.

A westbound cycleway heading up the hill is definitely appropriate until the hill levels out a bit.
Comment by Susannah Dale on January 7, 2010 at 7:17pm
thank you again everyone for your comments. I will be asking Council for more time and consultation with the community - it is correct to say this is my main concern about the cycleway - the notice just before Christmas which is a standard government ploy for announcing anything which might be controversial. If you look at a map it looks as if St Johns Road is a clear, easy and direct street for a cycleway. The reality is that there are power poles and shop awnings that will have to be removed, as well as the trees. I am sure there will be a better way to achieve adequate transport around the CBD. If bikes are to be used for commuters there should be secure parking stations for bikes with change room facilities and shuttle bus or tram services into the CBD. I am worried that the cycleway is a poor solution which has come about because of the different jurisdictions of state and local government. Has anyone been in Singapore recently? I would be interested to know what they use for transport around the CBD. I have received an informative email from Ron Caudra (Priority Cycleways - Sydney Council) advising that there will be planting of advanced trees in relation to the Bourke St cycleway. I'm sorry I don't have time to do this properly at present. Susannah
Comment by Dabba on January 7, 2010 at 7:41pm
Susannah, you may find the links on this discussion add some food for thought.


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