Cycling in Sydney Australia
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the bicycle strategy for North Sydney. I fully support the strategy's recommendations and proposed routes.
There is no doubt that access to the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the Number One problem for cyclists travelling through North Sydney. It is very exciting to think that cyclists could get a well-engineered bi-directional route on Pacific Hwy and I encourage Council to strive to implement this as the highest priority of the plan.
It is a shame that funding for the HarbourLink plan can seemingly not be found given the incredible benefits which would ensue if riders were completely separated from motor traffic from St Leonards Park to the Harbour Bridge and the 55 steps were eliminated. Even if it would cost many millions of dollars, it is a project which the State Government should be funding before encouraging more motor traffic with additional extraordinarily expensive, self-defeating motorway projects. I hope Council will continue to push the government to invest in that visionary project which would be complementary to the Pacific Hwy cycleway.
I have one reservation about the strategy's recommendations. The suggestion to use Holtermann St as a connection to Crows Nest and on to the Gore Hill Fwy path is flawed. Angle parking proposed in Holtermann will actively endanger cyclists, especially if vehicles are allowed to park nose-in and reverse out into traffic. The street has already been seriously compromised as a cycle route by the installation of the roundabout at Alexander St, encouraging much more through-traffic to use it as a rat-run. As an alternative, the wider, quieter Atchison St would be preferable, connecting by a shared path through Rest Park to/from the West St bi-directional cycleway.
North Sydney routes are pivotal to bicycle transport's future on the North Shore and more broadly in the inner metropolitan area. The strategy document indicates that bicycles are competing for room with other modes of transport: "Given the competing demands for space on the North Sydney road network..." In reality it is an extremely unfair contest with road space currently totally dominated by private motorists, usually one per vehicle, and their perceived entitlement to storage of their vehicles in public space on the roads, usually free of charge. This total domination needs to be reduced, given the volume of cyclists on the roads, evidenced by the numbers using the SHB cycleway in one hour during the peak approximating the numbers of cars using one lane of the Bridge, despite the appalling conditions cyclists endure travelling to and from it. Given North Sydney's excellent public transport services, Council needs to stop encouraging commuter parking in North Sydney streets, especially those streets identified as bicycle routes. This could be done by requiring all drivers parking vehicles on the street to pay for the privilege. A resulting reduction in demand for commuter parking would free up space for cycleways. The revenue raised could be used to implement both bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Please adopt the North Sydney Cycling Strategy for the benefit of North Sydney residents and for the increasingly large number of commuters reducing road congestion, noise, pollution and danger by using bicycles.