Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sydney's 200km Bicycle Network

There has been a lot of discussion over bike lanes in Sydney, and I must say I was pretty surprised to find the map below, showing 200km of bicycle ways planned for the City Of Sydney. I knew there were more bicycle ways planned, but this is really impressive. 

The planned construction of 200km of bicycle ways will include 55km of fully segregated bike lanes, constructed by taking over existing road space, 10km of which has allready been constructed. Considering the latest bike count showed an increase in rider numbers of almost 70 percent over the past 18 months, one can only assume that with the "build it and they shall come" approach, cycling has a great future in Sydney. With the planned Bicycle network to be complete by 2030, it will be a slow process, but I think well worth it. 

The Bicycle Network is part of the City of Sydney's newly released transport strategy, Connecting our City. In this strategy it seems public transport, cycling and walking are going to be reinforced as modes of transport for the city at the expense of parking and driving. The key initiatives are to;
  • Giving more priority to pedestrians and providing safer and more enticing streets in which to walk
  • Enhancing the environment for cyclists through safe and accessible bike paths and routes
  • Managing the volume of cars using our streets while maintaining access for commercial and delivery vehicles
  • Transforming George Street into a pedestrian, retail and light-rail boulevard, linked to major public squares at Circular Quay, Sydney Town Hall and Central, and a network of revitalised laneways
  • Creating exciting new urban spaces at Town Hall Square and Central Station, enhancing the city’s appeal for residents and visitors
  • Working with the State Government to increase the convenience and capacity of the public transport system, which is essential to the social and economic functioning of the city.
There is a great  blog by the Urbanist on Crikey regarding bike lanes, and planning for the future of Sydney's transport system. Its definitely workh a read, but in short the blog points out;
  • cities with a greater supply of bike paths and lanes have significantly higher bike commute rates,
  • there is no significant difference in utility between on-road bike lanes compared to segregated bike paths,
  • the City of Sydney and other inner city Local Government Areas have demographic characteristics that suggest a population likely to be drawn to cycling if members can be convinced it is safe,
  • there’s not a significant relationship between cycling and the weather.
As a advocate of commuting by bike, or just making trips by bike, I find this information very promising for Sydney, with the implementation of the Bicycle Network, and proper education and marketing, Sydney could become a true Cycling City. 

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