The City of Sydney is calling for community feedback on new cycleway projects and streetscape upgrades that will fill missing links in the City’s bike network and make it safer for locals riding to school and to work.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the proposed cycling and walking connections will make it safer for everyone in the area to cycle to the city, Alexandria and Erskineville parks, and Green Square’s library, pool and other facilities.
“Cycling numbers have grown significantly over recent years, especially during Covid when many took to cycling for the first time,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We want to continue to deliver an alternate safe transport option that ensures equitable access to our roads, increases safety and reduces footpath cycling.
“Erskineville and Alexandria already have some of the highest proportion of residents who commute to work by bike. Our proposed new cycleways will make it even easier for more people to ride, while the walking connections will further improve safety for all.
“The walking and cycling connections will provide a much-needed boost for the local cafes and businesses in the area, as more and more people explore and enjoy our inner-city villages.”
As part of the project, the City is also seeking community feedback on upgrading the pop-up cycleway along Henderson Road, Railway Parade and Bridge Street in Erskineville to become a permanent part of the City’s bike network.
“As part of our rapid response to the unprecedented pressures on our roads and public transport systems because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the City worked with Transport for NSW to install a pop-up cycleway on Henderson Road,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This cycleway has long been a crucial part of the City’s adopted Cycling Strategy and Action Plan, and in pop-up phase has seen weekday trips more than double to over 400 per day.
“Since installing the pop-up we’ve made improvements in response to community feedback, including refuge islands for people crossing Henderson Road at Alexander Street, now we’re asking the community for feedback on making it permanent.”
The four-week public consultation includes these projects in Alexandria and Erskineville:
· making the cycleway on Henderson Road, Railway Parade and Bridge Street permanent
· a cycleway on Ashmore and Harley Streets between Fox Avenue and Euston Road
· a cycleway on Mitchell Road and Huntley Street between Sydney Park Road and Belmont Street
· four new shared paths in Erskineville and Alexandria to create safe connections to schools:
o southern footpath on Buckland Street between Mitchell Road and western school boundary
o northern footpath on Mitchell Road between Buckland and Brown streets
o northern footpath on Swanson Street between Newton and Park streets
o southern footpath on Swanson Street between Fox and Elliott avenues.
Local resident and president of Friends of Erskineville, Andrew Chuter, says the pop-up cycleways have had a positive impact on the whole community.
“The pop-up cycleways were a really good thing to introduce during Covid to provide alternative and more socially-distancing ways of getting around,” Mr Chuter said.
“We noticed when people were in lockdown how clear the air became and how quiet it was – you could hear the birds sing.
“You’ve got a lot more people cycling and walking up Bridge Street now and it’s changed the ambience of the area. People are congregating and talking to each other at cafes and parks. It’s a vibrant public space now in a way that perhaps it wasn’t in the past.
“There’s more options for people walking and for kids getting safely to school. My 12-year-old daughter likes to scooter to school and I ride onto work. I like that connection of travelling with her – it’s a really enjoyable way to start the day.”
A recent City of Sydney survey shows almost a quarter of 120 riders surveyed have shifted to bike riding from driving or using public transport since the local pop-up was installed.
More than 90 per cent of riders surveyed reported feeling safer since the introduction of the pop-up cycleway. City monitoring also shows that the street environment has improved, with an average reduction in traffic speeds between 10 and 30 per cent.
People can give feedback on the Erskineville/Alexandria cycleway connections via the Sydney Your Say website until 18 December. The results will be reported for Council to consider.