The outcome of the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway has ultimately ended in favour of the State Government, with the community voting in favour of a linear design.
To be located on the western side of the bridge deck at Bradfield Park, the cycleway is subject to a design competition that will decide the ramp’s design.
The scene of fierce debate and councillors from North Sydney Council voting unanimously against any form of ramp, the public has opted in favour of a cycleway, allowing cyclists to avoid having to dismount and carry their bikes either up or down 55 stairs on their commute.
Nearly 3000 people were engaged by the government for consultation through surveys or submissions, with 82 percent of respondents voting in favour of the ramp.
Transport Minister for NSW Andrew Constance says a shortlist of three designs will be unveiled to the community, with a winner announced later this year.
“We’re after innovative designs that are not only worthy of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, but also respect the heritage of the area, embrace Aboriginal culture and enhance the open space for the Milsons Point community,” he says in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The Harbour Bridge cycleway is one of the most popular bike routes in the city, with an average of 2000 cyclists using it each day. Patronage is expected to increase once the ramp is built and cyclists no longer have to carry their bikes up the stairs.”
Both a lift and travelator were rejected by Transport for NSW and the state’s Heritage Council. North Sydney residents’ rejections of other proposals put forward by the governing body in 2017 forced them to opt for a ramp.
“For more than a decade, design and consultation has been undertaken to try to find the best solution to the incredibly challenging problem of both increasing safety for pedestrians and meeting the need for improved cycle access to the bridge – all while protecting and preserving the open space and heritage we love,” says local MP Felicity Wilson.
North Sydney’s Mayor, Jilly Gibson, says the linear ramp is a great outcome for residents of North Sydney and the community’s public spaces.
“This is what I’ve been calling for from day one, and I congratulate Transport for NSW for listening to the North Sydney community,” she says.
Approximately 2000 cyclists utilise the harbour bridge on their daily commute. The cycle ramp will likely see this number increase, due to the fact that cyclists will no longer have to dismount. This in turn, will mean less cars on the bridge per day, and less carbon emissions as a result.