Sydney residents are being encouraged to use bicycles more often to help ease the traffic congestion problem in the city. New developments are increasingly providing cycling facilities for residents to move around while reducing space for car parking. This is expected to promote the concept of bicycles as the primary mode of transport, helping reduce traffic blocks on roads.
Many multi-unit apartment developments in Sydney are providing bicycle spots for all apartments, with dedicated car parking only for larger or premium units; some developments, in fact, allocate parking space only for bicycles.
According to Urban Taskforce Australia, on average, three car spaces are being provided for every five two-bedroom apartments under development. A few developments try to encourage bicycle use by giving free bikes to apartment buyers.
While welcoming the initiative, leading planners have expressed concern over the inadequate infrastructure in Sydney, which could put the lives of cyclists at risk on some roads.
Planning consulting company Pollard Davies director Alan Davies spoke about the need for more exclusive bike lanes before councils made it a rule for new developments to add parking facilities for bicycles. Moreover, drivers of motor vehicles must learn to respect bike riders so that the latter can ride with confidence on public roads.
Safety, he said, was a major deterrent for bicycle users, which could only be improved by creating the required infrastructure. Mr Davies added that Sydney lagged behind European cities and even Melbourne in offering bicycle facilities.
New infrastructure being planned by the City of Sydney Council with a budgetary commitment of $540 million over the next 10 years will also include bicycle facilities. Planning experts hope that more bicycle lanes will be opened in other parts of the city to achieve a real cycle revolution.