According a new survey, 72 percent of Sydneysiders support separated cycleways and most want Sydney’s bike network built much faster.
The independent Taverner Research also found two thirds of those polled agree bikes help to cut congestion on roads and public transport, and they back measures to connect the bike network as part of an integrated transport solution.
Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore says this latest cycling strategy will help to deliver the key bike routes needed to make riding safer for everyone.
“Congestion costs our city $8 billion a year in lost productivity – a figure which will rise to $12.6 billion by 2030 if solutions such as cycling infrastructure and public transport aren’t prioritised,” Moore says.
“We know riding a bike is not for everyone, but a safe and connected network and a bike-friendly city makes it a more viable option for many, which decreases congestion at the same time.”
“For example, bike trips on Kent Street have increased 580 percent since the cycleway was built and it’s now used by more people in the morning peak than the adjacent traffic lane,” Moore says.
“With our population growing rapidly, connecting the bike network is one of our best opportunities, but we need the state government to throw its weight behind our bike network to keep Sydney moving and globally competitive.”
“The NSW government knows a safe, connected bike network is essential to Sydney’s transport future, but critical links including King, Castlereagh, Chalmers and Liverpool Streets remain without state funding or approval,” she says.
The Taverner findings also concluded that almost 60 percent of people back a bike network even if it means longer car journeys in the city centre, and nearly half of non-riders living within 10 kilometres would consider riding a bike if a safe bike network was in place.
According to the site traveller.com.au, Hangzhou in China (population 9.5 million) has the world's most extensive public bike system boasting nearly 3000 stations and 70,000 bicycles and no matter where you are in the city centre, you should be able to find a bike no more than 300 metres away.
So far, Sydney, with 4.5 million residents has created about 13km of separated cycleways, 60km of shared paths and 40km of other infrastructure.
Sydney’s new Draft Cycling Strategy and Action Plan 2018 – 2030 highlights the City’s bike network of separated cycleways, streets with low traffic and shared paths linking people to work, study and recreation.
Since 2007, 33 percent of the network has been built and as a result, bike trips have doubled, with key routes like Kent Street seeing more people using the cycling lane in peak times than the adjacent street.
The new strategy prioritises the full completion of the 11 regional bike routes and most of the local bike network by 2030.
“Bike trips in our area have doubled since 2007 while the number of crashes have dropped in the same time. We’ve seen an immediate increase in the number of people riding on the sections of our bike network already built, proving safe bike connections really do work,” Moore says.
“Cycleways provide an economic return of at least $2.68 for every $1 invested – far higher than most other transport projects – yet cycling infrastructure accounts for just $32 million or 0.6 percent of the state’s road budget.”
The City is inviting community feedback on the draft cycling strategy until 7 August 2018 at this website.