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And businesses are begging for more

The College Street Cycleway is back better than ever, which is great news for healthy, thriving streets. The cycleway was originally opened in 2010 and carried more than 2000 bike trips a day. But the previous NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay hated cycleways and ripped it out. Now, after an eight-year break, College St reopened with a flourish by Lord Mayor Clover Moore and NSW Active Transport Minister Rob Stokes. Both leaders celebrated the benefits of active transport for our health, the environment, and the vibrancy of street life. 

From left to right: Cr William Chan, Minister Rob Stokes, Alex Grenwich MP, Mayor Clover Moore, Adrian Boss OAM, Warren Salomon (Bike East). 

An important link in the inner-city bike network, especially Oxford Street

The reopening is fantastic news for cyclists in the area. Because there’s now a separated cycleway that runs along leafy Hyde Park. Then it connects to the King Street cycleway via Queens Square. After that it follows Oxford Street, Sydney’s busiest bike route, to the south. And this is significant because Oxford Street began its dreaming as Muru, an important Gadigal walking track.

Important and fashionable promenade

After colonisation Oxford St grew into an important and fashionable promenade with thriving clubs, restaurants and shopfronts. But by 1998, the boulevards were replaced by 6 howling lanes of Eastern Distributor traffic with clearways. As a result, street life suffered and businesses were placed on life-support. College St renews hopes that businesses along Oxford St will also benefit from cycleways and human-paced traffic. 

‘At 30 the amenity … becomes acceptable for outdoor dining, public space activation and … spurs economic activity by encouraging people to linger longer to enjoy what the Street has to offer.’ (Business Sydney, the Future of Oxford Street).

Business consultant Martin thanks the Mayor and City of Sydney for their pro-business approach to active transport. (Photo: Great for Biz)

Martin, a business consultant based in the CBD happened to be walking by the opening and thanked the Mayor for her courage and foresight adding, 'Businesses and street life flourish wherever you put cycle lanes.' 

Captain & Co caffeinate the commuters. (Photo: Great for Biz)

As College St reopens on day 1, Aaron of Captain & Co couldn’t keep up with the caffeine demand:  'My business has improved so much from bike lanes, especially after COVID. We need more of them!'

The College Street Cycleway is a huge opportunity for the future of micromobility in Sydney. 

College St will act as a major artery for micromobility, essential in last-mile logistics and reducing congestion. Micromobility includes small, lightweight vehicles such as e-scooters and e-bikes known for their economy and efficiency. For example, an e-cargo bike can move objects up to 500 kg short distances eight times more often than a vehicle. What’s more, the job is done without fuel or Co2 emissions. 

Bring back the Golden Mile! (Image, Australian Pride Network)

‘The College Street Cycleway is a fantastic piece of infrastructure that will make the last mile easier and more accessible for people in Sydney. Connecting to other bike routes like Oxford St will boost cycling for transport and be a game-changer for local businesses,’ Bicycle NSW CEO, Peter McLean.

Find out more about why bicycle infrastructure is great for business.

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