Some Councillors and council staff support the implementation of pop-up cycleways to help residents, but their efforts are being blocked.
Across NSW elected Councillors and council staff reach out to Bicycle NSW for support, as they try to improve their local area for bike riders. We develop resources, review plans, attend audits and do whatever we can to assist, because we know it helps our Members and Bicycle User Groups get better riding facilities.
Bayside Councillors Opposed Pop-ups
Bayside Council staff had developed a great project to provide a COVID-19 response to Transport for NSW’s Pop-up Cycleway. This was to be implemented with a small traffic lane realignment, and no loss of car parking spaces.
Unfortunately a lack of supportive elected Councillors (see 4 hours in) saw this project opposed, and Transport for NSW funding has been withdrawn. Given active transport facilities are really well-used in Bayside Council, it appears the opinions of the elected Councillors may be out of step with the members they represent.
The challenge for all of us is, just like motor vehicles, our journeys cross council borders. We all depend on networks that travel through other neighbourhoods to reach our destination. Whilst local objections would never be allowed to stop a road being built, a few detractors can be all it takes to stop riders travelling safely to work, school, education and local businesses.
Express Your Thoughts On Pop-ups
The pop-up cycleways were to have been implemented in:
Bayside Ward 1 Botany, Banksmeadow, Hillside, Eastgardens, Pagewood, Eastlakes and Daceyville. If you would like to express your support for pop-ups why not email elected councillors?
Bayside Ward 2 Arncliffe, Turrella, Wolli Creek, Mascot and Rosebery whose councillors are:
Even if you don’t live in these areas, why not describe how safe cycling could have helped improve how you travel through the community? If it would have enabled you to commute by bike or your family to complete the school drop-off car-free, the reduced traffic congestion is a huge benefit to local people. If a pop-up could have made Bayside a destination for your weekend ride and a coffee-stop, that supports local businesses and is important to know.
Contact Your Council For Bike Support
Across NSW the similar issues are playing out in metropolitan and regional councils. From Wollongong, Parramatta, Dungog and Maitland to the Upper Lachlan Shire and the Northern Rivers, if you want pop-ups, reduced speeds, rail-trails, mountain bike or safe cycling facilities you need to ask elected Councillors to make them a priority.
“This is a case of the squeaky wheel getting the most oil,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“Elected Councillors need to be responsive and can’t afford to be seen to block infrastructure that would benefit their community,” said Bastien.
Don’t be afraid to share on social media how improving cycling facilities would impact your life and the community.