This Friday June 26, hundreds of bicycle riders will demonstrate the real impact of removing the College Street cycleway by riding in the adjacent traffic lanes during the morning and afternoon peak hours. The community led rally has invited Ministers and MPs to join the ride and experience for themselves the impact of their decisions that threaten the personal safety of all road users.
The State Government is set to demolish the $4.9m worth of safe separated cycleway along College Street without providing an alternative to current and future bicycle riders. The removal of this important infrastructure will force the 2,200 daily trips made in the existing cycleway onto the congested and potentially unsafe traffic lanes.
Construction of the Light Rail has been given to justify the removal of the cycleway, however, without a publicly available bus plan or traffic plan it is impossible to know whether the removal of the cycleway is based on real evidence.
Bicycle NSW believe the Review of Environmental Factors (REF)1 for the College Street and Castlereagh Street north cycleways by the RMS is flawed in many areas.
“We are pleased to support this community rally because we fail to understand the claim made in the REF Executive Summary that removing the College Street cycleway will ‘improve the safety and accessibility for cyclists across the city centre and surrounds’,” says Ray Rice, CEO of Bicycle NSW. “And to propose cyclists will be required to use alternate travel paths when cycling through the city centre including “proposed” cycleways is ludicrous. These proposed cycleways don’t exist and the State Government is unlikely to deliver them until 2019.”
The REF includes traffic modeling which guesstimate increases in traffic volume of 20% or 40%, and demonstrates intersection performance along College Street will “dramatically improve” after the removal of the cycleway. However, this modeling does not seem to include the effects of the 2,200 bicycle trips per day that will be forced to mix in with the cars. Therefore any small time gains for motorists are likely to be false and at the expense of cyclists’ safety.
Bicycle NSW anticipate the existing 2,200 bicycle trips per day on the College Street cycleway will continue to their journey along College Street and on the road. As a consequence their safety will be decreased, the congestion for motorists increased, and ultimately the efficiency and productivity of the transport system fails to serve everyone trying to access the city.
“The Government is failing to consider the impact on both people who drive and people who ride bicycles, and while we don’t want to be obstructionist, the Government has given no alternative but to ride on the road. Our ride this Friday intends to demonstrate the impact of removing the College Street cycleway, which will force thousands of people who cycle onto the adjacent traffic lanes every day. To demonstrate the personal impact of their decisions we have invited Premier Baird, Minister Gay and Minister Constance to ride with us on Friday. They need to see and feel first hand what they are forcing all of us, whether in car or on a bike, to endure every day when they remove the increasingly popular College Street cycleway,” says Rob Berry, regular rider and community activist.
#SaveCollegeStreet Rally Ride details
Friday 26 June – 8.00am: ?Meet cnr Liverpool & College Streets
Friday 26 June – 5.30pm: ?Meet top end Martin Place, Macquarie Street