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Painted bikes on roads do not a cycleway make.

City of Canada Bay Council's claim that it plans to modify (and not remove) the section of new bicycle path at Heath Street, as reported in City Hub, is misleading. This is because it has chosen to include bike stencils on unprotected roads in its definition of a cycleway. But, for the important regional Concord to Bay Run Cycleway, part of the future strategic corridor from Parramatta to the CBD….

This is not a cycleway.  (Photo: Bicycle NSW)

And nor is this.  (Photo: Bicycle NSW)

Road stencils don’t support the majority of riders aged 8-80

 “Protected cycleways roll out a welcoming green carpet for anyone thinking of using a bike. For health, for transport, to save money.  A separated bicycle path allows riders of all ages and abilities to navigate the city safely. Ripping out great infrastructure and replacing it with paint discourages the very people it was built to attract,” says Bicycle NSW CEO Peter McLean.

And they discriminate against women

Unless traffic movements are markedly reduced in speed and volume, cycling among vehicles on the road is unappealing for all but the most confident of bike riders. This is particularly the case for women for whom safety is a deal breaker. In the City of Sydney study, On the go: How women get around our city:

  • 64% of women prefer the safety of separated cycleways.
  • 62% prefer dedicated bike lanes and,
  • 57% prefer quiet roads.

Heath St Cycleway. As good as it gets, but for how long? (Photo: Bicycle NSW)

Protection from the road enables people of all ages and abilities to take up bike riding for health and transport. Because cycleways create a safe environment. Bike stencils however, don’t encourage the 51%-56% 'interested but concerned' potential bike riders. And they don’t invite kids and families wanting to ride down to Timbrell Park. Or commuters wanting to get healthy and save money.

A $7 million dollar cycleway deserves more than just paint.

City of Canada Bay Council received $7 million from the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment  ‘…to expand our local bike network to provide a safe cycling environment for people of all ages and riding abilities.’  (CCBC website) The grant is also linked to its Net Zero and active transport plan.

“City of Canada Bay Council can’t in good faith receive $7 million of state funding then deliver pictures of bikes on the road. It can either agree to preserving and building out the rest of the bicycle corridor or return the money. You can’t have both,” says Peter McLean.

Ripping out great bicycle infrastructure is bad for the people, the planet and City of Canada Bay Council’s own reputation. Pressure from Bicycle NSW and BayBUG may have caused City of Canada Bay Council to pause demolition works, but more pressure is needed.

The door zone bike lane - The worst! (Image: Bicycle NSW)

What you can do?

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