Bayside Council has recently opened new bike lanes connecting Rocky Point Road in Sans Souci to Dolls Point Beach. This comes just one year after elected councillors decided to reject excellent plans by council staff, and Transport for NSW funding for a pop-up cycleway in the same area.
New Sans Souci Cycleway. Photo Credit: Bayside Council
The project along Rocky Point Road has created a cycleway with the aim of making families feel safe to ride their bikes - whilst exploring local cafes before enjoying the paths and natural space of the Botany Bay’s foreshore. It’s currently in a trial phase and will be reviewed after 6 months for permanent placement.
It’s great to see the council trying to improve infrastructure for bike riders. However, instead of physical protection, this trial is of a painted path on the road, with nothing physically separating riders from motor vehicles. Historically paint has not been enough to convince the 70% of people in NSW who are too concerned about safety, to make the mode shift to cycling.
In reality the riders on this road will be trapped between fast moving cars to their right and parked cars on their left with nothing other than painted lines to keep them safe. Many women, children and elders will not accept this risk.
The $100,000 project was funded by the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces grant.
Scrapped Pop-up Cycleway
Back in September last year the Bayside Councillors actually voted against a pop-up cycleway in their council. The Bayside Council staff had developed a great project to provide a COVID-19 response to Transport for NSW’s Pop-up Cycleway:
Option 1: Rosebery/Eastlakes: incorporating parts of Gordon St, Coward St, Universal St, Grafton St and Florence Ave
Option 2: Daceyville /Pagewood: incorporating parts of Banks Ave and Heffron Rd
They were supposed to provide new ways for the Bayside community to travel by active transport and free up space on public transport and the road. It was to be implemented with a small traffic lane realignment, and no loss of car parking spaces.
With the council voting against the project the Transport for NSW funding was withdrawn. This is a great shame and as the image clearly shows, it would be possible to switch places to the parked cars protect bike riders and improve rider safety.
Successful Pop-up Cycleway
Meanwhile, in the City of Sydney there are six pop-up cycleways which have helped to provide safe segregated places for people to ride their bikes.
Their latest report showed that 18% of residents regularly cycle their bike now, compared to just 7% in 2017. Plus 52% started riding after finding good places or routes to ride, more than double that from 2017.
“There are opportunities on some roads to re-think how we protect people by using a range of treatments, including parked cars, as a buffer between moving vehicles and riders,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“If this treatment in Bayside fails to induce mode-shift, we hope elected Councillors would allow planners to test changing the placement of the bike lane so parked cars protect riders,” said
We encourage anyone with an interest in safe cycling to write to Bayside Council and show your support for safe cycling. If you live in the LGA don’t forget to let your council candidates know your vote depends on their support for better bike riding infrastructure.