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In spite of extensive advocacy and previous assurances, the construction of the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange will now involve an unsafe detour for bike riders.

Rozelle Interchange Problem

Bicycle NSW and the Inner West Bicycle Coalition have worked for many months to protect rider safety. This construction project impacts Lilyfield Road, the most heavily trafficked bike riding route in NSW.  We have previously shared the issues related to detours and the removal of safe overpasses.

Developers had promised this overpass would not be removed before a safe, alternative provision was made.

An online petition began, opposing the removal of these walking and cycling overpasses, without provision of a safe alternative.  Initially, the proposal was for people to use a multi-stage crossing of the City Westlink.  There was nowhere to wait safely for people, bikes, wheelchairs or prams as cars whiz by.  It is easy to see why the petition has gained almost 3000 signatures.

People riding along the Lilyfield Road cycleway now face being diverted along Gordon Street.  Bicycle NSW made it clear this route would be dangerous for riders, unless:

  • on-street parking was suspended in the uphill direction of travel
  • a temporary protected bike lane provided.

On this road, motor vehicles move rapidly and regularly swerve across double unbroken lines to avoid parked cars.  Gordon Street’s steep hill means most riders can only travel slowly and the speed difference and narrowness raises the risk riders will be hit by cars.

Car over centre lines on Gordon Street, Rozelle

Multiple Safety Issues For Bikes

Bicycle NSW and local Greens Member, the Hon. Jamie Parker MP were led to believe this protected lane would be provided.  Unfortunately we were told this would not happen on Sunday evening (23 February) and the over-bridges would be closed on Sunday, 8 March even though the detour was unsafe.

We photographed and filmed the problem area between 3:30 and 4pm, and observed many instances of motor vehicles moving too fast and swerving across unbroken double lines, even though this was well outside the morning peak.  This diversion also sets people riding bikes up to break the law.

The current crossing between Gordon Street and the shared path on Victoria Road has a pedestrian only lantern, so riders would need to dismount their bikes in the middle of the road in front of cars and walk their bikes onto the footpath to cross when heading east.  No entry is allowed into Gordon Street from Victoria Road as it is marked ‘one way’, so riders heading back from the city would need to break the law again or run the gauntlet of motor vehicles.

“This detour is deadly on so many levels, and forces people riding bikes to break the law or risk their lives,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“We’re asking riders to share this article by email or on social media with your MP, and tell them how this affects you,” said Bastien.

You can find your MP here, and tagging them in on Facebook and Twitter helps everyone see how many people care about the issue.

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