Government to start construction on two new Sydney bike lanes

Cyclists on King Street at the corner of Castlereagh Street in Sydney. Photo: Sahlan Hayes Cyclists on King Street at the corner of Castlereagh Street in Sydney. Photo: Sahlan Hayes
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Cyclists on King Street at the corner of Castlereagh Street in Sydney. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Cyclists on King Street at the corner of Castlereagh Street in Sydney. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Construction will start this month on two new bike lanes in central Sydney, helping to form a network of mostly separated bike lanes from the north end of the city to the south.

Roads and Maritime Services said the government received approval last month to start on the cycleways, which will run along Castlereagh Street and Liverpool Street in the Sydney Central Business District.

The construction of the cycleways represent a partial backdown by Roads Minister Duncan Gay.

Mr Gay had said he wanted to trial a “part-time” bike lane on Castlereagh Street, making the lane available outside peak hours as a loading zone.

He also said he would look at this strategy for the Liverpool Street cycleway.

But the cycleways to be built from this month on Liverpool Street and on the southern end of Castlereagh Street will be “full-time” cycleways, separated from the street by a raised barrier.

A northern stretch of Castlereagh Street, between Liverpool Street and King Street, will still be looked at for a part-time cycleway over a six-month trial. But the government has not yet worked out a design for this stretch.

When built, the two new projects will mean that a cyclist entering the city from the south at Hay Street and Castlereagh Street will, via Liverpool Street and Kent Street, be able to traverse to the northern edge of the city.

However the plans for the Liverpool Street cycleway include a number of sections where cyclists will have to share street space with pedestrians.

Mr Gay said: “We think the new designs strike the right balance to meet the needs of cyclists and businesses, working in the confines of the CBD.”

“We have the ability in Liverpool Street to provide a dedicated cycleway on the northern side and a loading zone on the southern side, removing the need for a part-time cycleway,” he said.

The communications director at Bicycle NSW, Sophie Bartho, said it was “excellent” that construction would soon start the two cycleways, but said she was “extremely disappointed in the lack of consultation through this process.”

Ms Bartho said she did not support the eventual trial of a part-time cycleway further north on Castlereagh Street.  “Surely there’s an alternative way than testing this with humans.”

David Borella, the president of advocacy group BikeSydney, criticised the design of the Liverpool Street cycleway. The cycleway will force cyclists and pedestrians to share space near Kent Street and George Street, and does not provide a complete east-west connection across the city.

“These half-baked, unsafe, disconnected cycleway stubs won’t achieve anything but conflict and incidents,” Mr Borella said. “It’s astounding that we can’t even achieve a ‘minimum grid’ CBD cycleway network.”

The bike lanes are being paid for by the City of Sydney, but being built through a contract managed by RMS.

The design of the two bike lanes was included in the state government’s City Centre Access Strategy, but businesses along Castlereagh Street and Liverpool Street have raised concerns about the removal of loading zones.

When further sections of the Castlereagh Street cycleway are built, the government plans to remove an existing bike path on College Street to provide more room for bus traffic.

A spokeswoman for the City of Sydney said the council was pleased construction would soon begin.

“Completing this section of the Castlereagh Street cycleway will create the first safe, separated north/south route through the city centre, and will mean people can ride from North Sydney to Central Station,” the spokeswoman said.The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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