Here is a post I made on the Greater Sydney Commission's Facebook page.
Garry from Biketrail.info. Quick background, in the last year I have poured over the maps of greater Sydney to find the safest place to ride bikes and I have traversed and photographed them. Conclusion is that all up there is 450km of safe trails and most of them you can get to by train if you really want to. But the location of the trails are pretty random and thats the problem, there is no structure to the trails.
The mission statement for bikes (electric bikes, push scooters and skateboards) should aim for one or more of the following.
1) There should be safe trails to stations and places to store your bikes.
2) There should be a safe network of bike trails across the city. Initially every 2km would be a major success but before that you need to join up the trails you have *.
3) Cycling in parks should be improved to encourage riders to stay away from busy traffic. These should cater with appropriate designs for little kids, part time riders and the huge racing bike population.
4) Where there are clearly popular bike riding streets, work hard to expand and improve these. The universities are mecas for bikes, help them ride safely in all directions. The CBD, Redfern and the bridge are popular spots.
Give councils special grants to make trails around or thru their own parks either in concrete or crushed gravel or even single track mtb.
If a road is too dangerous, ban the bikes. Sort out the alternative route beforehand. Freeways are not safe for a start.
What is a safe trail ? In the busy areas, Bourke St, Surry Hills is a great example.
Bourke St, Darlinghurst
In quieter suburbs, the narrower trail from Seaforth to Manly Lagoon is fine for both walkers and cyclists. See Balgowlah and Manly Golf clubs. What isn't safe is painted lines on busy roads. This may involve making some roads one way or local traffic only but if the goal is to build a network of trails, this has to happen.
Not so wide but OK for traffic volumes
Bungarribee Park - Greater Western Parklands
Encourage more people to travel on trains with bikes and scooters in non peak times. Advertising could help. Stations without lifts don't help the cause especially with electric bikes.
In conclusion, decide on mission for active transport and make sure that the money is allocated and used to make Sydney a good and safe place for bikes and other forms of active transport.
* Obvious trail improvements for a good network stage one network are
•Liverpool to Parramatta Connection is a downright dangerous or impossible to navigate or poorly maintained in places.
•The trail from Carramar to Rookwood Cemetery is actually very close. There are plenty of roads that can be made safe for bikes. Same goes for Bankstown Velodrome to Bankstown station. I have yet to post my maps on this
•Connect the M7 to Parramatta somehow.
•Tidy up the Sutherland trail which has only about 5km of road riding. This should be easy enough.
•Connect Epping Rd to North Sydney or something. There are so many bikes in this area riding dangerous streets.
Future Transport Document
Fiona Campbell has poured over the Future Transport Document and here are actual statements that include cycling
Just not a lot about how it will get done. Here are some examples of quotes from the document that could inspire your response:
“Every one of our customers expects reliable, convenient and timely service and high quality, safe infrastructure” (p32)
“Moving people from private vehicles to more sustainable transport mods will lower congestion and the state’s emissions intensity, improve air quality and support better health and wellbeing. Well planned centres and cities… will enable many more of our customers to shift from private cars to public transport and active transport modes such as walking and cycling – which will improve urban vibrancy and liveability” (p28)
“A successful transport system that encourages greater active and public transport can deliver positive outcomes in terms of physical and mental health, social capital and social and economic participation.” (p33)
“Establish a complete network of safe separated pathways to encourage walking and cycling to and within centres” – Future directions to investigate, p35
“Deliver complete cycling networks, pedestrian space and interchanges that safely support a wider range of devices” – Future directions to investigate, p52
“Complete walking and cycling networks to and within centres and invest in safe, direct and continuous green corridor connections. ” – Future directions to investigate, p72
“Deliver a 30 per cent reduction in road fatalities or serious injuries by 2021.”, p75
“Prioritise separation of road users to reduce risk, including median barrier separation on all key road corridors with high traffic volumes.”, p75
Customer outcomes in Greater Sydney (p31)
3. A safe transport system for every customer with zero deaths or injuries on the network by 2056.
4. 30 minute access for customers to their nearest centre by public transport 7 days a week
6. Walking or cycling is the most convenient option for short trips around centres and local areas, supported by a safe road environment and attractive paths