Revised cycleway design delivers quieter streets and better footpaths, and preserves Bourke Street trees

The City of Sydney’s vision of a less congested, greener and more liveable City moves one step closer to reality, with the City’s Planning, Development and Transport Committee set to consider detailed designs for a key north-south separated cycleway on Monday 8 December.

The new Bourke Street Cycleway will provide a continuous 4.3 km bike path, making the existing route safer, and linking suburbs from Zetland in the south to Woolloomooloo in the north. It is a key part of Sydney’s overall cycling plans and reflects the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Vision to provide safe and accessible liveable green networks and increase inner City cycling by 500 per cent.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said the Bourke St cycleway fulfills a key outcome of the City’s 2030 Vision to encourage more walking and cycling and reduce reliance on motor vehicles.

“This new continuous separated cycleway will create more transport options for Sydney. People walking, cycling and driving will each have their own space,” Ms Moore said.

“As we build the infrastructure more people will ride their bikes, we will take cars off Sydney roads and reduce congestion and pollution across the City.”

The cycleway increases safety by separating bicycle riders from fast-moving traffic with parked vehicles and a kerb. Bicycle riders are also less likely to be hit by opening car doors as car passengers will be able to see oncoming bicycles.

Responding to community calls for increased safety, the City, with the RTA, has developed intersection treatments (based on treatments successfully used around the world) for Bourke Street.

Ms Moore said the detailed design plans are the result of our rigorous community consultation on the concept designs earlier this year, and the incorporation of community feedback

“People who participated in our consultation overwhelmingly support this new cycleway for Sydney,” Ms Moore said.

Seventy-five per cent of submissions received, or 631 of 842, supported the cycleway. 182 submissions raised issues such as safety, parking loss and the potential impact of the cycleway on trees.

“People told us they wanted Bourke Street’s beautiful trees to remain and I’m pleased this design will increase trees and guarantee the protection of healthy trees – particularly the stunning mature tree canopy in Surry Hills,” Ms Moore said.

The design includes replacing five small, poorly performing trees with advanced trees, and planting more than 70 new street trees.

“In response to community concerns, where a tree is in the path of the cycleway, the cycleway will bend out into the parking lane to save the tree,” Ms Moore said.

The City has made every effort to retain as many car parking spots along the street as possible. But saving the trees and increasing safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists at intersections has meant there will be some losses.

City planners have been able to create an additional 39 parking spaces along the length of Bourke Street, but there will be an overall loss of 64 car parking spaces or 14 per cent of the 469 parking spots available on Bourke St.

“We have tried everything possible to minimise parking loss,” Ms Moore said

The majority of parking losses relate to diverting the cycleway around mature trees and maintaining RTA intersection set-backs for safety. These intersection requirements apply regardless of whether a cycleway is included in the design.

The City will continue to liaise with the RTA to further increase parking opportunities.

Alex Unwin, Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle NSW said:

“We fully support the City of Sydney in its bold and visionary approach to building bicycle infrastructure in Sydney. And it’s important to note that it is only by putting in cycleways that we will encourage everyone – mums and dads and their kids – to cycle more across the City.

“As a result we will all benefit by increasing the levels of community health and having safer, quieter streets while addressing the great issue of out times; global warming.”

The City has completed concept designs and is currently inviting the local community to comment on a new cycleway and liveable green network along Union Street in Pyrmont and Missenden Road in Campedown.

After the detailed design plans for Bourke Street are considered by Council’s Committee Meeting they will go before a full meeting of Council on Monday 15 December for final determination.

Planning, Development & Transport Committee
Monday 8 December
4.30 pm
Level 3 Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street

Media Contact:  Josh MacKenzie (02) 9265 9082 or 0402 351 459