City takes action on sharing Sydney streets

As new bike counts show significant increases in riders in central Sydney from March to October this year, the City of Sydney is implementing an education program to help bike riders, pedestrians and motorists interact more safely and respectfully.

Bike counts at 94 intersections in March and October 2010 showed an average 40 per cent increase in the morning (6am-9am), with 29 per cent in the afternoon (4pm-7pm). Growth in areas with dedicated cycle facilities nearly tripling: 124% increase on Kent Street in the CBD; 167 per cent near the Anzac Bridge; and 173% on Bourke Road, Alexandria.

“Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers coexist in major cities across the globe. We want that spirit of cooperation here so that cycling provides a practical, safe and healthy alternative to reduce congestion,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said.

“Through our new Street Share Program, we aim to help everyone who uses our streets-whether by car, bike or foot-to share respectfully, and have a safe and enjoyable trip.”

“Bike riders, like everyone else, must obey road rules. We want responsible riders who are aware of drivers and pedestrians, slow down on shared paths, and adhere to road rules.”

The City of Sydney’s Street Share Program will deliver information for bike riders, pedestrians and motorists. The integrated program of strategies include a shared paths safety campaign; “Explore Your City” group rides; grants for community cycling initiatives; a Sydney Loop Ride taking in the harbour foreshore; free bike maintenance; and riding classes.

The City of Sydney uses social media, advertising, newsletters, events and cycling courses to educate road users and promote safety. More than 600 people (70% women) have completed the free Cycling Confidence course and 450 have completed the free bicycle maintenance course. In the past three months, more than 10,000 cycling maps with safety information have been distributed and the City’s SydneyCycleways Facebook page has 1500 fans.

The Street Share Program report to Council also prioritises nine planed bike corridors to target safe connections to useful destinations. These make up 53 kilometres of the City’s endorsed 200 km bike network, and connect to destinations such as workplaces, schools, universities and parks for both commuting and recreation.

The routes will have the best mix of separated cycleways, bike lanes, contra-flow lanes (which allow bike riders to travel along a one way street), mixed traffic and shared paths.

Final routes and treatments will be assessed and communities will be consulted to determine the best possible outcome for bike riders, pedestrians, business, residents and motorists.

Ms Moore said; “The City’s promotion of safe bike riding and the building of a connected network will benefit everyone. More people riding bikes will improve public health, ease congestion and keep Sydney moving.”
Media contact:
Maya Catsanis 02 9265 9553, 0409 045425.