Why is Council focused on improving bicycle routes?

    Council is committed to encouraging more everyday trips by bicycle to help reduce car use in the community.  This is a priority that was identified by the community in the development of:

    This also aligns with the NSW Government’s aim of making bike riding safe, convenient and enjoyable.

    Why has a bike route on Addison Road been chosen?

    The route is identified as an important link in Council’s Bicycle Strategy because it connects people to:

    • local destinations including Addison Road Community Centre and markets; Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre; and Marrickville Metro.
    • other bicycle routes which take people to Newtown, Sydney CBD and train stations.

    While Addison Road provides good access to local destinations, it currently puts bike riders at unreasonable risk.  People on bikes must ride in busy traffic or parking lanes which puts them at risk of collision with vehicles or opening car doors.  There are also several ‘pinch points’ where people on bikes must merge into traffic.   

    How is this funded?

    Planning of these bike route improvements is co-funded by the NSW Government and Council.  Council would also seek further funding from the NSW Government for any future work on the route.

    What is a concept plan?

    A concept plan is a document prepared in the early stages of a project to develop and test an idea and, if supported, to guide detailed planning.  A concept plan may undergo changes before being finalised.

    What information was used to develop the concept plan?

    The draft concept plan was developed by Council’s consultant following an initial stakeholder engagement, analysis of existing conditions and options, and considering the feedback received during the public exhibition of the draft concept plan. 

    The initial engagement included:

    • an online forum  which gathered information from the community about challenging locations for riding a bike, and
    • feedback from NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Sydney Buses, Addison Road Community Centre and Bike Marrickville.

    The analysis of existing conditions and options included:

    • a review of traffic volume and crash data
    • road and footpath measurements
    • parking occupancy data
    • related Council and NSW Government plans
    • policies and technical guidelines
    • constraints in the study area, and 
    • site inspections.
    The draft concept plan was on public exhibition from 23 January to 22 February 2017. Local residents were sent a letter to inform them of the public exhibition which was also promoted:
    • on social media
    • in the Inner West Courier
    • through Council's e-newsletters, and
    • with signage along the route. 
    Council also held a stall at Addison Road Markets on 12 February 2017 to give community members an opportunity to find out more and provide feedback. 

    Is the concept plan a done-deal?

    No. The concept plan on public exhibition is a draft only, and no decision has been yet made by Council.  A decision will be made only once all feedback has been considered and the concept plan finalised.

    What is a shared path?

    A shared path is a path that can be used by people walking and on bicycles.  Shared paths are often provided when there is no space for a protected bike path and road conditions are not ideal for riding.  On shared paths, people on bicycles are expected to give way to people walking, ring the bell and slow down.

    What is a mixed traffic treatment?

    A mixed traffic treatment uses roadmarkings and signage to help people on bicycles and motorists to share the road.  This is appropriate where traffic volumes are generally low, such as most local streets.  Where volumes are higher, national guidelines recommend separation of bicycles and motor vehicles.

    I haven’t seen many people on bikes on this route – isn’t this a lot of work for only a few?

    The proposed improvements are not just for people already riding bikes – it’s also for those who are interested but concerned about safety.  A NSW Government survey found that 70 per cent of people in NSW would ride more often if it was safer – a statistic which is supported by some local facts.  The number of people on bikes has increased in places where safer routes have been provided, for example:

    • Carrington Road, Marrickville - 50% increase in the first year;
    • Bowden Street, Alexandria - 250% increase in five years, and
    • George Street, Redfern - 400% increase since a protected bike path was installed

    What about impacts to on-street parking?

    The proposal would not only provide a safer route for people to travel by bike but create approximately 15 on-street parking spaces as follows:

    • Addison Road:  a net increase of one space (six spaces removed; seven new spaces created)
    • William Street:  an increase of three spaces
    • Bright Street:  an increase of three spaces
    • England Avenue:  an increase of eight spaces 

    What about changes to bus stops on the draft plan?

    Sydney Buses has advised Council that it is proposing to remove the eastbound bus stop near East Street.  This is presented in the concept plan to show potential changes (resulting in two additional car parking spaces) however remains a decision for Sydney Buses.  If Sydney Buses decides to keep the bus stop, the concept plan will be updated accordingly.

    The draft plan proposes keeping the westbound bus stops near Neville Street and Coronation Avenue at the existing location but moving them into the traffic lane. This would allow people on bicycles to pass behind the bus shelters on shared paths.  Sydney Buses has indicated that it supports these changes.

    How does a protected bike path fit onto Addison Road?

    The proposed two-way protected bike path is two metres wide which provides sufficient space for two bicycles to safely pass one another and meets national guidelines for local bicycle routes.  It also:

    • allows for the two traffic lanes and two parking lanes to be maintained;
    • meets Sydney Buses requirements for traffic lane widths and RMS standards for parking lanes; and
    • enables a narrow median to be provided between parked cars and the protected bike path.
    See diagram below

    Isn’t a bike path dangerous for people walking, on bikes or in cars?

    The proposed two-way protected bike path would be located between the parking lane and the kerb on the southern side of Addison Road.  This increases safety for everyone by:

    • moving people on bicycles out of the blind spot of people exiting parked cars on the driver’s side;
    • reducing the risk of ‘car-dooring’ by placing people on bikes on the passenger side of parked cars and in clear sight, with the bikes travelling in the opposite direction positioned closest to parked cars; and
    • providing a separate space for bike riders to travel safely out of busy traffic lanes and off footpaths.

    The bike path would be raised to the level of the kerb and footpath.  This would make it easier for people to temporarily occupy the bike path when entering or exiting a parked car when it is safe to do so – just as a person on the driver’s side would temporarily occupy the traffic lane to enter or exit a parked car.

    Motorists using driveways that cross the bike path would be required to watch for people on the bike path, just as motorists must give way to people on the footpath and to other cars when entering the traffic lane.

    Does this route connect to other bicycle routes?

    Yes.  Local Route 16 (LR16) is one of a network of bike routes that aims to improve links to local destinations including shops, schools, parks and train stations.  To the east, LR16 links to a route that connects to the Cooks River, Newtown and Sydney CBD.  To the west, LR16 connects to a planned route for Dulwich Hill shops.

    Will I have other opportunities to provide feedback?

    Yes.  If the final concept plan is approved by Council, detailed designs for the route will be developed.  Council will ask the community for further feedback on specific changes to inform the detailed designs.

    What else is Council doing to make it better for people to ride bikes?

    Council is also developing plans for other bicycle routes.  As bike routes become more connected and continuous, riding a bicycle will continue to become safer, more convenient and more comfortable.  Council offers free monthly courses for people that would like to ride a bicycle more often but don’t have the confidence to ride on the road.  Find out more