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 from Lewisham to Newtown been chosen?

The route was identified as a link in Council’s Marrickville Bicycle Strategy that connects people to:

  • local destinations including such as Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, local shops and schools, and Lewisham, Petersham, Stanmore and Newtown train stations
  • the Greenway corridor

How is this funded?

The bicycle route improvements are funded by the NSW Government.

What is a kerb extension / kerb build out?

A kerb extension is a widening of the footpath and a narrowing of the road. It calms traffic and increases safety for people walking or on bikes by reducing the distance to cross road. 

What is bi-directional cycleway?

A separated bi-directional cycleway is a dedicated path with a lane in both directions for bike riders. It makes the route safer and easier for people on bikes because it separates them from traffic and pedestrians by locating them between the footpath and parked cars or the road. This is particularly important on on sections of the route with high traffic volumes where other bicycle route options are impractical.

How does the cycleway make it safer 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 which increases safety for everyone by:

  • moving people on bicycles out of the blind spot of people exiting parked cars on the driver’s side; and
  • providing a separate space for bike riders to travel safely out of busy traffic lanes and off footpaths.

The bike path would be at the same level as the road with low level, concrete blocks to separate people on bikes from traffic.

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.

Why has 2.4 metres been chosen for the width of the sections of bi-directional cycleway?

The draft plans include sections of a 2.4 metre wide bi-directional cycleway. This width agrees with:

  • The RMS Bicycle Guidelines which specify that the width of a two way off road bicycle path should be between 2.0-3.5m, and
  • The guidance provided in The City of Sydney Standard Cycleway which many Councils use for planning and building bicycle infrastructure.

It is also consistent with the dimensions in the draft concept plan which the community provided feedback on in 2016 and was subsequently approved by Council in 2017.

As many streets in the inner west have limited road widths, high demand on parking and heavy vehicle use, a 2.4 metre bi-directional cycleway provides a safer option for people on bicycles while maintaining parking and adequate travel lanes needed by other community members.

What is a shared path?

A shared path is a path that can be used by people walking and on bicycles of a street.  Shared paths are often provided when there is no space for a separated 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, and additional signage and pavement markings can be used to improve shared path safety for all users.

Is there enough room for pedestrians and people on bikes to use the shared path?

The draft plans include sections of shared path that range in width from 2.4 to 3 metres. This provides enough room for both pedestrians and people on bikes and complies with:

  • The RMS Bicycle Guidelines which indicate that widths of shared paths should be between 2 and 3 metres (which aligns with AUSTROADS Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice  Part 14: Bicycles)
  • The AUSTROADS Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling which indicates that a local path should be between 2 and 3 metres; and
  • The guidance provided in the City of Sydney Standard Cycleway Details which many Councils use for planning and building bicycle infrastructure, which specifies a minimum width of 1.2 metres and a desirable minimum width of 2 metres.

The width range is also consistent with the dimensions in the draft concept plan which the community provided feedback on in 2016 and was subsequently approved by Council in 2017.

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 is a shared environment intersection?

A shared environment intersection is a type of crossing located near an intersection that is raised to the same level as the shared paths – or footpaths and bicycle paths – on either side.  It improves crossing convenience for people walking, in wheelchairs, pushing prams and on bicycles.  At these intersections, people walking have priority. 

Where will there be changes to parking?

Which bus stops would be affected by the improvements?

Some bus stops will be slightly repositioned as outlined in the table below.

Section 1 - Longport Street, Lewisham, to Crystal St, Petersham

Section 2 -York Crescent, Petersham, to Eliza Street ,Newtown

Which trees are expected to be removed?

Section 1 -Longport St Lewisham to Crystal St, Petersham

Section 2 -York Crescent, Petersham, to Eliza Street, Newtown

There are no trees proposed to be removed in section 2. Some trees along Railway Avenue overhang the proposed cycleway so these would only need to be pruned.

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

The 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 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