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NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:03 pm
by mich rolling
It must be very embarrassing for BicycleNSW not to be able to just pop some properly collected bicycle usage numbers into the current NRMA debate:

NRMA- only 25 cyclists use Epping Road,

BicycleNSW-it is more than that but I cannot tell you how many but I know it in my waters

A pretty weak argument.

Is there any reason why BicycleNSW has not been collecting bicycle counts (as BicycleQld has) or are not in a position to pop up government bicycle figures (as can VicRoads and MainRoads Qld and DPI WA)?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:01 am
by sogood
Errr... Meaningless to collect data on a segment of bike path that hasn't been properly connected on its two ends? Just as RTA wouldn't be collecting data on a bridge's traffic flow when it's only half built (with a 30m drop into Lane Cove River in the middle). No idea why NRMA would sit traffic counters on a boat and count the number of motor vehicles and cyclists dropping into the water. Not sure if it's counting idiots or idiots counting... :roll:

NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:37 am
by mich rolling
Quite so. No point counting unfinished cycle paths.

Give me then six yearly half annual counts of bicycles crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

It has been there seventy years.

Re: NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:43 am
by sogood
mich rolling wrote:Give me then six yearly half annual counts of bicycles crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

There are electronic traffic counters installed on the Harbour Br cycleway. So I suggest you contact the RTA for that data.

Seriously, BicycleNSW doesn't manage roads and is not in the business of counting bike traffic on every single bike path. So give them a break, they can't do everything with their limited funds.

NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:52 am
by mich rolling
Thanks SoGood, I will ask the NSW RTA for the data.

Bicycle NSW website could have a hotlink to that site indicating that that is where the data is?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:07 am
by sogood
Huh? What does harbour bridge bicycle traffic data have to do with Epping Rd?

In any case, it's always better to substantiate your position if you can quote data collected by an independent third party. For all we know, NRMA's bike data could well be tainted by an unusual methodology due to vested interest.

NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:27 am
by mich rolling
Weeelllll, Harbour Bridge cycle data would (in the absence of Epping Road data as the path is being built) be a proxy for bike travel in on the North Shore in general.

Expanding the data search, I have not seen any published cordon counts for the Sydney CBD. Claims are made, as in a post yesterday (CycleSydney/SMH/BicycleNSW, whatever) that 500 cyclists use Oxford Street in a two hour morning peak period.

No reference to data source, no method; the 500 could easily have been a latte sipper counting 40 bikes in the ten minutes it took to drink his coffee and multiplying by 12 and adding a few for luck.

Ditto the NRMA numbers could have been obtained by counting during the wettest mid-winter Friday on record.

The RTA website last posted vehicle axles in about 2006, no mention in the statistics section about bicycle counts and no indication of a a counter on the bridge bike lane (their maps do show car lane counters though).

I will ask them tomorrow though and post the result.

It seems strange that no advocates arguing for cycle facilities in Sydney have tabulated such data if it exists as you say.

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:47 am
by sogood
At the end of the day, most media releases weren't written like academic research with full references. For better data, the various bike plans commissions by the councils would have relevant data. ... heCity.asp ... onPlan.asp ... ycling.asp

I've also seen detailed data from Leichhardt MC and I am sure there are similar from North Sydney MC.

NRMA has the winning argument on bicycle numbers

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:59 am
by mich rolling
Good ones

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:29 am
by beauyboy
I have to say I am surprised that Bicycle NSW does not do cycle counting on main routes. BQ does one every 3 months on main artirial routes and publishs the results. It is also not like they sit there all day, they do three hours in the morning and 3 hours in the arvo. They also recruit volenteers from there membership to do these counts.


Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:06 pm
by sogood
Ok, here are the RTA numbers for Sydney Harbour Br cycleway usage.

On national On Ride to Work day last October, 1,953
cyclists used the cycleway and 1,345 the following day. A
44% increase since 2005.
935 in 2005
855 in 2004
798 in 2003
769 in 2002

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:55 pm
by mich rolling
Are those figures online?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:02 pm
by sogood
Those figures were posted on a mailing list within the last 48 hours. It was hot off the press supposedly.

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:20 pm
by mich rolling
Still looking for tabulated data on Sydney Harbour Bridge crossing but found these in the blurbs for the Kent Street cycle route (now changed to Clarence Street). These sound more like one-off counts by consultants than daily counts from fixed loops.

Reference: ... ITEM16.pdf

16. Recent counts found 340 cyclists crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge during a two hour weekday morning peak period (1.4% of the total of all vehicles crossing Sydney Harbour Bridge during the same period). Similar volumes of bicycles are thought to use the Pyrmont Bridge, however, a count has not yet been undertaken.

Reference: ... g-link.asp
"A greater commitment to cycling infrastructure will not only ease congestion but promotes a healthy way of life," Mr Unwin said.

A City of Sydney survey into bicycle usage (carried out on a weekday morning from 7 am to 9 am) revealed a four-fold growth in cyclists using the Harbour Bridge and Oxford Street, compared to a 1996 count.

The number of cyclists using the Pyrmont Bridge has increased by almost eight times over the same period, while twice as many cyclists are using Ultimo Road.

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:38 pm
by mich rolling
Found the mailing list link for Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway user numbers! I am so effective some times that it hurts.

(Actually found the link by accident while researching objections to the Shrimpton's Creek shared user path near Macquarie University but no-one knows that). ... ssage/9344

Good on Russell Webber and the North Shore BUG

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:55 am
by sogood
Google is your friend.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:12 pm
by mich rolling
The NRMA saga is sagging at the moment.

I expect it will perk up in February when the new cycle and bus lanes are opened.

Unfortunately happy bus commuters running twenty minutes faster into town are unlikely to write in to the SMH about their joy, ditto speeding cyclists. The proof will be in the cyclejams at the Harbour Bridge steps!

Meanwhile the comments on the NRMA website 'My NRMA Blog' site were still coming in up until last Friday. The site is open for viewing by non-members and well worth a look.

Very few support Evans of NRMA, most are highly critical of NRMA for taking a cars-only view of the role of the NRMA in debating Sydney transport options.

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:13 am
by mich rolling
3. The 2007 Sydney Harbour Bridge figures were estimated, as counter was removed for work on Sydney Harbour Bridge Fencing. ... anduse.pdf

Depending on when the counters on the Sydney Harbour bridge bike path were removed and when they were replaced lack of direct counts could explain the difference between the RTA and BiikeNorth expectations of cyclists using the bridge on Ride to Work day in October 2007.

When/have the counters on the Harbour Bridge cyclepath been replaced so that changes in bike numbers with opening of the Epping Road Cycleway can be tracked?

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:04 pm
by mich rolling
The January rant from the NRMA claimed

"Bicycles stay home
- M2: 130 cyclists a day
- Westlink M7: 40 km cycleway, cost $60 million
- Epping Road: $7.6 million, 25 cyclists using the road each day"

Any idea what the Epping Road cycleway usage is now, a week after it (sort of) opened?

Also, I saw a comment on a chat about local borough councils not wanting to make a fuss about opening the cycleway because of the risk raising the ire of motoring voters.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:15 pm
by thingy
Uhh, well, on my bus trip I used to count 5 bicycles a week on average from Lane Cove Road to Willoughby Road prior to the work commencing.

When the work was happening (and NRMA did their count) it was 3 a week at most.

From roughly 2 months ago until the beginning of last week it was 3-10 per day in the 15-20ish minutes it takes for my bus to go along that stretch.

The last week and a bit it's been 7-19 per day in the 15-20ish minutes it takes my bus to get along Epping Road from Lane Cove Road to Willoughby Road.

How do those numbers grab you? That would be between 7:55am and 8:15am for those who are wondering.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:26 pm
by mich rolling
Thanks Thingy.

If you support cycling that is an increase of over 500% in a week in the number of cyclists using a COMPLETED path compared to an unfinished path.

If you are in charge of the NRMA it is $380,000 per cyclist in the AM peak!

Anyone know if there are automatic counters (loop/infrared/sonic/pressure) anywhere along the new cyclepath?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:41 am
by simonn
thingy wrote:The last week and a bit it's been 7-19 per day in the 15-20ish minutes it takes my bus to get along Epping Road from Lane Cove Road to Willoughby Road.

I usually see a similar amount and the 10 minutes or so I am on the complete track (well bus lane mostly, it is loads faster) west of the Pacific Highway is usually somewhere between 08:30 and 09:30.

About the same at night also.

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:34 am
by mikesbytes
Those Sydney bike figures are interesting. I had noticed the steady increase on usage of Anzac bridge and the figures reflect it.

Also of interest is that the increase in usage has largely been for high income earners.

I'm a bit surprised by the increase on the Harbour bridge, considering the lack of a suitable route on the north side. If they ever connect the epping road path to the harbour bridge, the numbers on that route would fly thru the roof.

Also of interest is that you can see that there are routes that are more significant for commuting and routes that are more significant for social. In a way this reflects the fragmentation of the Sydney network, where you have decent stretches of path that don't go anywhere in particular. Things would change significantly when they are linked. In my part of town, that means Hawthawn Pde to Cooks river, Harbour bridge to Epping rd and Alexandra canal (later extended into the CBD). I'm sure the situation is similar in other parts of Sydney.

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:43 pm
by ShanDog
I used the epping bike path today between roughly 1pm - 2pm (can't quite remember) and I already saw 5 other bike riders. If there's that many in off peak I would imagine the peak time would be a lot higher.

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:29 am
by pvb123
The harbour bridge is getting busy with cyclists in peak hour! Great!