Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farrell

Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farrell

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15 pm

It was a while back and O'Farrell's plans to change the balance of local government power in order to get more cars into city have taken a turn I didn't expect. I wrote to the NSW premier back then who, in response sometime later, didn't actually respond to my plans (rather give himself a pat on the back). The SMH now reports on this topic:

SMH wrote:IN an ironic twist, Barry O'Farrell's push to take control of transport in Sydney's CBD may finally complete Clover Moore's network of bike lanes.

Despite the Premier's hostility to the Lord Mayor's plans for the city, a committee set up by Mr O'Farrell gave fresh momentum on Wednesday to building the extra bike lanes needed to finish the city's grid.

The Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee was set up in May by the Premier, who declared that the city was being "held hostage" to Cr Moore's political constituency.

"It's very clear Clover Moore's pitch for re-election is built around more bike lanes and making the CBD as unfriendly to cars as possible," Mr O'Farrell said at the time.

Continued


I unfortunately don't get the chance to regularly ride in the city (the pacific hwy freaks me out) however building out cycleways, even with teething problems is progressive and achieves numerous long term benefits that are not compatible with short term political struggles. Clover Moore also profits politically with her position and action, as well as Barry O'Farrel who has claimed that the bike lanes make Sydney backwards and less international. If you have driven through the city during work hours recently you may spot that it is the motorised traffic that is seriously congested, and not because of bikes and bike lanes. Lets see more bikes, buses and even mopeds.
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by BNA » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:45 am

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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby g-boaf » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:45 am

Good! 8)

It might surprise you that some members of the government are commuter cyclists too. I didn't know until yesterday.

I work in the CBD and see what the traffic is like. It's the traffic that is jammed. Pedestrians and cyclists are often faster than cars from point to point.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby find_bruce » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:02 am

I smiled when I read the article - O'Farrell was reacting to an affluent, vocal, minority group - car drviers in the city. When you look at it with a view to decreasing congestion, cars are never the answer. Clover & the City of Sydney Council had come up with a good plan, not because of their politics but because they used logic.

Another reason to smile today was my usual commute across pyrmont bridge - at the lights there was a queue of 30+ cyclists at a set of lights with about a 2 minute cycle time. This is a huge increase since I first started riding this way in the early 90s.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby simonn » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:08 am

AUbicycles wrote:I unfortunately don't get the chance to regularly ride in the city


You are not that unfortunate. I rarely do as well, but even on a Sunday arvo riding back from the gong ride using as many cycle/shared routes/paths/tracks/lanes as I could it was a pain. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Glad to have the cycle facilities though. Would have been worse mixing with the motor vehicles.

find_bruce wrote: O'Farrell was reacting to an affluent, vocal, minority group


Affluent? I am not sure that is actually the case. Cycle commuters as a group are actually (and perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not) more affluent than the median. He was reacting to the bogan Alan Jones listener demographic and outer suburb mortgage belt.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby find_bruce » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:17 pm

find_bruce wrote: O'Farrell was reacting to an affluent, vocal, minority group - car drivers in the city.

simonn wrote:Affluent? I am not sure that is actually the case. Cycle commuters as a group are actually (and perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not) more affluent than the median. He was reacting to the bogan Alan Jones listener demographic and outer suburb mortgage belt.

When was the last time you parked in the CBD ? AFAIK the cheapest parking in the CBD itself is about $20 per day. You need to be a fair way above the median income before you can afford that. Sure your company might pay for it, but again you have to be a fair way up the food chain before they do so.

The point I was trying to make was that the vast majority of people commuting to the city do so by public transport. According to Colliers in 2011 in sydney there are 28,498 non-residential car parking spaces with a CBD workforce of 240,236 - ie just 11.9 car spaces per 100 CBD workers. Colliers put the rate at $64 per day or $660 per month.

Equally interesting is the following
Colliers wrote:In 2010, an office tenant survey conducted by Colliers International found that bicycle parking was seen as just as important as car parking. This was a distinct change from the same survey conducted in 2005 when car parking was seen as far more important. These are distinct changes in behaviour by tenants, and the expectations for car parking.

A further indication of modification of behaviour is the importance that tenants place on being close to public transport. Since 2005, this has remained the most important driver in attracting and retaining staff by tenants when choosing an office location and has steadily increased in importance over time.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby simonn » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:16 am

find_bruce, it is not about logic or reason.

BoF is showing the outer suburb dwellers/battlers - who would of course be able to park their cars in the city if it was not for those pesky cycle lanes, it is not as though cyclists even pay rego! We're paying for them to take our parking spots away! - that he is on their side and cares about their interests.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby sogood » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:52 am

find_bruce wrote:When was the last time you parked in the CBD ? AFAIK the cheapest parking in the CBD itself is about $20 per day. You need to be a fair way above the median income before you can afford that.

That's a pretty limited angle.

I park in the CBD all the time and typically not for a whole day but for quick meetings or shopping. Given the subject matter is bike lane and on-street parking, we are not talking about parking stations but typically time limited on-street parking spaces. At the current rate, it's $7/hr during business hours and $3/hr in the evening and weekends. Whilst it is very expensive by international standards, it is not unaffordable for the great majority for that occasional short trip into the city. As for parking for a day in a private parking station, try $40-50/day.
Last edited by sogood on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby find_bruce » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:06 pm

simonn wrote:find_bruce, it is not about logic or reason.

We may disagree about some things, but sadly you accurately summed up Australian & NSW politics in just 7 words.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby Sydguy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:03 pm

Let's just make the leap to a car free city. Given half a chance people would love it. The 15% who commute to work by cars would be dwarfed by the 85% who would like to PT, walk or cycle without the risk of death at every intersection and all the places in between.

The audacity of people who commute to Sydney CBD amazes me, alas progress is depressingly slow.

As I understand it a further study is being done on completion of the East/West missing link? Or are they just going to throw a green lane all the way up King Street? I quite like the middle lane on King all the way up to Phillip Street - it has to beat the stop/start of the bike lanes, even though I still support the lanes for the newbies.

Now they need to give a green bike light constantly and an orange flashing arrow for cars. The current few seconds of green is not cutting it.

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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:05 pm

Sydguy wrote:Let's just make the leap to a car free city. Given half a chance people would love it. The 15% who commute to work by cars would be dwarfed by the 85% who would like to PT, walk or cycle without the risk of death at every intersection and all the places in between.


+infinity

Start with car-free Sundays, get people used to the idea, and then fix the whole lot.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby Xplora » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:39 am

I don't quite understand the hubbub about parking etc. I just wouldn't drive to the city? PT is much more effective than in the burbs. I've parked in the CBD for work for a while, 20 bucks a day. I'd catch a train or walk (GASP) from Haymarket to Wynyard because it was just too expensive to park further up. If you honestly think you need to park that close to save time, you need to reconsider how important your presence is at the building because it would be quicker to just work from home. :idea:
Once you get 10kms away from the CBD, it's clear that parking is vital to the survival of business. Westfields basically figured that out and provides it. The businesses inside pay for that parking. We really need to say "if you want to run a business here, you need to consider that parking is not a right, or a necessity provided by the public purse, so you will either have to pay for it, or expect shop traffic that doesn't drive." A public resource like streets isn't really available for parking as congestion raises and traffic density isn't improved.
Ironically, bike lanes will probably increase traffic for these businesses FAR more than car parking. Think about it. You can park 20 bikes near your coffee shop or 2 cars. Young mums aren't the staple business of these inner city cafes. I think a lot of people just aren't quite understanding that there are limits to space, and you cannot make more space for parking on street. You have to increase traffic flow, and that doesn't always mean cars flowing :D
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby g-boaf » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:47 pm

simonn wrote:find_bruce, it is not about logic or reason.

BoF is showing the outer suburb dwellers/battlers - who would of course be able to park their cars in the city if it was not for those pesky cycle lanes, it is not as though cyclists even pay rego! We're paying for them to take our parking spots away! - that he is on their side and cares about their interests.


His lot are two-faced and untrustworthy, support the "battlers", and then force those battlers working for his departments into unemployment...

It's amazing how these businesses get all steamed up about parking, but in reality, they have about 2 parking spaces which are always taken. And do they really think the majority of people will drive their cars into the city? It's not practical. You have to use buses or trains otherwise you'll be stuck in traffic jams. The coffee shops will probably get a lot more business if they put a bike rack out the front and spaces for people to lock up their bikes while they stop for coffee. The automobile cannot continue to be king. There are simply too many of them and nowhere for them to go. Apart from delivery/trade vehicles/buses/taxis, the rest should be banned from the CBD. Perhaps a few days a week in order to get people used to it, but eventually make it all the time.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:50 pm

It needs an even more holistic approach though. Shutting-down car access to the inner-city and forcing people onto public transport means traffic congestion in the suburbs because the railway station carparks as they are right now can't manage more than 100 - 150 cars at best.

Recently I had to go into the CBD so decided to drive to Hornsby and train it from there. By the time I got to Hornsby station at 9am the car park was overflowing. No problem, U drove into the non-regulated suburban streets and walked five minutes to the station. BUT, if one of me became 500 of me because of zero parking atthe station and restricted parking around the Hornsby CBD then the suburban streets are in for big problems.

What I'm getting at is that the problem has to be looked at from every angle to avoid a nasty knock-on effect.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:37 pm

One of the challenges of a car free CBD is that there are a lot of office car parks. More reasonable would be to have reduced car zones - essentially a type of permit for cars that can drive. It needs to be part of a broader strategy and allow people still to get from A to B - so for the quite roads with limited traffic - there also need to be major routes that are convenient for motorists.

For your average person it is about convenience and reasonable cost and public transport is often an inconvenience.

Unfortunately politics are based on cycles and short term solutions are the ones that win elections even where a long term solution is better.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:18 pm

Also, our politicians are there on popularity and lack the will to make hard decisions such as congestion taxes, enforced carpooling, lane shutdowns and the like.
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby g-boaf » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:37 pm

The short term cycles of policy is something I believe we are stuck with .

While there have been long term policies around like Action for Air, that is less of a big and visible policy so it can fly under the radar, and AQM is a win win.

Transport policy is a win/lose/win. Some people will lose out on that, and the spin doctor in me would play up that to get people angry. That's how you shoot down an otherwise fine policy. But it isn't new. Think of Gough Whitlam, the famous Labor politician and his anti-F111 stance while in opposition. But asked privately if he would cancel it, he responded "I would do no such thing".

Political expediency. I can't see any way of changing this either now that both major parties are essentially right-wing. They adopt small target, me-too campaigns, and I feel this makes longer term policies harder to sustain. If you so something different, you'll become a bigger target. :(

We need to face a crisis before that will change. For gun policy, that was Port Arthur. For cycling lanes, that will be when traffic becomes totally impossible.

Things will change slowly, but surely. :)
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Re: Sydney CBD bike lanes set to be completed despite O'Farr

Postby g-boaf » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:58 am

Today it wasn't bicycle lanes clogging the city and ruining the world - it was three broken down buses in peak hour, two on Clarence Street and one on Druitt Street:

http://smh.drive.com.au/roads-and-traff ... 2a4f4.html

It's another example of the crisis affecting the city centre.
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