THE O'Farrell government is backpedalling on its hardline stance against Clover Moore's Sydney bike lanes - two months after they forced her out of office.
Planning Minister Brad Hazzard has declared a truce over the controversial scheme, admitting the lanes were actually an important transport option for Sydney's future.
Mr Hazzard's comments follow an eight-day ministerial trip to Vancouver, Portland, Seattle and New York with Planning Director-General Sam Haddad - all cities that have successful bike lanes.
"I'm prepared to stick my neck out here," Mr Hazzard told The Sunday Telegraph. "With increasing densities of cities, we have to look at all options. You have to start somewhere, and they are working. I can understand the angst because there is always the debate about cars versus pedestrians and cyclists. But, in modern cities around the world, they are embracing alternatives to having cars clog the city.
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"The lesson from eight hectic days is we need to be open to these ideas."
Mr Hazzard said he would not be diving head first into any "anti-bike or anti-pedestrian debates" and that Vancouver had increased the number of visitors despite "drastically reducing" the number of cars in the city.
"They've done that by increasing access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport," Mr Hazzard said.
His comments follow years of hostility from the NSW Coalition toward Clover Moore's bike lanes, which many believe sparked the "get Clover" laws, banning MPs from also serving on local councils.
The planning minister has backed away from the NSW Government "jihad" against bike paths, suggesting that they are an important transport option for the city. Alan Jones and others will be fuming!
It's a breathtaking backdown after all the vitriol from the Liberals and Living Sydney over Clover's city bike-lanes. I'm quite hopeful that this is a sign of smarter things to come from the government, especially since they do have at least one cyclist within the cabinet.