Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

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Tomodachi
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Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby Tomodachi » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:31 pm

Hi Guys, I decided to check out the cycleways that have been built in the Sydney CBD in recent years. For me it was my first time on the SHB, Kent St, Liverpool, Castlereagh St cycleways, so I made a video of my first impressions. I know for those who ride these cycleways regularly will have different opinions and views about them. But in general I found Kent Street to be very stop/start. I would like to know what others think.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:11 pm

Got that one pretty much right Mike, from the 55 steps at Milsons Point, red light wave along Kent St, large number of people crossing path without looking & giving way.

About the only thing I can think you missed is the lack of connections - ie its not too bad if you want to go from Milsons Point to Central, but fails badly if you want to cross the cbd. King St is not for the easily intimidated, Liverpool St looks like it should work, but you end up with 2 one way streets - such a shame the wouldn't extend it for 1 more block to Elizabeth St.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:07 pm

^^^ What find_bruce said. They suited me as I rode north-south, but for those heading east-west they are well substandard.

Sydney City Council is very pro-bike and keen to reduce car usage in the CBD to make it more liveable and business friendly, but Roads and Maritime Services is still stuck in a 1960s car-centric outlook, probably because their exectutives' KPIs and hence remuneration are tied to maximising motor vehicle movements rather than people movements. RMS unfortunately has final say on any infrastructure implementation.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby Tomodachi » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:27 pm

Yeah, I might make a vid on the east/west connection or lack of in the future. What do you think about the new ramp they are supposed to build to replace the 55 steps at Milsons point? From the renders I've seen on RMS website it looks visually obtrusive, so I'm sort of in two minds about it.

On another note, do you think once the tram system that supposed to run down George Street, when up and running, will allow cyclists to use it?

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby AndrewCowley » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:22 pm

Tomodachi wrote:What do you think about the new ramp they are supposed to build to replace the 55 steps at Milsons point? From the renders I've seen on RMS website it looks visually obtrusive, so I'm sort of in two minds about it.


An expensive eyesore. Especially when the proposal as it stands only creates a ramp that goes nowhere. The money would be better spent on other cycling infrastructure. I use those steps 5 days a week (x2) commuting to and from work and don't really have a problem with them.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:58 pm

NSW Govt removed a major section of what would of eventually been the CBD east west connection that the council was building and then the NSW Govt cancelled the promised replacement
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby zebee » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:03 am

AndrewCowley wrote:An expensive eyesore. Especially when the proposal as it stands only creates a ramp that goes nowhere. The money would be better spent on other cycling infrastructure. I use those steps 5 days a week (x2) commuting to and from work and don't really have a problem with them.


Being I presume adult, fit, fully able bodied, and using a reasonably light single track bicycle without a trailer.

If you aren't all those things, the steps are rather more difficult.

When my left leg is acting up I can't push a Brompton up those, never mind my steel recumbent. Haven't tried the lighter current 'bent but it's not just the weight it's the configuration. The trike is impossible without help. Can't do it if I have a trailer, so parents with kiddie trailers are out of luck. Ones with small kids are too. Disabled or elderly on three wheels, forget it.

While everyone equates cyclist with "adult, fit, able bodied, lightly or unloaded single track bicycle" we won't get much more cycling happening in this city. All infra has to manage the young, the old, the less fit, the less able, the load carrier, the beginner, the fearful. Because there aren't enough fit able bodied confident riders to get critical mass.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby find_bruce » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:37 am

AndrewCowley wrote:An expensive eyesore. Especially when the proposal as it stands only creates a ramp that goes nowhere. The money would be better spent on other cycling infrastructure. I use those steps 5 days a week (x2) commuting to and from work and don't really have a problem with them.
Its great that you can and do ride regardless of the steps. More than 2,000 cyclists use it every day.

But your experience is not universal - there are plenty of people who can't or won't use the stairs - handcyclists, trikes, cargo bikes, kids in trailers & more.

I make no claim to expertise on aesthetics, but I look at the huge concrete wall that is the bridge on-ramp & say it isn't any uglier than that, or the Cahill expressway, or plenty of other roadworks in Sydney

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby Tomodachi » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:41 pm

What if they replaced the proposed ramp with a largeish elevator. I remember when I was in Tokyo the Rainbow Bridge had a massive elevator to move people and bikes from the ground to the road deck.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby AndrewCowley » Tue May 01, 2018 12:33 am

find_bruce wrote:But your experience is not universal - there are plenty of people who can't or won't use the stairs - handcyclists, trikes, cargo bikes, kids in trailers & more.

Unicyclists?

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby queequeg » Tue May 01, 2018 8:43 am

AndrewCowley wrote:
Tomodachi wrote:What do you think about the new ramp they are supposed to build to replace the 55 steps at Milsons point? From the renders I've seen on RMS website it looks visually obtrusive, so I'm sort of in two minds about it.


An expensive eyesore. Especially when the proposal as it stands only creates a ramp that goes nowhere. The money would be better spent on other cycling infrastructure. I use those steps 5 days a week (x2) commuting to and from work and don't really have a problem with them.


One year, doing the wheelchair marathon as a bicycle escort for the elite athletes, I watched with embarrassment as one of the top US wheelchair competitors took himself from his hotel in the city to the start in North Sydney, not realising there were 55 stairs at the other end. Luckily we were meeting at the bottom of the steps and saw his plight. Two people assisted with his racing chair, but he refused help for himself, instead choosing to walk down the stairs on his hands! All we could do was apologise for our government’s lack of care about it.

While you may have no troubles, parents with trailers or young kids on bikes, cargo bikes, or those less capable, perhaps on an e-bike, can’t navigate 55 stairs and then weave through two narrow bollards. That includes elite athletes in carbon fibre racing chairs.
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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby g-boaf » Tue May 01, 2018 9:03 am

Tomodachi wrote:What if they replaced the proposed ramp with a largeish elevator. I remember when I was in Tokyo the Rainbow Bridge had a massive elevator to move people and bikes from the ground to the road deck.


What if it breaks down? Which will happen and it won't be serviced right away either. In Japan they'd keep these things maintained properly and fix them promptly if something goes wrong. Here we'd just ignore it for days.

A ramp may not be as elegant, but it won't have those issues.

mikesbytes wrote:NSW Govt removed a major section of what would of eventually been the CBD east west connection that the council was building and then the NSW Govt cancelled the promised replacement


Isn't it just typical...

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby find_bruce » Tue May 01, 2018 11:39 am

An elevator, even a largish one, will be a bottleneck. I would be surprised if an elevator could cope with the current level of flow.

Then there are the operating costs, routine servicing etc before considering the likelihood of breakdowns. Is there any data as to the operation of the elevator at Circular Quay on the pedestrian side?

The equivalent would be the elevators at the CBD end of the Pyrmont Bridge which are chronically unreliable

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby AndrewCowley » Tue May 01, 2018 12:54 pm

queequeg wrote:One year, doing the wheelchair marathon as a bicycle escort for the elite athletes, I watched with embarrassment as one of the top US wheelchair competitors took himself from his hotel in the city to the start in North Sydney, not realising there were 55 stairs at the other end.


I think there is also a proposal to install an elevator on the pedestrian walkway side. I'd have no issue with this and there is your solution for disabled / wheelchair people.

I'm not sure I'd be happy with wheelchair people using the cycleway side anyway. My gut feel is that they should really be using the pedestrian walkway.

My issue with the cycleway ramp is that as currently proposed it goes nowhere and due to the invasive nature of it (the impact to the park will be huge), it will burn up a whole pile of community goodwill. There goes any chance then of doing anything useful down the track as far as connecting it to the Narrenburn cycleway. Connect it to Narrenburn from day 1 and the community (some of them at least) will see something that is more useful and be more supportive.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby queequeg » Tue May 01, 2018 1:09 pm

AndrewCowley wrote:
queequeg wrote:One year, doing the wheelchair marathon as a bicycle escort for the elite athletes, I watched with embarrassment as one of the top US wheelchair competitors took himself from his hotel in the city to the start in North Sydney, not realising there were 55 stairs at the other end.


I think there is also a proposal to install an elevator on the pedestrian walkway side. I'd have no issue with this and there is your solution for disabled / wheelchair people.

I'm not sure I'd be happy with wheelchair people using the cycleway side anyway. My gut feel is that they should really be using the pedestrian walkway.

My issue with the cycleway ramp is that as currently proposed it goes nowhere and due to the invasive nature of it (the impact to the park will be huge), it will burn up a whole pile of community goodwill. There goes any chance then of doing anything useful down the track as far as connecting it to the Narrenburn cycleway. Connect it to Narrenburn from day 1 and the community (some of them at least) will see something that is more useful and be more supportive.


He used the Cycleway because at the city end you can only access the pedestrian path by stairs. He was in a racing wheelchair. These don't just plod along at 5km/h, they are capable of very high speeds. That's why the wheelchairs finish well ahead of the marathon runners. I don't particularly mind people on wheeled transport using the cycleway. The pedestrian side is is for those people using their legs to get over the bridge. Since wheelchairs can't physically access the pedestrian side at all, you are never going to see them there.

As for the proposed ramp "going nowhere", I would have to disagree. It goes from the top of the stairs to the bottom of the stairs with a gentle gradient :-) Getting an elevated path all the way to Naremburn is a pipedream at the moment.
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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby tcdev » Tue May 01, 2018 1:44 pm

Tomodachi wrote:But in general I found Kent Street to be very stop/start. I would like to know what others think.

Good summary! I've only ridden that route twice myself, and to say that I found Kent St frustrating would be an understatement. I recall counting 13? lights between the bridge end of Kent St and Belmore Park, and all but two of those were red. When you add it all up it makes for a rather slow ride over such a short distance. Having said that, I'm grateful for the safety of a separated path, notwithstanding the pedestrian and courier van hazards.

Guessing you'll continue south from Prince Alfred Park into my stomping grounds in a future video... it's mostly path from there to the airport and Tempe where you can branch off westwards on the Cooks River path to Parramatta or continue south to Sans Souci, then over the bridge to Wanda/Cronulla via the just-completed Woolooware section of the path and/or Kurnell.
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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 01, 2018 9:54 pm

I think the problem with the argument that the money could be better spent elsewhere is that if the money is not spent on the ramp then it won't end up funding other cycling initiatives. Cycling funding is more of a political football than a budgeted approach.

And I agree that it should be done all the way to Narrenburn
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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby Tomodachi » Wed May 02, 2018 9:58 pm

tcdev wrote:
Tomodachi wrote:But in general I found Kent Street to be very stop/start. I would like to know what others think.

Good summary! I've only ridden that route twice myself, and to say that I found Kent St frustrating would be an understatement. I recall counting 13? lights between the bridge end of Kent St and Belmore Park, and all but two of those were red. When you add it all up it makes for a rather slow ride over such a short distance. Having said that, I'm grateful for the safety of a separated path, notwithstanding the pedestrian and courier van hazards.

Guessing you'll continue south from Prince Alfred Park into my stomping grounds in a future video... it's mostly path from there to the airport and Tempe where you can branch off westwards on the Cooks River path to Parramatta or continue south to Sans Souci, then over the bridge to Wanda/Cronulla via the just-completed Woolooware section of the path and/or Kurnell.


Yeah the plan is to do Bourke Street, that's in production at the moment and is still a few weeks away from being published. I do plan to do all of them eventually. I generally have to ride it once and walk it once to shoot different perspectives so it does take a bit of time.

Seems like the ramp on the north side of the SHB is the preferred option, I'm sort of surprised, but yeah I guess the elevator could have reliability issues from time to time.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby familyguy » Fri May 04, 2018 5:11 pm

I'm taking a mate out tomorrow to do Epping Rd/Lane Cove/Homebush/Cooks River/airport to City via Bourke/Kent St/SHB. Will keep my eyes open and see what this yields as far as a cohesive unit goes. I'm guessing there will be some big gaps.

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby Tomodachi » Sat May 05, 2018 12:17 pm

Jim, i'd be interested to hear how long it takes and how many kilometres you do?

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby find_bruce » Sat May 05, 2018 4:00 pm

It will be interesting to see how close Jim goes to this ride from 2016
Distance: 53.9 km
Elevation: + 523 / - 519 m
Moving Time: 02:25:12

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 05, 2018 8:07 pm

queequeg wrote:One year, doing the wheelchair marathon as a bicycle escort for the elite athletes, I watched with embarrassment as one of the top US wheelchair competitors took himself from his hotel in the city to the start in North Sydney, not realising there were 55 stairs at the other end. Luckily we were meeting at the bottom of the steps and saw his plight. Two people assisted with his racing chair, but he refused help for himself, instead choosing to walk down the stairs on his hands! All we could do was apologise for our government’s lack of care about it.

While you may have no troubles, parents with trailers or young kids on bikes, cargo bikes, or those less capable, perhaps on an e-bike, can’t navigate 55 stairs and then weave through two narrow bollards. That includes elite athletes in carbon fibre racing chairs.

^^^This. I must say I'm very surprised the government has not been sued for failing to live up to its own disabled access laws...

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat May 05, 2018 8:26 pm

AndrewCowley wrote:
find_bruce wrote:But your experience is not universal - there are plenty of people who can't or won't use the stairs - handcyclists, trikes, cargo bikes, kids in trailers & more.

Unicyclists?

But they DO!
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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby AndrewCowley » Sat May 05, 2018 11:54 pm

find_bruce wrote:It will be interesting to see how close Jim goes to this ride from 2016
Distance: 53.9 km
Elevation: + 523 / - 519 m
Moving Time: 02:25:12


Was keen to see the route, but ...

"The trip you are trying to view is not public"

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Re: Sydney Cycleways, First Impressions

Postby find_bruce » Sun May 06, 2018 7:32 am

find_bruce wrote:It will be interesting to see how close Jim goes to this ride from 2016
Distance: 53.9 km
Elevation: + 523 / - 519 m
Moving Time: 02:25:12

AndrewCowley wrote:Was keen to see the route, but ...

"The trip you are trying to view is not public"

Thanks - should be public now

Just realised that was an early morning weekend ride so we went up the Pacific Highway from Nth Sydney to Lane Cove - Tour de bike paths shows the route including the bike path from Crowsnest

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