On Your Bike!

Evans Street, Rozelle. Storm water drains suitable for car tires present a serious hazard to cyclists.

Much more could be done to accommodate cycling as a primary form of commuter transport in Sydney.

Are our local councils failing to deliver the type of cycling infrastructure required to improve the number of safe bike trips made daily in our neighbourhoods? This may sound like a leading question, but councils such as Leichhardt Municipal Council (LMC) are struggling to keep up with the social and cultural transformation of cycling into a popular means of transport for work, health and leisure. And this risks retarding behavioural change away from the car into the saddle.

LMC bike advisory council only meets three times a year. That may have been adequate 10 years ago when cycling as a mass commuter movement was just beginning to stir, but this seems grossly inadequate in 2016.

Under the leadership of Mayor Cr Darcy Byrne, LMC has adopted the very good 2016 Leichhardt Bike Plan which benefited from excellent submissions by cycling advocate groups such as Bicycle Network. However, Byrne’s office has been seemingly ineffective in communicating the rate of progress being made in implementing key recommendations of the plan since its adoption by council in November of last year.

For example, there is no word on if and when much needed bicycle boulevards and cycleways in the busy precincts of White Bay and Rozelle will commence. LMC recently tweeted that it’s working on ‘resheeting roads, separated cycleways, public bike pumps,’ but gave no indication where this is happening.

Council should improve its communication strategy by adopting something along the lines of City of Sydney’s excellent project updates website.

Simply, more needs to be done by LMC and other Sydney councils to accommodate the safety of thousands of male and female commuters who have answered the call to leave the car at home and get on their bike. ✏️

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