William Feuerman, Senior Lecturer, UTS and Principal, Office Feuerman, writes for the Conversation, and Untapped Cities:

Just outside my bedroom window a sliver of the Bourke Street Bicycle Route passes by; a slice of Sydney’s network of cycleways which is continuing to grow, branching, meandering and extending throughout the city and beyond.

Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, the visionary behind the project, described the route in 2007 as “an early part of our ambitious Cycling Strategy to increase the cycling route network to almost 200 kilometers.” It seems to be popular: there’s been a 60% increase in cycle numbers in inner Sydney alone between 2010 and 2011.

The completion of the Bridge-to-Bridge Route between the Anzac and Sydney Harbour Bridges and the Bourke Street Bicycle Route is only a sampling of what is to come.

As with many urban infrastructure projects there is controversy. The New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has a different vision for who should control the cycleway network’s continued development. The Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee, consisting of four government and three council representatives, would coordinate continued development. This would resolve many of O’Farrell’s existing disagreements with the Lord Mayor regarding the cycleway’s extension, speed limit, vehicular space and access. In response, Moore noted that all current bike routes have already been approved by NSW government, with the city having limited power when it comes to transportation projects.


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