Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
Dulwich Hill to the CBD
A 3m cycleway is now assured along most of the Dulwich Hill light rail corridor. However he current plan will not provide a link to the CBD and has some on-road sections.
Major Sydney bikeway frozen
19 October 2011. The incoming government in NSW has deferred the building of the Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill bikeway, an inauspicious beginning for the new political team, and a move which augurs ill for bike riders in the State.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said the project, known as the Greenway, would be deferred as it was now expected to cost $37M rather than $30M.
The shared path was planned as part of the light-rail extension and was to be built at the same time.
It would have linked the Cooks River cycleway to the Bay Run and to the proposed City West Cycle Link, creating an almost continual off-road cycling corridor between North Sydney and La Perouse.
However the light rail component of the project, the increasingly expensive component, will go ahead as planned.
The decision shows a fundamental lack of comprehension of the economics of transport networks. By building the shared path at the same time as the light rail project, the marginal additional cost would have totalled much less than the current plan to build it years later.
This means that the government, rather than saving money by deferral, will waste money: building it as a separate project later will cost more than building it now.
Furthermore, if costs was a genuine concern it would have made more sense to build the bike facility immediately. The benefit cost ratio for an attractive path on this route is higher than that of the light rail project, so the government could have won a better result for the taxpayer by reversing the order of construction.
The Minister said an Active Transport Strategy had to be completed before she would look at the Greenway again.
"We are committed to the light rail project and our dedicated Light Rail Project Team will continue to investigate the best way deliver the extension to the Inner West.
"A future Greenway will be properly planned – like all active transport options – as part of the wider transport network," Ms Berejiklian said.
You can write to the Minister, CC-ing us, politely suggesting that the cuncurrent construction of the two projects will save NSW taxpayers money.
Big win on Dulwich Hill project
August 2010. Thank you to the hundreds of bike riders who wrote to the State Government in response to the plan for the Inner West Light Rail Extension.
We only ask you to write for the most important issues and your response showed the government how important this bike route is.
Your efforts have improved the light rail project for bikes:
- Transport NSW are now treating the disused railway easement as a transport corridor that will be used by bikes, pedestrians and light rail. Previously they were only genuinely considering the light rail for transport into the CBD. This is a big win because the transport benefits of the cycleway will now be compared to the transport benefits of the light rail. We are confident that bikes can provide a much higher return on investment than the light rail.
- Transport NSW have committed to build the cycleway at the same time as the construction of the light rail. Previously there was a chance the RTA would have to fund and build the bike route independently of the light rail project, which may have resulted in a lag in construction.
Well done, congratulations are definitely in order. However there are still two major problems with the proposal and we need to ensure the project delivers the best transport options for the inner west.
If you have some time in late August Transport NSW is holding some community consultation sessions to hear you views.
Two problems still exist:
The current proposal does not link the northern end of the cycleway to the Anzac bridge and the CBD.
With this link the cycleway will be the best value transport project in the whole of NSW. Without the link the project will fail to realise any significant transport benefits. The current bike lanes on Lilyfield Road do not provide a functional link to the Anzac bridge as they do not provide enough separation from motor vehicle traffic.
Your letters helped get this link on the agenda, but the Government is still sitting on the fence. The project’s recent Product Definition Report stated that
“The scope of the GreenWay in relation to this project currently excludes ... any further upgrade of the pedestrian and cycle networks connecting to Iron Cove and Anzac Bridge. Transport NSW will give further consideration to the timing of investments at these locations to maximise the outcomes of the project.”
Obviously more work needs to be done to ensure this link is built. Fortunately we have two options; to share the railway easement with the light rail or to provide a separated cycleway on Lilyfield Road.
The proposed cycleway includes a significant on-road section along Weston St.
On road sections are unacceptable for a quality cycleway. They will exclude large numbers of potential bike riders such as school children, new riders and family groups.
The most obvious way to overcome this is for a single track light rail service and a cycleway to share these sections of the rail easement. Fortunately the proposed on road sections occur south of Parramatta Road where light rail passenger demand and service frequency will be lower than in the northern section.
We will be meeting with Transport NSW and politicians from all parties in the near future. We will let you know the outcomes as soon as possible. It is likely that we will be needing your help again soon.
July 2010. Here is our submission to the light rail project. Its long and detailed so we have summarised our view below. There is a quick version on the right.
Here is our press release.
Please click this button to write to the light rail project, the Transport Minister and the Premier.
We need this bike route
The government has released a plan for the Dulwich Hill rail corridor. In this study bikes are clearly second class citizens.
First the study has assumed that the bike route should be downgraded to allow two-way light rail operation all along the corridor.
Second the study fails to outline a separated link for the bike route from Iron Cove to the Anzac Bridge ignoring the regional transport role of the bike route.
(Download Transport and Infrastructure study by GHD 2Mb.)
A 3m wide cycleway along the goods line linking to the Anzac Bridge will:
be one of the busiest bike routes in the country
give people in the inner west a cheap, fast and reliable way into the City.
deliver a benefit cost ratio of 20 compared to 1.6 for the light rail.
The Government says we need this bike route
It has the highest priority rating in the NSW Bike plan. (Page 11)
Write today otherwise we will lose it
Please click this button to write to the light rail project, the Transport Minister and the Premier.
Please, please be positive. Cranky letters will work against us.
If you live in the area say why you will use the route. If you live in another part of town say why you support routes like this – every good route that gets built helps all the others.
Spread the word
Please forward this page and tell your friends. The URL cycleway.com.au leads to this page.
Please write now – the consultation closes next Monday 7 June 2010
A summary of our submission
17 May 2010. Sydney Light Rail -Inner West Extension Study released, your input needed now.
A study into extending light rail services from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill has just been released by the NSW Department of Transport and Infrastructure. The report includes some analysis of building a cycleway alongside the light rail extension.
Unfortunately the study has placed the proposed cycleway as a secondary project that has to fit around a light rail system operating on dual tracks.
The Government would like to hear the community's views on this study. Please send comments to email@example.com by 7 June.
Your comments are needed to make sure a quality cycleway is constructed. You can read the Bicycle Network’s full submission here.
While the Bicycle Network is supportive of the light rail extension we do not accept that the quality of the cycleway should be compromised to facilitate dual track light rail. In fact, on economic and transport figures, the cycleway should be given priority. See below for more details.
Fortunately we believe both a quality cycleway and light rail system can be accommodated in the easement.
The cycleway we need:
A cycleway for inner western Sydney must link to the Anzac Bridge and it must be separated from motor vehicle traffic for its entire length. The current proposal provides neither of these fundamental requirements.
The best way to link to the Anzac Bridge is to construct the cycleway through the railway tunnels under Balmain Road and City Link West Road. This is shown in green on the map to the left.
This cycleway would only require the light rail to run on a single track for a distance of approximately 900 metres from Lilyfield Station to Blackmore Park. A smart signalling system that provides priority to light rail services traveling in the peak direction will overcome most if not all operational issues of this one section of single track operation.
A less desirable cycleway alternative on Lilyfield Road (shown in blue to the left) could be considered. It would require the existing bike lanes to be upgraded to a fully separated cycleway that would force the removal of parking on one side of Lilyfield Road or the widening the road surface.
Blackmore Park to Lewisham
The most effective way to separate the cycleway from motor vehicle traffic is quite simple from Blackmore Park to Parramatta Road as there is sufficient space for a 3 metre wide cycleway to be constructed adjacent to a dual track light rail system. This is shown in green on the map to the left. The blue option can be constructed to provide a link to Iron Cove and Lilyfield Road.
Lewisham to Dulwich Hill
However, separation from motor vehicle traffic is not provided by the current proposal for the cycleway south of Parramatta Road.
To overcome this we propose a cycleway constructed on the rail corridor formation (track area) adjacent to a single track light rail service. This would only occur where there is not enough room in the easement to accommodate a dual track service. The map to the right shows in green the areas where a single track will be required and in blue the areas where dual track would remain.
Linking the cycleway to the Cook’s River Cycleway is also extremely important as it will drive transport trips to destinations such as the airport and enable significant recreational bike riding for residents in the inner west.
A completely separated cycleway will need to be constructed along roads to get to the Cook’s River, there are no major issues in completing this link and the proposal in the study is sound.
Why the cycleway is better value than dual track light rail.
A cycleway linking Dulwich Hill to the Anzac Bridge via the disused Rozelle freight line route is identified in the NSW Bike Plan as one of the major missing links to be completed.
This route will provide direct access to the CBD for commuters from the inner western suburbs of Sydney, such as Dulwich Hill, Lewisham. Summer Hill, Ashfield, Petersham, Haberfield and Leichhardt.
AECOM has estimated that the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) arising from the development of cycling infrastructure for the following inner-west origin/destinations are:
• Marrickville – Sydney CBD – 21.29
• Leichhardt – Sydney CBD – 13.24
• Ashfield – Sydney CBD – 4.65
The light rail extension from Lilyfield to Lewisham has a BCR of 1.6 and from Lewisham to Dulwich Hill the BCR is an even 1.0. To quote the consultants “The results of the preliminary benefit cost analysis indicate that extending Sydney's light rail system to Dulwich Hill is justifiable on economic grounds, albeit at the margin.”
Following that logic the development of a cycleway linking the inner west to the CBD is strongly justifiable on economic grounds. In fact, each dollar spent will deliver at least four times the benefit of each dollar spent on the light rail extension.
Friends of Greenway report 2010
Aecom report on Benefit cost ratios in inner Sydney (4Mg) on the City of Sydney website