Business owners in Bondi Junction aren’t backing down from opposing the construction of a new cycleway, with the group now mounting a legal bid to stop the project.
A petition has been put to the Land and Environment Court seeking judicial review of the council’s decision to green light the Bondi Junction cycleway back in December 2017.
It is the latest in a long-running battle between shop owners and tenants and the council over a proposed cycleway, dating back over six years.
In an all too common (and unfounded) opposition to bike lanes, shop owners are claiming that the safety of pedestrians and the fate of a dozen businesses in Bondi Junction are at stake, with major concerns over the loss of car parking.
One emotive business owner told the Wentworth Courier that “They (the bike lanes) are going to bring us down to our knees and no one will be able to trade. We are beside ourselves about what is going on, it is going to destroy us.”
When completed, the Bondi Junction cycleway will provide a much-needed separated cycleway through the Bondi Junction commercial centre, linking Oxford Street, Syd Einfeld Drive and Bondi Road to an existing cycleway at Centennial Park. It’s an important missing link connecting Bondi to the CBD.
Construction on the cycleway began in August 2019.
Alongside the ongoing and tireless work of BIKEast, Bicycle Network has been a long-time supporter of the Bondi Junction cycleway.
Delivering an active travel link that connects the city to the surf offers an attractive alternative for those who live, work and visit the popular beach side community.
And contrary to local business owners' beliefs, numerous local and global case studies show that rather than killing businesses, cycleways boost sales and increase foot traffic.
Independent studies in both Toronto and London show that bike riders and pedestrians also spend more on average in local shops that those who arrive by car.
In some cases, like on Lygon Street in Melbourne, making it easier for people to access shops by bike generates 3.6 times more expenditure.
In the online shopping age, shopping strips must also look for new ways to compete by increasing their appeal as a destination or place for people rather than a car-choked road.
Building places that make it easier for people to ride, separate from traffic, also makes our streets more livable, engaging and active.
In an initial hearing on 23 August 2019, the court granted an application for the case to be expedited. It is set down for hearing on October 16 and 17 this year.
See the full Wentworth Courier article.