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Manly cycleway canned

A cycleway planned for The Corso, Darley Road and Whistler Street in Manly has been canned by Northern Beaches Council after public consultation got mixed results.

Despite the project initially being proposed in response to community calls to open up more space for walking and cycling, the community also decided that it could not be at the expense of car parking spots.

The cycleway would have been built alongside increased outdoor seating and business space on Darley Road, The Corso and Whistler Street and a 10km/h speed limit in nominated areas.

The council received almost 600 pieces of feedback from people about the plans. A slight majority did not support a cycleway on the Corso and Darley Road:

  • 31 per cent of comments supported the proposed trial of more space for safe cycling and active travel to and within the Manly CBD
  • 12 per cent of comments supported the trial, but with some suggested changes
  • 47 per cent of comments were not supportive or raised concerns about emergency vehicle access, safety, increased congestion and loss of parking.
  • 9 per cent supported the idea, but not in their backyard

The project is funded by the NSW government's Streets as Shared Spaces program, which supplied $875,000.

A shared space was exactly what the project proposed – a protected cycleway for people to ride, footpaths and pedestrian areas and a road for cars. A traffic movement plan included loading zones so businesses could receive goods and of course emergency services would be able to access areas as necessary.

A compromise will now be made that installs some outdoor seating and parklets but no cycleway. Instead of creating an area where people can ride, walk, freely shop and socialise, cars will continue to dominate.

There was one small win for people who already ride in the area, with the council deciding to keep a 30km/h speed limit in the area. 30km/h is the gold standard speed limit in built up areas, greatly reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes between people walking and riding and people driving cars.

All roads in the centre of Manly and its school zones had speed limits changed from 40km/h to 30km/h in July 2020.

Northern Beaches Council agreed to the changed proposal for the Manly CBD at its meeting on Tuesday 15 December.

Click here to visit the project webpage on the Northern Beaches Council website.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.

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