The second stage of plans for the controversial Southern Outlet–Macquarie Street project have been released for public comment, and while bicycles get some attention there is scope to include more substantive cycling infrastructure.
The acquisition of houses on the Southern Outlet has grabbed newspaper headlines over the past few months but the release of these plans show that Macquarie and Davey streets will get clearways and some permanent parking removed to provide more room for buses.
And while this is essentially a project to improve public transport, there is a nod to bicycle riders with the inclusion of bicycle storage boxes on Davey Street at the intersections at Barrack and Molle streets and an uphill cycling lane between Harrington and Barrack streets.
While making more space for cycling is always welcomed, the designs show that much more could be provided to help make riding more comfortable along this stretch of road.
Any cycling lane on such a busy road with cars moving at 50 km/h needs to be physically separated from traffic, based on advice from AustRoads and Safe Systems approaches to road design.
The most space-efficient option here is to build a kerb-separated cycling path, and as the government is planning to rebuild and resheet the road anyway it shouldn’t be too much extra trouble. This could be level with the footpath but different colour with bike symbols, or it could be slightly lower than the footpath, and still with bike symbols so people understand it’s a dedicated cycling path.
If that option is deemed too expensive then the government can use the concrete blocks being used in other cities in Australia to create separated lanes.
Longer bike route more useful
One block of bike lane on an uphill section can be useful but as the lead-up to the lane and the block beyond the lane is a hostile environment for bike riding it makes sense to extend the lane from Murray to Molle streets.
- Murray Street to Salamanca Place – this is where the bus stops are but they are being moved to the next block. It makes sense to utilise this extra wide lane by putting in a cycleway.
- Salamanca Place to Harrington Street – this is where the bus stops will be moved to but other cities are showing how to put cycleways in between the footpath and the bus stop to better protect people riding from buses pulling in and out into the traffic lane. This is what Sydney has done on its streets with cycleways and bus routes.
- Harrington Street to Molle Street – this could be a separated cycleway the whole way. Parking could be allowed alongside the cycleway in non-peak times as the traffic flows are not that heavy outside peaks. At Molle Street there could be easy hook turning arrangements so riders who want to can drop down to the Rivulet Path.
Improve cycling on Davey Street
If you’d like to see more support for bike riding along this section of Davey Street, make your comments to the Department of State Growth via the online survey before 27 SeptemberMore information