The Double Bay to Rose Bay cycleway has been further delayed to avoid inconveniencing the record number of locals flocking to the waterfront during lockdown.
Woollahra councillors held an extraordinary meeting last week to urgently discuss delaying the project, citing that construction would cause the booming number of people enjoying the Rose Bay promenade to cross the road to navigate the works.
Bike riders will now have to wait until April next year for the project to resume, originally slated for July and rescheduled once already to October.
Woollahra councillor Mary-Lou Jarvis was quoted in The Daily Telegraph saying: "It’s a sensible, pragmatic solution given we are in a once in a century pandemic and people do need somewhere to go out and get fresh air and exercise.
“The promenade has never been busier.”
But local bike advocates are concerned for the future of the project, as some in the community call for it to be scrapped altogether.
BIKEast president Mark Worthington said the group was disappointed and concerned that changes at the December election could jeopardise the commitment to resume works in April.
“Overall we just want them to proceed. They’ve started the work, what they’ve completed is good, but it’s not complete so it’s not going to provide cyclists with an option particularly if traffic starts to pick up and create a very dangerous situation once again,” Mr Worthington said.
“The speed limit is 60km/h and it’s a high traffic road. Any main trunk route that has that high traffic and, relative to cyclists, high speed is dangerous and so we need that off road alternative.”
The cycleway was drawn up in response to the tragic death of Dr Henri Sueke who was riding his bike on New South Head Road when involved in a fatal collision with the driver of a heavy vehicle in 2015.
Mayor Susan Wynne told The Daily Telegraph she remained determined to ensure the cycleway went ahead.
“There is an absolute commitment to cyclists and cyclist safety and this shouldn’t be seen as a total disregard to cyclists.
“It’s just about weighing up the needs of the whole community.”
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.