The Sydney authorities though have big plans:
- Increase the number of bicycle trips made in the City of Sydney, as a percentage of total trips, from less than 2% in 2006 to 5% by 2011, and to 10% by 2016;
- Increase the number of bicycle trips between 2 and 20 km made in the City of Sydney, as a percentage of total trips to 20% by 2016;
- Achieve a minimum 80% good level of confidence and comfort for cyclists that ride in the City of Sydney by 2016; and
- Measure and monitor the number of collisions and injuries involving bicycles and achieve a reduction in the number of incidents.
The path below looks good, but it's a shared path and in rush hour there's a significant amount of foot traffic. But the key is that would be cyclists are afraid of cars, not pedestrians.
There's problems of course. Hard-core Lycra cyclists aren't over-keen on the shared paths or the segregated cycleways. The junctions have separate cycle lights, slowing progress, and left-turning traffic has to turn across the cycle lane which can cause crashes (see below). And the 'war on the motorist' lobby is kicking against the strategy.
So why doesn't London do this? We've spent £23M - that's half Sydney's budget - on the first two Cycle Superhighways. It's pretty clear that the infrastructure you see above is much more likely to get parents cycling with their kids than blue lanes with parked cars on one side and fast-moving traffic on the other. Sydney isn't directly comparable to London of course, but it is proof that a car-dominated city can turn over roadspace to cycling.
My bet is a city that has a can-do attitude to promoting cycling is a lot more likely to succeed than a city that pussyfoots around the anti-cycling lobby.We'll see in a few years how successful Sydney's approach is compared to London's.