The cycleways in Glebe and Forest Lodge are not satisfactory. The ones we have are disjointed and often put cyclists onto our busiest streets, where the risk of injury is a major concern. The foreshore path along Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay is available to cyclists but because it is a shared path the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians is at times at risk. It is worth mentioning that neither The Crescent nor Bridge Rd have protected cycle lanes nor any protective markings on the roads.
The City of Sydney has had in place a ten year plan, Cycle Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017, to build connected cycleways through all its precincts, including Glebe and Forest Lodge. The City’s targets in the plan have not been met; for example only 12.5 kilometres of separated cycleways have been built against a target of 55 kilometres. Of course the City has not always had the cooperation of State Government in this endeavour. The City is now reviewing what has happened to date and will over the next 12 months develop a new cycleways plan after consulting with the community.
This is a wonderful opportunity to significantly upgrade our cycleways and to encourage more use of an alternative means of transport around our suburb. We need safer cycleways in Glebe and Forest Lodge that take cyclists off our busiest roads and direct them onto the many quiet back roads around Glebe.
There are no separated cycle lanes at all in our suburb to protect cyclists from traffic. While there are some designated cycleways, for example along sections of Glebe Point Rd and St Johns Rd, most cycleways are located on busy streets with the associated traffic risk to riders. The road signs indicating cycleways are generally poor. The traffic-free foreshore path running from The Crescent along Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay to Bridge Rd is available to cyclists. However the relationship between walkers, dogs and cyclists along this path is uneasy and measures may need to be taken to ensure the safety of all.
If any members, particularly cyclists, wish to contribute their knowledge and experience to our submissions to the City …send an email to … firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are now in the process of writing to the City with our concerns and seeking from the City a commitment to improve the cycleways in Glebe and Forest Lodge. If any members, particularly cyclists, wish to contribute their knowledge and experience to our submissions to the City they can send an email to the Transport and Traffic Subcommittee at email@example.com
And what about cyclists on the footpath?
As we all know it is not unusual in Glebe and Forest Lodge to find cyclists sharing the footpath with pedestrians. Mostly this is a harmless experience but at times we can feel that our life is in jeopardy.
The rules are that cyclists are only entitled to ride on the footpath if they are under the age of 12 years, if they are accompanying a rider under the age of 12 or if the footpath is a designated ‘shared’ path. A shared path is one which is signed as available for use by both pedestrians and cyclists.
At present there are three shared paths in Glebe and Forest Lodge. One is the foreshore path that runs from The Crescent to Bridge Rd along the foreshore of Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay with a short interruption at Federal Rd. Another runs alongside Johnstons Creek from the western end of Hereford St to the footbridge near Jubilee Park. The third runs along the north side of Bridge Rd between Taylor St and the point where the foreshore path just referred to joins Bridge Rd, opposite the Kauri Foreshore Hotel.
So those are the rules. What to do? Concerns about cyclists riding on the footpath have been raised with the local police at Community Police meetings which the Glebe Society attends. The police do what they can but the odds of them nabbing offenders in the act are fairly low. The City of Sydney Rangers have no jurisdiction to enforce the rules. Perhaps the only thing to do is to complain to police when this occurs in the hope that the police are able to take some action. The Leichhardt Area Command of the police now has a high emphasis on community engagement and street presence.
In the long run better cycling facilities in Glebe and Forest Lodge, such as designated cycle paths that are separated from traffic, will help the situation by encouraging cyclists to use cycle paths and not the footpath. The Glebe Society is now working with the City of Sydney in trying to improve the cycleways in our suburb.