Ian Stephenson and Jude Paul, Bulletin 3/2022, May 2022

The Bridge Rd pop-up cycleway was a temporary expedient initiated in September 2020. At the end of March this year the Minister for Active Transport, Rob Stokes, announced it was to be made permanent despite there being no solution to the many safety and access issues.

These include:

  • Disappearing cycleways – the bike path vanishes at four points forcing cyclists to merge with traffic or go onto the footpath.
  • Lack of access for residents. There is now no capacity for parking, not even for drop-off and pick-up. The Society has received a harrowing email from a resident whose wife has chronic heart and lung disorders requiring frequent hospital visits. She cannot walk long distances. Her husband has no choice but to park on the footpath and the cycleway. He regularly cops abuse from cyclists while getting his sick wife in and out of the car. Caring for a person with a disability is hard enough – he should not be subjected to this.
Drivers running the gauntlet on Bridge Rd (image courtesy Radio 2GB)

Ben Fordham of radio 2GB has spotted another problem. Now that Bridge Rd is a single lane each way with no parking, garbage trucks block the traffic forcing drivers to go onto the wrong side of the road. It’s akin to driving in a third-world country. Watch the video and hear an interview with Di Anstey, a Bridge Rd resident.

The Glebe Society wrote to Minister Stokes over a month ago asking him to defer the decision to make the cycleway permanent and look at all the options for delivering a safe cycleway including better alternatives to a narrow arterial road where the cycleway merges with traffic. No reply has been received to our letter.

We also spoke with the Communications and Engagement Officer of Transport NSW who advised that Transport NSW had looked at other options but Bridge Rd remained the preferred solution. We requested a meeting with a traffic engineer in which the other options and approaches to safety and access for Bridge Rd could be explained. No reply has been received to this request either.

The State Government’s line is that they are looking at improved safety and the provision of parking bays but there is no word as to how these things can be achieved. For the record, The Glebe Society is in favour of cycleways but believes they must be safe for both cyclists and motorists.

Bridge Rd is a narrow arterial road; the cycleway merges with the roadway in a number of places, has blind corners and crosses many private driveways, entrances and side streets along its path. Many of these hazards cannot be mitigated without compromising all road users and residents.

The government must reverse its decision to make the cycleway permanent.