A direct cycle route between the harbour and Botany Bay will finally be realised following the construction of a missing link along Bourke Street, the City of Sydney has announced.
The council has confirmed the cycleway will be a shared path adorning both sides of Bourke Street between Phillip and Wyndham streets in Waterloo, adding to the 50 kilometres of shared pathway in central Sydney.
“While our preference is to install separated cycleways whenever possible, Bourke Street Waterloo is a clearway and repeated requests to install a separated cycleway were refused by the state [government],” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“City staff have done extensive work upgrading the design of the path to ensure it is safe for all road users.”
The final design will include lighting upgrades, improved signage and 40 new trees.
According to the Lord Mayor, more than 450 bike riders use the Waterloo part of Bourke Street every weekday.
The shared path will “provide safe infrastructure for less confident and younger bike riders, giving everyone a chance to get around”.
The additional shared path is likely to draw a mixed response. The cycling group BIKE Sydney had been pushing for a separated bike lane, stating in December: “We think it is vital that the City of Sydney’s flagship cycling route should be delivered as a separated cycleway for its entire length.”
But the shared zones are popular with pedestrians who object to cyclists who decline to use the road.
“I am so sick of sharing footpaths (not shared zones) with cyclists who flagrantly engage in this illegal behaviour,” Elizabeth Elenius, convener of Pyrmont Action Inc, wrote to City News.
“I am also so sick of being verbally abused by cyclists whom I politely try to educate.”
Construction is expected to begin in December and be completed by the end of 2015, four years after consultation on the project started.