By Emily Contador-Kelsall
Bondi Junction is set to receive new bike paths in the midst of a Sydney-wide push for motorists to take up cycling.
Waverley council has entered into a contract agreement with landscape architecture and urban design office Spackman Mossop Michaels to start designing bike paths at Bondi Junction.
The creation of bike paths is part of council’s Waverley Bike Plan 2013 and Complete Streets Project, which aims to improve the public domain at Bondi Junction.
Councillor and Chair of the Community Safety Committee, Angela Burrill, hopes the project will result in improved access and safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
The project is in its early stages; “completing engineering surveys, traffic and pedestrian counts, reviewing existing documents, consultation with stakeholders including residents and local business owners, preparation of draft design” are part of the future design process, said Cr Burrill.
Councillor Andrew Cusack, who voted against the motion, does not believe bike paths are suited to the Waverley environment.
“Whilst I believe (the cycle way) is a noble, environmentally and ‘politically’ correct thing to do, I am extremely anxious about ‘force fitting’ bikes onto our streets. I have seen and been saddened by many, many accidents and even deaths of late,” he said.
Carol Thompson, a cyclist in support of bike paths, also recognised the dangers of cycling.
“Cycling is a growing activity across many age groups, and with that comes more accidents and near-misses both with traffic and pedestrians,” she said.
Cr Cusack acknowledged the potential success of cycle ways, such as those at the City of Melbourne, although does not feel Waverley can experience this success.
“I don’t want the blood on my hands because we are trying to do something that I believe appears impractical given the complexities of our road systems in Waverley.”
“If you want to cycle, it may be safer to find a nice park with a bike track.”
Cyclist Annabelle Drew, who cycles to La Perouse via Bondi and the coast, strongly supports the development of cycling infrastructure as an investment for the future.
“Everywhere that provides our daily necessities such as shops, services and schools needs paths and provisions for cyclists.”
According to council’s Complete Streets Project, the council aims to develop a safe and convenient bike network and provide infrastructure that is suitable for all cyclists, catering for potential growth in cycling.