At the TC on Thursday there was quite a bit decided. Council has put substantial extra money into the Bike Plan (see recent item on this) but it has to be spent this financial year. So the staff have been working their butts off drawing up construction plans for several routes in the Bike Plan. These are EW2, EW3, NS5.

Route EW2 runs from Flood St in west to Nelson St in east, crossing Norton St, Balmain Rd and Johnston St. It is close to and parallels Parramatta Rd along Albert, Jarratt and Albion Sts, so could form an alternative route to that busy road, as well as improving local access around Norton St and Balmain Rd.

Route EW3 runs from Hawthorne Canal along Marion St, Styles St, Collins St to Johnston St and Nelson St. NS5 runs from Parramatta Rd to Balmain Rd/Darling St near Callan Park along Catherine St and Grove St.

Route EW2 has some blockages near Norton St and Balmain Rd. Renwick Lane is one way, but it looks like this will be made two way for cyclists, after lots of discussion with the RTA, who find it a hard concept to follow that cyclists should have exemption from one way restrictions. It connects Jarratt and Renwick Sts with Norton St and is a convenient link for cyclists. Cyclists use it two way now anyway so it is just formalising the situation and will make it safer, with some green lane treatment and signs advising it is two way for bikes at the ends. It is already a 10K shared zone so everyone should be moving carefully. Getting this has been a long tern goal of LBUG so I’m glad it appears to be approved (not quite sure if the RTA won’t find some objection yet).

Getting from Norton to Balmain Rd depends on getting permission from a property owner to open a locked gate on a lane off Norton St (almost opposite Renwick Lane) to Dot Lane, behind the Library and the Plaza. This would further open up access for cyclists and pedestrians. May have to wait for some development application before Council can get this link as a condition.

From Balmain Rd to Redmond St would be easy if the Bald Stag pub didn’t have a car park with a fence blocking the connection, and it seems they wont agree to access. There is a gap in the paling fence however and you can just about get a bike through, so maybe they will relent.

After Redmond St it is straightforward to get to Catherine St then on to Albion St. Crossing Johnston St is a problem because it is 4 lanes wide and no lights. A solution has been put forward and is awaiting RTA approval.

At Nelson St cyclists can turn right to Parramatta Rd and cross at lights to Bridge St into Stanmore, if heading to Marrickville or Newtown. If game you can ride down the bus lane to Pyrmont Bridge Rd.

Eventually there may be a link across Johnstons Ck canal (avoiding Parramatta Rd) to get to Pyrmont Bridge Rd, where City of Sydney Council will be providing a bike route to get into the City. Currently Sydney Water is not allowing any bridging of their canal. Whole of Govt approach to cycling hasn’t got that far yet!

Route EW3 is Marion St, Styles, Collins St. Marion is fairly wide so should get a reasonable bike shoulder lane (shared car parking/bike lane) along it, although there are problems at the Hawthorne canal end where there are clearways during peak hours. Sydney Buses arent being helpfull either by demanding 3.2 m for the traffic lane, and not leaving much for the bike lane. Some hope they may agree to 3 m, like they have in most areas. They didnt turn up for the meeting so the RTA and Council could gang up on them a bit.

Styles St is narrow so cyclists will have to use the traffic lane, but speed limit has been reduced to 40 K. This should make it safer although it will be hard to use westbound uphill. Downhill should be good as you can travel at 30 K or 40 K if you try.

NS5 is Catherine St and Grove St, connecting Parramatta Rd with Balmain Rd/Darling St. Quite a good north south route. Catherine St bridge may get a contraflow lane next year. The one way section of Grove St near Balmain Rd will get a contraflow treatment at long last. A bit of a worry as the road is narrow and doesnt quite meet the RTA guidelines but it seems to have passed the TC. Sydney Buses also opposed bike shoulder lanes in Catherine St but a solution may be found like in Booth St, where uphill bike lanes are used but no downhill bike lanes.

All this was passed at the TC, with a few problems to be resolved, so am hopeful we should see all this done by mid year.

At the April Traffic Committee

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