In 2009, after a year of lobbying the Roads Minister, with help from Verity Firth the local MP for Balmain, and discussion with the RTA a cycleway update was added to the Victoria Road Update project,  which included the controversial Iron Cove Bridge Duplication. LBUG put forward an illustrated list of many improvements to the Regional Bicycle Route along the Victoria Rd corridor from Gladesville Bridge to White Bay in Rozelle.

See a map of the project, with cycle facilities shown. (edit 8/2013: that site no longer exists)

The RTA  agreed with many of our suggestions and a budget of $5 million was allocated for the cycleway upgrades. The new Iron Cove Bridge (next to the old bridge) was opened in February 2011 and has a 4.3 m wide pedestrian/bicycle path on the west side.

This links into a new cycle route on the south side of Victoria Rd through back streets of Rozelle, taking some of the pressure off the existing footpath route on the northern side, and adding some options for cyclists.

Some problems have not been answered satisfactorily in our opinion, such as the narrow spaces behind bus shelters at Terry St and Darling St, where conflict between cyclists and pedestrians has occurred. See photos of finished project on Picasa. We submitted another list of items to be fixed and a “walkthrough” with the RTA and BTBA engineers took place in 2011. A response (vicrd%20path%20review%20report-RTA.pdf )from RTA came later in 2011, where they agreed to address a small number of items. A lot left to do to make this shared path acceptable as a main Regional Route.

The long standing problem at the White Bay bus shelters was improved by construction of a wider path behind the shelter. [Pity the new Metro station at Rozelle was canned as there would have been opportunities to improve the width or layout of the path and bus shelters through Rozelle. Old history now, but you can see more on this.]

The narrow shared footpath on the existing bridge will be retained, but will not be widened. Commuter cyclists from Gladesville/East Drummoyne along Renwick St will have a choice crossing Iron Cove- cross over to the new wide path on the west side at Park Av or stay on the old narrow path on the east side.

Note added in November 2009-the final plan has been released for comment. No changes to earlier plan. the entire plan (Review of Environmental Factors) is available on the RTA Busway site linked above- 16 mb pdf- or a smaller brochure has most of the info relating to the cycleroutes.

Comments must be in to the RTA by 23 December 2009. The RTA is the proponent of the project and also the approver, so not entirely fair in my view.

Major deficiencies you might like to comment on are the continuing policy of not allowing bikes on the path off the Gladesville Bridge down to Wolseley St, the failure to investigate some land acquisition or leasing arrangement to provide more space behind the bus shelters at Terry, Wellington and Darling Sts, and the lack of coordination (no mention of this scheme which proposes to widen Victoria St footpaths at Darling St!) with the CBD Metro in seeking possible solutions to the Darling St bus shelter issue.

The budget is said to be $5 m, but $2 m of this is for the pedestrian/cycle bridge connection to Henley Marine Drive, which really should have come out of ther Iron Cove Bridge budget, not the cycle route upgrade budget. The $2 m could go a long way to making the cycle route much better.

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