Pedalling passion towards a liveable city

The City’s cycling manager, Fiona Campbell, received the prestigious Cycling Luminary Leadership Award in Melbourne this week.

The award recognises effort, initiative and passion that makes it easier for people to ride bikes.

The City’s cycling manager, Fiona Campbell, receives the Cycling Luminary Leadership Award.

We asked Fiona about her views on the future of cycling in Sydney:

What were the City’s first efforts to support cycling?

When we developed our first cycling strategy back in 2007, it proposed a bike network that resulted in some of the most controversial projects we’ve ever built.

Other major cities have since seen first-hand the social, environmental and economic benefits of more people on bikes.

Here in Sydney, we’ve been working hard to build the infrastructure to make riding a safe way to commute.

We celebrated our first separated cycleway opening on King Street in the city centre in 2009.

Bourke Street, Surry Hills opened in 2011 and has become one of our most picturesque streets to ride. It’s also had a positive impact on local businesses and property prices, which has been great.

Since then we’ve built 14km of separated cycleways, and bike trips have doubled in 10 years.

What else is the City doing to encourage more people to ride?

We regularly speak to people about riding in Sydney to ensure we’re doing what we can to meet their needs.

We run cycling courses to give people the confidence to ride and maintain their bike, we offer free tune-ups each week as part of our share the path program and we run a fantastic series of events as part of our Sydney Rides program.

We also have a great cycling map which is popular for people keen to get started – we receive around 300 requests each month

And we have a free route finding chat-bot on Facebook Messenger, and started the Sydney Bike Commuters Facebook group to help people share advice.

What are the biggest challenges to more people riding?

We often hear from people keen to start riding that one of their main concerns is the attitudes of drivers towards people on bikes.

Unfortunately, the media tends to hype up cyclist vs motorist stories which can intimidate people from starting to ride.

In reality, we’re growing a network of safe riding connections and thankfully most drivers are respectful and courteous towards people on bikes.

What does the future of cycling in Sydney look like?

Very exciting!

There’s more community support for riding than ever before.

When we spoke with over 2,000 people about our Cycling Strategy last year, 94% of them backed our plans.

Most want us to connect the bike network quicker, so we’re working on safe bike links for more residents, workers and visitors to ride to their destinations.

We know that cycling doesn’t just benefit people who already ride. It’s one of the most efficient, reliable and sustainable ways of moving large numbers of people.

More people riding is good for business, the local environment and people’s health. It also improves community safety and social connectivity.

We’re now working on connecting Sydney’s bike network with overwhelming support from business leaders, local communities and commuters who ride into the inner city.

I’m excited about the future of cycling in Sydney and working with our community and the NSW Government to help more people travel by bike.

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