Pitt Street leads the way with plans for a permanent cycleway

Pitt Street and Henderson Road will get permanent cycleways while other pop-up cycleways are extended for 2 years

Sydney’s pop-up cycleways will be kept in place for up to 2 years and 2 popular cycle routes will become permanent under plans approved by the City of Sydney.

The City is drawing up designs for permanent separated cycleways on Pitt Street in the CBD and Henderson Road, Railway Parade and Bridge Street in Erskineville. Concept designs for a cycleway link on Liverpool Street between Castlereagh and Elizabeth streets and the return of the popular College Street cycleway have also been given the green light. Across the greater Sydney, rider numbers are up by around 40% on pre-pandemic levels. The pop-up cycleways, built by the City of Sydney and Transport for NSW, provide important connections for people riding, offering a safe, easier alternative to public transport or trips by car.

The Pitt Street pop-up cycleway has seen a 500% increase in rider numbers since opening.

Monitoring and evaluation has shown the Pitt Street pop-up cycleway has been a stand out success, with around 6000 bike trips a week. The City has now drawn up plans to make the cycleway, and the expanded footpath and outdoor dining space, a permanent addition.

Expanded outdoor dining and footpath space will become a permanent fixture on Pitt Street under the proposed changes.

The remaining pop-up cycleways on City-controlled roads will stay in place for up to 2 years while further monitoring, consultation and evaluation takes place.

This includes:

  • Dunning Ave
  • Fitzroy Street
  • Moore Park Road

The decision follows unveiling of plans to build a new cycleway on Sydney’s Oxford Street east, connecting Taylor Square to Paddington Gates. This link on the eastern end of Oxford Street will join a planned cycleway on Oxford Street west, servicing Sydney's busiest bike route.

Embedded content: https://cityofsydney.wistia.com/medias/b3rj7poi28

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the success of the Pitt Street cycleway had driven the plan to make the pop-up cycleways permanent.

“The growth in people riding on the Pitt Street cycleway is unparalleled. Since the first week, the number of weekly bike trips increased by 500 per cent, with around 6,000 trips recorded each week,” the Lord Mayor said.

Sarah Imm uses the Pitt Street cycleway on her commute to Martin Place.

“The installation of the Pitt Street pop-up has also increased the space for people walking by allocating more footpath space. We’re seeing more outdoor dining and people have told us the area is a much nicer place to be.

“Before we installed the cycleway, nearly 90 per cent of people riding a bike on Pitt Street were using the footpath. Now we’re providing people with a real alternative and making the heart of the CBD safer for all.

City-based risk professional, Sarah Imm, rides to work from the inner west most days. She says the pop-up cycleways network has made a big difference for her and her family.

“The Pitt Street cycleway is fantastic and has really made my ride so much easier. Previously there was no real cycle artery through the city and you had to take a round-about route to get across the city,” Ms Imm said.

Sarah Imm has noticed more people riding bikes in regular clothes, showing a shift in bike riding culture.

She believes the pandemic and the pop-up cycleways have changed attitudes to bikes and people riding in Sydney.

“There are more people on bikes now – there are more women in nice clothes going to work, mums on cargo bikes shopping and kids riding to school. A real change has happened.

“I think people have greater awareness now that there are people using bikes to get around. I’m seeing more courteous behaviour in the city, which is a wonderful development, and I’m happy for my son to ride home from school on the cycleways.”

A free Sydney cycling map, including all pop-up and permanent cycleways, can be ordered from the City of Sydney’s website or download a digital copy. The City of Sydney also offers low-cost bike maintenance and cycling skills courses and free guided ride services to support new riders.

Posted . Last updated .

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