Cycleway to stay after council flips on decision to remove 5-month-old bike path

Cycleway to stay after council flips on decision to remove 5-month-old bike path
Image: Photo: Flickr.


Canada Bay Council has flip-flopped on a decision to remove an Inner West cycleway. The shock removal of a cycleway on Heath Street in Rodd Point had locals confused as the bike path was only installed 5 months ago.

Now, council is saying the plan is to focus on the modification of the cycleway, not its removal.

“The council plans to modify (not remove) the section of cycleway at Heath Street,” Canada Bay Council said in a statement.

Just a few weeks ago, council resolved to tear up the new cycleway due to resident complaints about traffic risks, low visibility, issues with car-parking and property access.

“The separated cycleway in Heath St be removed and replaced with a two-way mixed traffic arrangement as outlined in the attached plan,” a former statement from a traffic committee meeting read.

The Heath Street cycleway is part of a $7M investment to connect the Bay Run to Concord and improve active transport in the inner west.

Cyclists want cycleway to stay

Cyclists say Heath Street is wide enough to keep the cycleway. Photo: Bicycle NSW.

CEO of Bicycle NSW Peter McLean said that it “makes sense” to have a cycleway on Heath Street.

“Heath Street is a lot wider so [it] makes a lot of sense to have a cycleway there. Even the consultant reports that [the] council commissioned highlight that Heath Street is the best option for the cycle.”

McLean said the bungle over the new cycleway could put future projects at risk.

“It also puts at risk future grants because if councils waste taxpayers’ money, then they’re going to be more likely to give it to another Council next time,” Perter McLean has said.

President of the Canada Bay Bicycle User Group (BayBUG) Mike Botton agreed that council should keep the cycleway in place. He said Council’s report on the cycleway had some flaws.

“There weren’t really a lot of facts, or not a lot of research done about numbers, about speeds of cars, about the numbers of cyclists. It actually concluded that it would be safer for all users to remove the cycleway. It certainly wouldn’t be safer for cyclists.”

“The idea of building that cycleway from Concord to the Bay Run was to connect that western part of Sydney to the city for cycle communities,” Botton said.

“We feel that there is room for negotiation and there needs to be a mediator between Council and those residents to try and arrive at a solution that is a compromise and bring them to understand that this kind of infrastructure is for the benefit of the whole community.”

City Hub asked what message the planned removal of the brand-new cycleway sent to the community.

Botton answered, “It clearly says that council isn’t supportive of active transport as an alternative to using cars.”

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