Mayor Ben Keneally,
This email is in regards to the post on social media (Facebook) on the 7th of August.
Do you cycle in our City? Whether you are a serious cyclist, a cycling commuter or simply a weekend bike rider I’d like to hear from you about what your vision is for cycling in our City. As part of the Vision 2040 project, I want to know how we can improve our cycle paths – where are the good ones? where are the gaps? where can we improve paths and examples of what is good and what isn’t so good.
Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective and experiences, it is very much appreciated.
Do you cycle in our City?
I do cycle in our city every day. I am a “serious cyclist”, a commuter and a Father who loves to go bike riding with the family.
I cycle on average over 300km per week, although I do own a car and a motorcycle, my preferred form of transport is by bicycle.
Whether you are a serious cyclist, a cycling commuter or simply a weekend bike rider I’d like to hear from you about what your vision is for cycling in our City.
I ride to North Strathfield every day for work, and most days train/ride with Randwick Botany cycling club (meeting at Centennial Park) before work, then commute to work from the city.
The family do not ride too often as it is dangerous to ride in the Botany area.
Having grown up in the Botany area, I have had two friends killed riding bicycles in Botany many years ago.
Where can we improve paths and examples of what is good and what isn’t so good
The route from Botany to Centennial Park is ok for me, but I refuse to allow our family to ride to Centennial Park as it is too dangerous from Botany. The most dangerous part to ride is from Botany to Banks Ave. The cycleway on Heffron Rd leads to nowhere and forces cyclists at various traffic control points into the flow of traffic.
The route I take home is along the Cooks River cycle way which I exit at the end of Coward Street, Mascot. It is at this point where my commute becomes dangerous. Coward Street is not easy to navigate as the road is in poor condition, and the heavy vehicles make it very distressing. There is a shared path on part of Coward which is more dangerous than riding on the road because of various driveways and pedestrians. Where a cycle lane is provided on Coward St there are speed humps that force cyclist into the traffic flow as there are planter boxes and large pot holes in the “cycle lane”.
Rather than ride along Sutherland St to Botany, I prefer to ride along Botany Road (in the bus lane), as I have almost been “doored” and hit by motorists leaving or entering their parking spots/driveways in Sutherland Street.
The Wentworth Avenue shared path is great, although it leads to riding illegally along the footpath, or forces the cyclist into the wrong side of Wentworth Ave at the eastern end.
Mayor, this area also makes it impossible for my family to access the Cooks River/Brighton le Sands cycleway on the weekends, unless we take two car trips to drop off all the bikes.
Our family rides occasionally to Sir Josephs Banks park, although we cannot get any further than the park.
We rode to La Perouse last summer, and it was a bit of a disaster as my kids were frightened trying to get there and back.
Where are the gaps?
- For city commuters, provide safe passage from Botany to Banks Ave or alternatively Wentworth Ave to Sutherland Street. However crossing Gardner’s Road to access Dunning Ave is also very dangerous.
- Coward Street needs serious attention with the number of near misses, I am bewildered there have not been more accidents here. (I am about to ride home and thinking about this road causes stress)
- Continue the cycleway along Qantas Dr to link up with Sir Joseph Banks park then onto La Perouse. This alternative would allow local families weekend cycling alternatives, and bringing trade to local businesses, via the Cooks River and Brighton cycleways.
- Developments of WestConnex at the end of Wentworth Ave and the Sydney Airport Ground Transport plan about to commence, so now is the time to include a cycling alternative for Botany families as it will be very expensive after these have been built.
What is in this for myself?
I feel apprehensive cycling in my own neighborhood because there are no safe alternatives. My wife would also ride to work if there was a safe cycling option for her to take.
At times my family fears for my safety cycling on the road when there are alternatives to cycling. Although I ride my bicycle for many positive reasons, too many to document here.
One of the main reasons I love cycling is because I feel I am contributing to my community, by saving the community money by not damaging infrastructure etc, supporting local businesses (which I would not do if I drove a car), and seeing my community less stressed and healthy.
I’d like to hear from you
I saw an invite some time ago for a local cycling advocacy group, Botany Bay Bikes. So I took time away from my family (as did other local people) to attend the first meeting to see how we could assist in any way. We have held two meetings now which have been quite enlightening, and it would be fantastic to see yourself and/or one of our council members attend also.
I am sure you would feel very welcome and be enlightened regarding cycling in our local community.
Thank you for your time, and if you wish to discuss anything further, please contact me on the details below.