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Cycling in Willoughby

by Willoughby Admin, over 7 years ago

We would like to hear your feedback on the following questions:

  • How do you feel about cycling?
  • Do you currently ride a bike in Willoughby?
  • Is there anything Council can do to encourage you to cycle more?
  • Would you support Council providing more funding for cycling infrastructure?
  • Is there anything that discourages you from cycling in Willoughby? 

We would like to hear your feedback on the following questions:

  • How do you feel about cycling?
  • Do you currently ride a bike in Willoughby?
  • Is there anything Council can do to encourage you to cycle more?
  • Would you support Council providing more funding for cycling infrastructure?
  • Is there anything that discourages you from cycling in Willoughby? 

To fill out our Cyling Survey follow the link in the 'External Links' section of the forum

This consultation has concluded.

  • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
    We are currently updating the Willoughby Bike Plan. As part of this we are conducting community consultation through a variety of methods. We would love to hear what you think about cycling in Willoughby and what we can do to improve it. Please let us know where you currently ride, how often and what sort of facilities you would like to see in the local area. Do you commute to work, ride to the shops or just ride for fun? If you don’t currently ride a bike please tell us what would make you more likely to ride? All feedback we receive will be considered as part of the Bike Plan review.
    • EvaW over 7 years ago
      I don't have a bicycle - and I'm not encouraged to get one because of the traffic on Hampden Rd in Artarmon, even if there is a cycle path, unless they were separated with a barrier, I would not use it. They do cycle paths so much better in Europe. In Norway, where dual carriageways are rare because of the difficult terrain, on some highways which could have accommodated dual carriageways, they have opted for dividing the road into two lanes for cars and a third lane dedicated to bicycles which is separated from the highway by median strips or barriers. By comparison, the approach to cycle paths here are too half-hearted. I can understand why some cyclists prefer to use the footpath, which, strictly, for adults (unless supervising a child) is against the traffic rules. And sharing a footpath or cycle path with pedestrians whether it is against traffic rules or not, is not ideal.
      • Joe over 7 years ago
        Hi EvaWPlease check out my Youtube channel; youtube.com/CyclingWilloughby, I have done some on-road video recordings of the road conditions in Willoughby, and I also agree with you that the cycle lanes here are not very well thought out, simple painted white stripes are not adequate.I had planned to do a video recording on Hampden Road all the way through Herbert Street, i.e. from Artarmon Station to St Leonards Station, if you're interested in giving a few feedback on the video, feel free to visit my youtube page anytime.
        • EvaW over 7 years ago
          Thanks Joe,I've already come across your YouTube channel and have linked a couple of your videos to the Artarmon Progress Association Facebook site (feel free to 'like' it :-). You'll find my comment there on your latest video from Castlecrag to Willoughby. Instead of a cycle lane on each side of the road - they could build a separate two-way cycleway on one side and only allow parking on the other side. Let me know when you've done Hampden Rd video and I link it to the APA site.
          • Joe over 7 years ago
            Hi EvaWI have done the Hampden Road video, please feel free to comment on it, only by riding on the road will I know its suitability for potential ordinary cyclists, and my conclusion of the road is that it's ok for experienced cyclist, but there are some flawed plannings , not recommended for any beginners of commuting cyclist. I hope some changes will introduce someday in the future.
            • EvaW over 7 years ago
              Thanks Joe, I was interesting in your comments that the cycle paths along Hampden Rd in Artarmon are unsuitable for beginners or commuting cyclists. I certainly would not never even try it - as you say the they'r too disjointed and right out dangerous at places. The green paint on the crest of Hampden Rd is a joke I thought. It will be interesting what the council's response to this will be. I agree with you that if they're serious about it, a separate cycleway is needed. I've linked the video to the APA facebook page.
  • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
  • Andrew over 7 years ago
    One of the great things about cycling in Willoughby is the relatively good access via tacks and quiet streets to the city, so that cycling is a viable alternative to public transport for those who live here and work there (and vice versa). Its just the right distance, with the right amount of hills, that you get some good cardiac exercise each way (though I know some for whom it is not far enough). Would be good to have a ramp onto the bridge, though!Another great local thing is Lane Cove National Park, which is a pretty safe place (especially when the gates are closed) to cycle, and can be a good spot to get back into it if your cycling skills or fitness levels are not too good.A lot more more people could cycle to work from Willoughby than currently do.
  • deco over 7 years ago
    Cycling in Willoughby is great, although there are still some danger areas. Distracted drivers, lots of entries and exits to car parks, and the traffic in the Chatswood area (particularly along the narrow section of Victoria Street where all the shops are) has high pedestrian traffic, buses and narrow lanes can be hazardous. I think there needs to be some more thought about how to calm traffic in high pedestrian areas, or better still, remove it all together. The off street bike path running through to Naremburn is fantastic, although a little narrow in some places (particularly sections of the path where there are metal safety bars protruding into the pathway). Also some sharp corners to negotiate (eg. where bike lane from Chatswood joins up with the bike lane which runs between Naremburn / Lane Cove. Even at slow speed, it is difficult to negotiate. More separated cycleways and shared paths would be most welcome. One last suggestion, it would be really good if the bike map for the Northern Sydney area (which includes Willoughby) used the same legend / symbols as the bike map for the south city area. We need to start thinking about the bike network and connections used by commuters, as well as pleasant recreational routes. A consistent approach to mapping would certainly help.
    • AlisonJ over 7 years ago
      Deco, I agree about the need for consistency in using the same legend for bike maps but it's actually the City that decided to go with a different legend. The Northern Sydney map has been around since 2006 (originally as the "Commuting to Chatswood by Bicycle" map) and while other Councils have decided to also use the Sydway base map each Council has made the legend markings slightly different. This is something we will follow up and try to co-ordinate a consistent approach. Great suggestion!
    • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
      I am absolutely amazed that someone thinks cycling in Willoughby is great !!! Along with all the other North Shore councils next to nothing in infrastructure for safe cycling has been provided. Try riding from Harbour Bridge to Hornsby . That is not a long way . But except early Sunday morning it is very dangerous . Councils like to produce maps with alleged routes but it is all eyewash.
  • Christoph over 7 years ago
    Compared to other Sydney areas, Willoughby has done a lot for cyclists. However, living on the western side of Chatswood (De Villiers Ave) means I have to cross Pacific Hw quite often. Instead of waiting at the traffic light I suggest builiding a subway for pedestrians and cyclists from Moriarty St to Nelson St - without stairs!. (Eventually I would think part of Pacific Hw has to go into the ground. I suspect 50-60% of the traffic is just passing through.)I cycle to work (in Randwick!) nearly every day. At the moment, I go Moriarty Rd, Pacific Hw on the Western side on the foot path, Mowbray Rd on the footpath, Elizbeth St, Coree Rd, Shepherd Rd, Weedon Rd to finally reach the shared path called Cordia Way (on Google). The subway would help to avoid going on the footpath. If Nelson St could be used for cyclilng the next problem is Orchard St where motorists are often not friendly to cyclists, especially in the morning! A dedicated bikepath would definitely help.
  • Eddy over 7 years ago
    I would love to cycle. I would love everyone else to ditch their cars and cycle with me. It would be a happy, joyous place.I dont have a bike, though having just bought my 6 year old one I need something to keep up. AND Ive finally got to that age where I start thinking about my health. Im tempted.But I am scared witless of the traffic around here. Its hard enough being a pedestrian. What would entice me to buy a bike and cycle? Nothing short of dedicated bike lanes Im afraid. Im glad there are local parks with circuits for the kids - though the popularity of using them for evening strolls creates a little conflict for my wobbly son. I would support Council directing more rates to cycling infrastructure but I suspect what Im after is far too costly.
  • AndrewP over 7 years ago
    Off Road Cycle PathsThe existing cycle paths are generally very good though some are in need of repair. A big problem exists after heavy rain where the paths are very slippery with old, dead leaves and in some areas run off soil/sand. There needs to be regular repair/cleaning of existing infrastructure.
  • AndrewP over 7 years ago
    On Road Cycle Paths.I don't like them! They are always in the car door opening zone, they are usually in the region of the road that is in worst repair and with drains (and other obstacles). Painting a white line down the road seems to give motorists the 'security' of an imaginary barrier that somehow protects the cyclists and this results in motorists taking less care, driving too close and too fast. Motorists turning left across on-road cycle paths often neglect to look for bicycles. These bike paths enforce the prevailing attitude that cyclists are 'second class citizens' on the road and they should be kept out of the way. Let cyclists ride where it's safer - this is often in the centre of the lane. Increasing the number of cyclists requires an attitude change from all motorists (most adults who don't ride say it is far too dangerous because of the cars). If you want to create cycle friendly zones then make areas with bicycle priority - the easiest way of doing this is by significantly reducing the speed limit in these areas.
  • Anna over 7 years ago
    I'd read somewhere that the true measure of whether a community regards cycling as safe is when you see equals numbers of women and men cycling. This is certainly not in evidence yet in Willoughby.As a woman I would lie to ride my bike for recreation in a safe environment, and also to run errands in the neighbourhood such a shopping, going to the library, etc. I really cannot imagine feeling safe on the road until we have separated bike pathways in Willoughby. For the moment I only go cycling if I can persuade one of my kids to come with me - being under 12, they give me the ability to ride on the footpaths. having said that, I also see quite a few women riding bicycles (slowly) on their own on the footpaths. I really cannot see what is wrong with this, as long as the speed is only slightly faster than that of the pedestrians, and they stick to rarely frequented streets.If the council cannot provide separated pathways throughout the municipality, can we at least have them near and around Chatswood? The volume of traffic and the number of distractions for the drivers make bicycling around Chatswood particularly unsafe - and yet this is where a lot of people want to go on their bicycles because they want to go shopping, or to the library.Perhaps the final thing to say is that I feel there a 2 distinct groups of cyclists whose needs are very different:1 - Sport cyclists who go very fast, and would like to be on the road as they can keep up with traffic and want few distractions2 - Occasional cyclists who use cycling for getting to places or recreation as a family, and who value safety above all and don't mind (in fact prefer!) going at slow speeds, dismounting at crossings etc. I think the biggest growth in cycling can come from Group #2 if their safety fears can be overcome, and this is the group the council should concentrate on.
  • Joe over 7 years ago
    Hi EveryoneI have created a Youtube channel dedicate to the promotion of cycling as local commuting transportation, encourage local residents of Willoughby to live a sustainable and healthy lifestyle in Willoughby City, ditch their cars and ride their bikes to weekend shopping and entertainment in Chatswood CBD. Currently I have not uploaded any videos yet, but here are some of the things that I will do; I myself will conduct a field analysis i.e. video documenting the condition of some ideal roads for cycleways.Two method of this video documenting is used;1) A Camera clamp on the head tube of the bike, recording the on road cycling journey in Willoughby roads ideal for cycling, to capture the sense of how it feels like in the perception of cyclists riding on these roads.2) A stationary video recording of the weekend traffic conditions at the intersections of the major and minor Willoughby roads.Raw videos will be edited by me to capture the element of considerations for the cycle plan, and shall be uploaded onto Youtube, which both council members and local residents who have access to internet can review the videos and share their views on the video comments.Here is the website: www.youtube.com/cyclingwilloughby. Please check it out and subscribe for future videos, I will be producing the road videos within a week.
  • Anelle over 7 years ago
    We don't own a car and are reliant on public transport and our bicycles. My husband cycles to work (from Roseville to Ultimo). He enjoys the scenic and generally safe route. The only trouble spot for him is a short distance on Pacific highway.The other comments he has is that the cycle routes are not clearly signposted. It is easy to lose the way. It also appears that the cycle routes / suggested routes do not form a continuous route. For some sections he has to find his own way.I use a bike trailer for my 2 and half year old son and am by now used to people staring and making mostly surprised and positive comments. It seems that the existence of a bike trailer is not well known. It is a great way of getting to the shops, library, playgroups, parks and friends.I often cycle on the footpath, for it is the only place I feel safe. I share AndrewP 's comment about the on road cycle lanes. They are dangerous for many motorists do not check that the path is clear before opening the door and they are the worst part of the road.Having more parking spaces for bicycles would be nice, especially if they allow for a bike trailer. Another request / suggestion would be for public transport to be more accessible for bikes. Bike racks on trains and busses would allow us to venture even further out and might get more people to cycle.
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Would also be nice to see more bicycle parkings in or near the train station.
    • dajpaman over 7 years ago
      I live in Killara and work in Chatswood and would love to ride to work every day however the problem is that either I ride on the Pacific Highway which freaks me out or ride on the footpath which is dangerous with cars reversing out of driveways or I ride back of Killara , Lindfield , Roseville , up many hills and arrive sweated through at work - no showers ! Would love to ride straight down the Pacific Highwayinstead but it is not possible unless you are willing to risk a major injury with a fruitcake impatient car driver.
  • Joe over 7 years ago
    Hi AllIf anyone would like me to do a video documenting of the street which you're residing, please feel free to put any request for me, I am committed to volunteer for promoting cycling in Willoughby, as I will be doing this as my second job in my spare time!
  • Yenda over 7 years ago
    I live near the cycle way near Artarmon Reserve and sometimes walk along the shared route from near Channel 9 to Reserve Road or through the Bicentennial Park. I love having the opportunity to walk along a pleasant route, and to have a quicker walk to Reserve Road than through the streets.However, I am a bit nervous where there are shared pathways, and much prefer a separate walking lane. I often don't hear bicycles behind me, and not every cyclist rings a bell. Also the walking lanes are so narrow that if walking in company we have to walk single file.Please don't forget pedestrians and pedestrian safety as well.More ramps onto the cycle way might encourage more people to use it. From the Channel 9 area it is a bit of a distance to access it.I am a failed cyclist - have a bike that I am not confident to ride. A second factor is that even if I could get back on the bike I am not willing to ride through the streets to access the cycle way - I would be one of the second group mentioned in an earlier post of recreational riders.
  • green hornet over 7 years ago
    To encourage cycling as a viable form of transport it would be great to see the council put in place decent bike friendly commuter routes. Currently commuting into the city (ie southbound from willoughby) takes cyclists from the naremburn shops onto a narrrow section of footpath alongside the warringah freeway, where the traffic is moving at 80kmph. So whilst 'segregated' there is no protection/fence/barrier from this fast moving traffic. At the end of this strip cyclists have to cross over three lanes of traffic to get onto the West street off ramp. Putting in place commuter bike routes which aren't direct, take you unnecessarily up hills or through bike danger zones (ie: poor surfaces, etc) or dangerous won't encourage people to take up cycling. Council needs to understand and consider the needs/desires of different cyclists, riding a bike to work is very different to a sunday ride with the family and kids.
    • apexst over 7 years ago
      I regulary ride to work in the city and try to avoid this Warringah Freeway section as much as possible, simply because it feels so dangerous especially heading towards the traffic. The alternate route is via Bicentenial Reserve and Quarry St and is an extra kilometre, much steeper, but feels significantly safer. Adding a barrier would be a great start, moving the street lights would help as well.
      • AndrewP over 7 years ago
        I also regularly ride and avoid the Warringah freeway section - why would anyone put a cycle path immediately adjacent to a freeway, with no barrier, in poor condition and have regular light poles (to light the road for cars) that narrow the path to make it dangerous (most cyclists prefer to ride on the 'wrong' side of these poles (heading west) into oncoming cycle traffic rather than ride closer to the motorised traffic)?I use Willoughby Road heading South from Naremburn (busy but wide road) then left onto Atchison St then through St Thomas' rest park (take care for other park users & unleashed dogs) and onto West Street.
      • laurel+squark over 7 years ago
        This is also my preferred route, then right onto West St. I avoid the Naremburn route at all costs. The overpass is also a little tricky for new riders on road bikes!
  • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
    I;m amazed Willoughby has a Bike Plan ! Where is it ? What is it ? All North Shore councils are dragging the chain in the provision of safe biking paths. Other places are streets ahead ( couldn't resist that). Bike ownership on the N.S. is quite substantial but it's best to go elsewhere for safe rides.Those who want to ride in the traffic will sooner or later end up in hospital or the morgue. Being in the right doesn't help if you have a collision with cars etc . You have no protection.
  • apexst over 7 years ago
    I regularly ride to work in the city. I was originally encouraged to start riding because of the dedicated cycleways in the city. So I am a strong supporter of separate cycle ways as it creates a greater sense of safety and encourages would-be riders to give it a go. The missing link for me now is the Harbour Link project between Naremburn and the Harbour Bridge. I would urge the council to advocate for this project to go ahead. I believe it will result in significant increase in cyclying in Willougby.
    • laurel+squark over 7 years ago
      Agree, It think this would be a high priority. The dangerous bit currently is getting from West St through North Sydney. I too would strongly support the council showing leadership in progressing this project.
      • dajpaman over 7 years ago
        Yes I agree , travelling down Mount Street is terrifying in traffic - Always feel relieved after I get to Milsons' Point , however the round about just before , is also intimidating especially when cars enter it aggressively. All Councils need to get together to work out a safe solution. Off road cycleways away from cars I think maybe the only solution.
    • Rowan Brown over 7 years ago
      I fully agree. I believe the Harbour Link project would at least double the amount of cycling into the city. I live in Castlecrag. The only reason I don't cycle to work is the fear of being cleaned up by a car door opening while riding through North Sydney. A safe, traffic-light-free passage through North Sydney would be a huge incentive for me to ride. I could then get fit and avoid the jam-up of buses into Wynyard, too.
    • SP! over 7 years ago
      I couldn't agree more. The North Sydney stretch is the problem for many of us who would otherwise love to ride to work. To what extent is Council working collaboratively with North Sydney on this?
      • AlisonJ over 7 years ago
        North Sydney Council have been advocating to connect Naremburn to the Harbour Bridge for many years and this missing link is currently marked as a priority route on the NSW Bike Plan. However, being a regional route it is the responsibility of the state government. North Sydney Council do not have the resources to implement this route however they continue to work with the RMS (formerly the RTA) to progress this project. This is of course supported by Willoughby Council.
  • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
    Having seen the council's Bike Plan all I can say is it is typical government humbug . Drawing coloured lines on a map of existing roads does not make safe cycling paths.I can ride from Windsor to Parramatta on a safe path , from there to Warwick Farm , from Meadowbank to Cronulla and many other routes too numerous to list , but what can you do safely away from motor traffic on the North Shore ? Very little. The Epping Rd pathway( not provided by a council) comes to a grinding halt at nowhere . There is no way to go up the Pacific Highway to Hornsby. There are no offroad routes East West across the Willoughby council area or any other North Shore area. There is no safe way to get to the coast.Riding around any North Shore council areas is very risky .I do not expect to see any change of attitude.
  • Joe over 7 years ago
    Just wondering if the Council could consider adding bicycle ramps on the side of the stairs around and inside Chatswood station, that way cyclists can push their bikes up or down the stairs, instead of carrying the big piece of metal up and down the station, or waiting to use the lift which is mainly reserve for people with needs i.e. elderly, mother with baby cart and the people with disabilities, or worst of all, holding onto their bikes on the escalators?Cheers
  • Joe over 7 years ago
    Bike racks suggestion; on entering Victoria Ave from Neridah Street, there are a few good spots to add some bike racks, residents from South side of Victoria Ave could easily park their bikes there, cross the road straight toward Chatswood chase, while north of Victoria Ave resident already have access to bikes racks on Havilah Street, the presence of these bike racks will surely attract more people i.e. potential commuting bikers using them.
  • arie_van over 7 years ago
    I am in favour of bicycle paths, having lived in the Netherlands I have experienced the benefit. I do wonder about the wisdom of mixing bicycles and pedestrians on the same path. Mixing commuting, recreational riding, walkers and dogs on the same narrow path (Naremburn) does not work well, to say the least. Having bike paths on road next to the right side of cars is dangerous. Not many motorists know to look out for bikers before opening their door.I have asked at a number of shopping centres about secure bike parking. No response even though they spend millions on parking ........ for cars!It would be great to have council involved in some heavy duty education programs and consider the above problems.Bike riding is good for the environment and our health and is a very enjoyable activity.
  • apexst over 7 years ago
    I would like to see a off road bike path which is safe for school children between Naremburn and Cammeray School. The State Government says children in year 3 or over should be able to make their own way to school, meaning a child in Naremburn is not covered by the Student Travel Scheme to attend Cammeray school. The missing part of the bike is from the start of Dawson St to Cammeray School is not suitable for children. There would be a need be a set of bike lights across Miller StIdeally the Council bike plan should look to ensure local schools are accessible by a number of off-road bike lanes in various directions to at least 1.6kms for primary school and 2kms for secondary schools (ie the state Student Travel Scheme exclusion zones).
  • AndrewP over 7 years ago
    The council have just mowed the grass along the flat rock creek track - and left loose grass all over the path. It's dangerous now and will only become worse as it rots. Bike path planning needs to factor in maintenance and ongoing safety issues.
  • SP! over 7 years ago
    The issue for in-Willoughby trips (or legs of trips) is bike parking/storage (eg for helmets). I've noticed many people using street parking and then catching city-bound buses from Eastern Valley Way - and perhaps some of this traffic might be alleviated if there was bike storage available at highly frequented transport nodes (for this one, a car park backs right onto the bus stop - or space could be found in the underused Quadrangle carpark. It would be easy to put some bike lockers (or even bike rails) in either of those.
  • Chatswood Mall Users over 7 years ago
    User: AnonDoes anyone know of any bike groups for beginners and over 55's in the area?
  • Chatswood Mall Users over 7 years ago
    User: Anon (Female)I don't ride but I support cycling as it's a healthy, cheap mode of transport. Shared paths are ok if people are considerate. Otherwise there needs to be a level of seperation. Would need something like the facilities at Olympic Park to make me ride more - seperated off road facilities through a pleasant area.
  • Chatswood Mall Users over 7 years ago
    User: Anon (Male, Artarmon)I would like to ride from Artarmon to Chatswood for work but I've never tried it yet. There is no bike path between Artarmon and Chatswood and I think it would be scary to ride a bike on the road at night in the dark.
  • Chatswood Mall Users over 7 years ago
    Anon (male, Chatswood)It would be cool if there was hire/free bikes available in Chatswood where I could ride around Chatswood if I'm feeling too lazy to walk.
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      I actually had an idea of bike share scheme like the one in Melbourne, especially a few cargo bikes, that way local residents can ride to and from shopping malls back home while carrying loads of their stuff back home, this will certainly reduce local residents dependence on cars to do their local shopping, reduce local traffic congestion, and reduce some of the stress on local parkings in the weekends, allowing people from far away suburbs to get much easier parking access here, greater inflow of other suburb's visitors is also good for local business.
  • Chatswood Mall Users over 7 years ago
    Anon (Male from Chatswood)I think the Council should promote cycling as a way of reducing traffic congestion around Chatswood. I don't ride much at the moment as i live close enough to walk to Chatswood but I have done in the past. I think shared paths would be good in some areas but I'm fine with the painted cycle lanes as they are useful for cyclists to be able to follow them to find the way to a destination.
  • Doc over 7 years ago
    The cycling culture seems to be dominated by Lycra, expensive racing bikes, and a competition among those in no observable event. It seems very few hop on a bike and enjoy a leisurely ride.Cycling should be a gentle and peaceful event as it is in other parts of the world, where any attire is observed silently and politely gliding by.Our cycling culture should generate an inclusive, friendly spirit. Therefore action needs to be taken to reduce its competitiveness and provide safe cycle ways so it is not inherently dangerous.
    • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
      There are a lot of people who go for non lycra recreation rides . Trouble is the best places are not on the North Shore.Councils elsewhere have provided some good safe rides.
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Agree. I personally owns 2 bikes, one commuting hybrid bike and one Dutch style sit-up bike. I ride my Dutch bike to do shopping, and my hybrid bike to school or work. Most of the time, I wear regular clothes, and in summer I just wear my slippers while riding.Before I start cycling, I was also quite shy that I may not seen to be "fit" as cyclist on the road because of not wearing lycra with an ultra light carbon bike, nowadays I just think about doing what's practical for me.If I could overcome that experience, I strongly believe other people can too. As an individual, I'm taking that action to diversify the image of cyclist in the mind of the people, hopefully attract their curiosity and inspire them to give cycling a go.
    • chrisl22 over 7 years ago
      Most cities have the type of cyclists that they deserve. Sydney has very high traffic speeds compared to other developed countries, aggressive drivers and no facilities for cyclists. Therefore the only cyclists that exist in this situation are those that ride quickly and aggressively. Improve the situation for cyclists by building separated infrastructure and slowing down the traffic and the leisure cyclists will return.
    • laurel+squark over 7 years ago
      I agree in some parts, lycra does dominate but I disagree with the idea that all cyclists are in a competition. There are many friendly and approachable group who may be in lycra but still ride for leisure. As a female I am in the minority of cyclists on the road but I have joined a club that is helpful, inclusive and friendly where safety is the priority. So please don't judge all by this assumption. I feel much safer with my lycra clad colleagues on expensive racing bikes as well look after each other on our leisurely rides (at 6am admitidly) . We are happy to look after new comers and beginners too :) The only competition is that he who gets to the coffee shop first has to order. As Chris rightly points out though, Sydney traffic doesn't favour a leisurely ride. You are safest when riding on busy roads to keep with the flow of traffic and in some respects riding defensively. Its safer to assume no car ever sees you.
  • chrisl22 over 7 years ago
    I think the council should really concentrate on improving cycle access to the Chatswood shopping area. There are a huge number of people that live within a very short distance which produces a potential to shift a lot of people out of their cars and onto bicycles. Additionally much of this area is relatively flat and also suffers from significant congestion. The council should prioritise building completely separated bicycle paths over on-road bike lanes because of the significant safety benefit. A white line on the road does not provide any protection from reckless motorists and typically attract cars illegally parking on them. The other area that should be focused on is constructing separated cycle paths radiating around schools. Most school children live quite close to their school and so have very few reasons why they cannot cycle. A recent article in the sydney morning herald has indicated that schools in the city adjacent to separated cycling infrastructure are getting very significant numbers of children cycling to school. This would also significantly reduce congestion in and around schools.
  • mestjm over 7 years ago
    The best and safest cycling infrastructure is that which allows the cyclist to avoid any interaction with motorists (off road cycle lanes). This is what the ultimate aim should be for Willoughby Council. In the mean time, I have taken the liberty to include in this comment some remarks that I made in the on-line survey that I recently completed for everyone's reading pleasure (or displeasure as it were!)Roads that I feel uncomfortable and the least safe on are:1. Pacific Highway Nth Sydney from Middlemiss St up to Miller St.2. Smith St, High St, West St.In fact any on-road cycle lane that is adjacent to parked cars is dangerous due to the likelihood of being "doored".Instead of having the bicycle symbol drawn in the on-road cycle lane, it would be better if the white line separating the bicycle lane and the road proper was erased and the bicycle symbol was drawn in the middle of the road (at least for the sections of the route that are either flat or on a decline where cyclists can travel at between 30 - 50 km/hr; for up hill sections of a given route, it makes more sense to place the on road cycle lane on the left hand side of the cars (instead of the right) so that the cyclist is riding between the kerb and the parked car (as opposed to the parked car and the traffic that is moving at speed). This would reduce the likelihood of being doored and even if it were to occur in this case, the accident is unlikely to be fatal, or as serious, as one would not be knocked into the path of other cars that are moving at speed.If the bicycle symbol was in the middle of the road and the white line that is used to demarcate the on-road cycle lane and the road proper was removed, for at least flat / down hill sections of the road, then when I am taking the lane (as I was advised to when I did the CoS cycling skills course and that I agree with), the motorists, who by and large are uneducated about the perils of riding a bike in the door zone, would not become as irate at the sight of me in front of them, as they currently do, for not using the "bike" lane. They would not become irate as they would be given a clear message that cyclists are entitled to be in the middle of the road. On this point of motorist education, it also would be invaluable if there were more signs on all on-road cycle routes whose purpose was to educate motorists about the rights of cyclists as legitimate & vulnerable road users. Signs such as:1. "Cyclists are legally entitled to ride in the middle of this road"2. "Threatening a cyclist with your vehicle is a serious criminal offence"3. "Please allow 1 metre when overtaking cyclists"4. "Tailgating a cyclist and beeping your horn is a criminal offence"5. "Every cyclist is someone's parent / child too"Signs with these messages or similar should be ubiquitous along all on-road cycle routes.The other point that I would like to make relates to speed limits. Any on-road cycle route should have a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr that is enforced strictly. Even if this means installing speed humps every 100 metres or so, leaving a small half a metre gap in the middle of the hump to allow cyclists to travel through the hump rather than over (after all, it is not the cyclist who needs to be slowed down on these routes).Also, we need to do something about making it safer for children to be able to ride a bike to school (I note that the current bike plan does not list Castle Cove Public School (CCPS) as one of the schools in the LGA - please include when revising the bike plan). The footpaths need to widened and made safe for children to ride to school. At the moment, I would not allow my child to ride to CCPS as at times the footpath is very narrow leading to having to ride very close to the road. The benefits of getting children to ride to school are well documented and do not need to be repeated here.I believe that implementing my suggestions above will make a huge difference to the real and perceived risk that cycling represents to current & prospective cyclists. This will result in an increase in the number of cyclists (which in turn increases safety due to the safety in numbers effect), benefiting the local community. If Willoughby Council can do this, there is an opportunity to take the lead and move towards creating a more cycle friendly community that will be the envy of other councils. So, what are we waiting for?The bottom line is that the reason there are not more people cycling is they are frightened of cars (and with good reason). Riding with cars on the road is not for the faint hearted and this needs to be addressed by building infrastructure that separates cars from cyclists or reduces the risk dramatically for situations where the interaction between cars and cyclists is unavoidable.On the point of dooring, there have been some interesting cases in the press recently where fatal incidents have occurred and judges have clearly seen the misgivings of the inherently unsafe amenity that on-road bike lanes provide. To the extent that the judges have stated that local government can and will be held liable for accidents caused by dooring events, as it is abundantly clear that they are unsafe and there are now many well documented examples demonstrating this fact, but the average punter does not know this and is lulled into a false sense of security by those responsible for designing and installing such infrastructure, thinking that they are safe. When in fact, it is safer to take the lane and be in clear site of the driver behind you which in turn eliminates any possibility of being doored. I can refer you to such judgements in at least one recent example, should you require it. I am providing this information in an attempt to alert my local government about the possible liabilities that exist for not only existing on-road cycle lanes but also any proposed new infrastructure in the hope that I might influence the outcome for not only my safety but also for that of my local community.
    • mestjm over 7 years ago
      Forgot to also throw my hat in the ring for further co-operation between North Sydney and Willoughby Councils to expedite a safe and convenient (read: not too undulating) return route between the Harbour Bridge and Chatswood, with options to exit the route along the way to join up with other safe routes to other nearby suburbs (Northbridge, Castlecrag, Middle and Castle Cove etc).
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Hi Mestjm"Castle Cove Public School (CCPS) as one of the schools in the LGA - please include when revising the bike plan). The footpaths need to widened and made safe for children to ride to school. At the moment, I would not allow my child to ride to CCPS as at times the footpath is very narrow leading to having to ride very close to the road. "I have created a Youtube account' youtube.com/CyclingWilloughby, and had been volunteering to video documenting the on-road condition of some major Willoughby roads with or with no bicycle lanes. Would you like me to do a few videos for your concerned road too? If so, please provide me the name of the street, and I will be happy to go visit your local roads.
    • chrisl22 over 7 years ago
      Mestjm I disagree about putting bike symbols in the middle of roads. This symbols do absolutely nothing for cyclist safety. Ryde council especially has put many of these around but it does not seem to have any real effect. They also subtly imply that cyclists should not be using any road that does not have a bicycle symbol on it. If cycle lanes do have to be installed on road then they should be put closest to the gutter with car parking inbetween the cycle lane and the main traffic lane. I have read figures that show only 10% of car journeys involve a car passenger while obviously every journey requires a driver. Using the parked cars to protect the cycle lane significantly increases safety to cycling by reducing the possibility of being doored and also putting in place a barrier to reckless drivers who are unable to stay within their lane.
      • mestjm over 7 years ago
        I take your point about the bike symbols. However, I think that you have taken the comment in isolation to the rest of what I have written. I think you would agree that it would be better to have the symbol in the middle of the road and do away with the on-road cycle lane (ie. erase the line that separates the road proper from the on-road cycle lane and remove the bike symbol from this aritificially constructed and dangerous "lane"), provided it was done in concert with most if not all of the other initiatives that I described. I was not advocating for moving the bike symbol alone and I thought that I made this pretty obvious in my comment.I would prefer to be in the middle of the road where the road is flat or sloping down as I could quite easily keep up with traffic where the speed limit is 30 kph. For the sections of the road that are sloping up, I agree with having the cycle lane being between the kerb and parked cars (as I described in my original comment yesterday).
      • apexst over 7 years ago
        Chris, I agree with your all points. I did want to point out the only exception being for one way streets where the separating cycle lanes from the main traffic lane using parked cars is more dangerous when cars and pedestrians cross the cycle between the parked cars they don't see on coming cyclists and vice versa. Ideally, the cycle lanes should be separate by a small barrier or footpath.
  • Downunder over 7 years ago
    Hi to AllIve been riding into the city for 21 years when Merlin St. was a 24 hour parking area(I would park my car and ride down Bent St.)The City did not have any bike paths back then.I am currently riding in Willoughby.I would love to see more funding for cycle infrastructureAll bike paths must connect all different councils should work together to see this happens e.g Warringah Council (through Forestville area) to say the Northern Beaches along Beacon hill road.Some people do like to take the scenic route and others go to work and it is "Time critical" and must take the shortest route e.g Hampden road along pacific Highway.Bicycle way stops (Bicyclists have not learn't how to fly).There should be a shared path between cyclists/traffic/pedestrians into the city.Safety would encourage me to cycle more and MORE bicycle paths that interconnectThanks
  • Downunder over 7 years ago
    S.M.H Parents put the brakes on children riding their bikes to schoolMATTHEW MOOREMarch 21, 2012 Comments 117The number of children who walk, cycle or take public transport to school has fallen to new lows.AUSTRALIAN children are now among the most ''cosseted'' and ''chauffeured'' in the world, with a study showing more than 60 per cent are driven to and from school as the numbers who walk, cycle and take public transport fall to new lows.A Heart Foundation survey of how today's young Australians get to and from primary and high school shows a complete reversal in transport use has taken place in the past 40 years.A 1970 study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that 84 per cent of all students in primary school, high school, university and TAFE travelled by public transport, walking and cycling, with just 16 per cent using cars. The new study shows that 63 per cent are driven to and from school while active transport use has plummeted.Precise comparisons of student travel have become impossible since the ABS stopped its regular surveys, but the Heart Foundation study provides dramatic evidence it says helps explain why Australia has become one of the world's most obese nations.The nationwide study of 1000 parents, which allowed them to nominate multiple transport modes, found 63 per cent said their children travelled by car, 25 per cent said walking, 21 per cent said public transport, 11 per cent said bikes and 3 per cent said other means.Dr Jan Garrard, an expert in health promotion at Deakin University, said the results showed Australian children were now some of the most cosseted and chauffeured in the world and recent research in Victoria said the trend away from active transport appeared to be still under way.The survey, co-sponsored by the Cycling Promotion Fund, found safety concerns were the major reason parents would not allow children to ride a bike to school, with 51 per cent of parents citing ''personal safety''.Traffic worries were cited by 50 per cent, 44 per cent were concerned about intersections and crossings and 42 per cent named the speed of traffic as the reason they would not let children ride to school.Dr Garrard said some of the dangers parents felt were not based on sound evidence.''There's been an increase in parents' perceptions of the danger, including where a child is kidnapped in Portugal, the UK or the USA, suddenly everybody knows about it around the world. But you could argue the greatest risk is sitting at home eating chips because that will probably do them more harm in the long run,'' she said.The chief executive of the Heart Foundation, Lyn Roberts, said the survey showed nearly two-thirds of parents would let their children ride to school if there were safe routes and that building separated cycleways was a critical way to encourage children to ride and improve health levels.''We urge all levels of government to invest to ensure the next generation is able to adopt healthy and active options for their daily trip to school,'' she said.''Cycling to school is clearly something that children are able to do and parents want to encourage, but they're being let down by a lack of safe cycle paths. We're missing a huge opportunity to tackle childhood obesity, reduce carbon emissions and ease road congestion.''Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/parents-put-the-brakes-on-children-riding-their-bikes-to-school-20120320-1vi0f.html#ixzz1pt09YUft
  • Darius over 7 years ago
    Hi AllWe are really grateful for all of the great feedback and input you are providing on Cycling in Willoughby. This feedback along with the survey will be considered as we update the Willoughby Bike Plan. Feel free to keep up the discussion and if there is any further information you would like from Council please let us know. Thanks!
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    I was recently in Manly on a Saturday at lunch time. It was a pleasure to see families, tourists , singles & couples enjoying cycling around the Manly CBD & esplanade. There were lots of bike racks & bike hire shops/busineses. Chatswood CBD could copy this concept. Cars, pedestrians & bikes can all use the same spaces, harmoniously. It is rare indeed to see a bike in Chatswood.I have seen North Sydney Police people patrolling the streets on bikes. Chatswood Police could be encouraged to do this too.The City of Sydney encourage bike riding for all age groups. This is a good example to follow.It is interesting that recently 'ride to school day' occurred. Most parents would be more likely to walk their children to school, in preference to riding. Pedesrians are safer than bikes. My children attended Willoughby Public. That school actively discouraged children from cycling to school.Barcelona & cities in Europe have dedicated bike ways alongside the main roads. They are safe spaces.I often hear friends saying that the bike/walkway paths that are shared, are dangerous for pedestrians as the bikes travel so fast & so quietly. Admitedly there are footpaths everywhere & fewer bike paths.I would support Council providing more funding for cycling infrastructure, particluarly for cycle paths that facilitate cyclists to cycle to work in St Leanards, North Syndey, Chatswood & city & to catch trains.Cycling is a healthy form of exercise & environmentally friendly. It is to be encouraged. Everything in this day & age encourages cars & more cars - 4 per family is common. How many bikes do they own or ride?Maybe the State Rail could allocate one carriage per train to be bike friendly. They are trialling quiet carriages to Gosford. They could trial bike friendly carriages on every train 24 hours per day.I own a bike & I do ride. I prefer to walk to Chatswood for shopping as parking a car is such a pain. It is quicker to walk (15 minutes). Riding a bike would only be marginally faster (10 minutes).Part of the reason I do not cycle to Chatswood is security. I hate the thought of returning to the bike stand & not finding my bike. Walking has greater peace of mind.Encourage bike hire buisnesses to open businesses to hire out bikes in bike friendly areas. eg Manly & Olympic Park. Maybe Willoughby Leisure Centre could have bicycle hire?
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Yes, I totally agree that Chatswood police should also patrol the street on their bicycles; very practical in highly dense area such as Chatswood and their presence may also build a positive image of cycling among the residents, thus an encouraging cycling .A few years ago, we drove to Mandarin Centre to have Japanese lunch with our visiting friends from New Zealand, but car parking was very hard to find, we end up parking on the road just outside our house, that experience had change my thinking of local travel; that if we can walk or ride, why bother drive? Thus I never EVER drive around Chatswood or around Willoughby. The only time I drive is to the local petrol station to refill or long distance travel such as visiting friends at Mosman or Parramatta.I think Chatswood is quite save to park your bikes in comparison to places such as Broadway and Darlinghurst. I constantly hear news of bike thieves in those area, but a lot of the times, I see people just lock their bikes with cheap chain locks bought from 2dollar shop.There was a bike cafe+shop opened beside the Bourke Street cycleway, I presume it had opened for business after the completion of the cycleway. I think it will be more prospective for the bike hire businesses to have a demand in Willoughby area only after the government is committed to invest and improve the cycling infrastructures.
  • LAR over 7 years ago
    Children are the future on-road bike users and having cycle tracks in parks like Willoughby Park and Bicentennial Reserve are a great encouragement for this but respect for, and learning to safely share routes with, other users (pedestrians for now and adding cars later) needs to be introduced - I walk on these shared tracks often and many young children are left to their own devices racing at dangerous speeds along the paths, not slowing as they approach pedestrians or ringing their on approac. Equally pedestrians often walk 2 or 3 abreast leaving no room for a cyclist to easily pass - perhaps a simple sign about Shared Path etiquette could be placed at a location along these routes so both pedestrians and cyclists reminded of their obligations - the sign should be simply worded and use images - it coud be a prompt to remind parents to, and a tool to help them, teach their children and serve as a reminder to cyclists and pedestrians each time they pass it. Another suggestion although I hate to take away free choice but perhaps making circuit tracks one direcitonal would make it safer for all.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Today, I travelled to & from Manly by ferry. I was delighted to see excellent bike rakes, well positioned by the ramps, on the ferry. They were well used on each trip - 2 racks and at least one bike per rack on each leg of todays jouney - one rack had 2 bikes. Well done Manly Ferries!Sydney could take a leaf out of their book. Trains! Buses! Shopping centres!
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Thanks for sharing your trip to Manly, I shall also plan a trip there and check out the bike facilities on the ferries. I also know a bike hire+tour business in Sydney, the one which wear red helmets, but I saw the tour guide leading the tourist riding throughout Sydney CBD on the ROADS, that's a very bad idea!!!!
  • apexst over 7 years ago
    I would like to see an off-road cycle way from North Willoughby to Bicentenial Reserve as one of the back bones of a cycle route through the eastern half of Willoughby Council and linking to the Gore Hill Freeway cycleway. This cycleway could then be linked to the Northbridge, Castle Cove and also Chatswood. Hopefully this cycleway may encourage more people to cycle to the Bicentenial Reserve sports fields and therefore reducing the significant traffic issues on Saturday mornings.
  • Finno over 7 years ago
    Driver frustration is the biggest issue for me. I dont expect dedicated roads where-ever I go, Sydney currently cant maintain its roads and footpaths adequately let alone a third infrastructure. A great cause of road rage is that there appears to be very little consideration to traffic management has gone into the plan of Chatswood. Focus on egress from major carparks and ring road concepts for through traffic need to be in place before dissuading traffic from central locations (such as current efforts are centered around). Solve the car issues that have been created by current planning and riding a bike becomes a safer, more civilised affair.
  • Joe over 7 years ago
    The single biggest problem in Sydney road is congestion; this is not unique in Sydney, many Western industrialized nations are also experienced the same problem; congestion. Traffics in countries such as the US and Canada are heavily congested in most of the time, and peak hours are nightmare. Houston is built on ring road concept (check on Google map) but it does not solve the problem; in fact Houston is the most congested city in the US. Beijing experienced the same problem; each time the capacity of the previous ring road reach it max, the gov. build another one, but congestion never goes away. Now China has became the world biggest car market, its just going to get worst for them. Congestion is costing them billions of dollars each year and this is exactly what's happening in Sydney now. The root of this cause? The car-centric mentality. As long as the government don't think outside the car-centric paradigm, such as promoting alternative transport like public transport or local travel by bicycle, we will not get anywhere, and their lazy and non-innovative solution is to build more EXPENSIVE roads to encourage people to never leave their cars. Seeing my fellow local residents driving to Chatswood Chase or Westfield from their 10-15 minutes walking range house on a beautiful sunny day just saddens me a lot. Surely our lifestyle can be much better than this.90% of Hong Kong residents use public transport (compare with just 26% in Sydney), thanks to their superb planning of the Metro system and technology such as the Octopus card, and HK is not the alone; Tokyo, London, Moscow also have excellent public transports. A forward thinking city should be considering the need of the people, not the need of the machines.
  • Anelle over 7 years ago
    If the purpose of the bike plan is to encourage people to cycle to work instead of using their own car, then none of these suggestions re improving bike lanes, parking/ lock up facilities, etc. will work. As long as people can afford to use their own vehicles they will not cycle to work, unless it is part of their fitness routine.People are by nature lazy and will look for the easy way out. It should be prohibitively expensive or extremely inconvenient to drive your car into town or there should be a monetary reward (e.g. tax break) for cycling/ using public transport. In my view, this is the only way to get more people to use their bicycles and or public transport.
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      I totally agree with you. If we can get people to think that the era of cheap oil is going to end soon (as a matter of fact, it will be), this harsh reality may force them to consider other form of transport, or at least plan to switch to another form of transport sometime in the future. Otherwise, more education will be needed to raise their awareness of sustainable development.Also, there should be taxes be place on people driving a big vehicles i.e. SUV, I find it strange why all of the time I only see one person using the SUV and that is the driver alone driving to work; and why do they need a 4WD monster in the cities for......that type of machine is build for tough terrain such as the bushland or the countryside.......why are they even used on city roads? These monstrous private machines take up so much public space. The lazy individual choice they make will have a significant impact on other road users, the society and the envirnoment at large.
    • chrisl22 over 7 years ago
      I disagree with this. Many people actually want to get out and cycle places. Bicycles have outsold cars for a number of years, and almost everyone I know has at one time bought a bike with the aim being to cycle to work or to the shops. The initial enthusiasm quickly disappears once people realise how hostile the road environment is without proper separated bicycle infrastructure.There are already enough disincentives to drive. The congestion, cost of petrol, cost of a car, issues with inactivity. Make cycling pleasant and people will do it.
      • Joe over 7 years ago
        Your point is also spot on. I think it all comes down to the strategies or stages of promoting cycling as a alternative form of transport. If commuting cycling is to be promoted to potential cyclists, then the first initiative is to invest money to improve or build new and safe cycling infrastructures aim at all types of users, not just fit and predominately male cyclists, and to encourage them to give cycling a go on these new cycleways, and the second act shall be some increase in fiscal policies on specific car models that were designed for primary production users such as miners or farmers, not urban users in service sector, thereby discourage the urban demand for these highly inefficient vehicles. Councils and the state governments can consider by starting to invest in building some trial vision of cycleways in selected ideal locations of metropolitan Sydney, if it goes very well then the project should expand. The separate cycleway in Sydney Bourke Street has attracted an increased 60% cyclist within one year of after completion and its already changing the life style of the local residents for the better.
    • AndrewP over 7 years ago
      I agree Anelle.To change behaviour you need to promote and encourage but also to discourage the alternative. Cycling is unarguably the best transport method (health, environment, etc.) though admittedly it may not always be practical ... changing attitude can encourage more cycling and less driving (it doesn't have to be for every journey).
  • apexst over 7 years ago
    A number of the comments posted alrady talk about the fear starting to cycle. One of the iniatives Council could undertake to encourage people to start cycling to work, school or sports fields is to organise bike "buses" for beginners. ie a bike group led by an experinced cyclist to guide them along the best routes provide useful tips and confidence. For example, a bike bus to and from the city on a regular basis once a week and on other days encourging people to cycle to work in Chatswood and St Leonards.
  • AndrewP over 7 years ago
    The on-road cycle lane in Tryon Lane is so filled with leaves, sticks and a tree trunk (that look like they have been there for some time) that it is impossible to use. I wish I could post the photos. Painting a white line and a bike symbol on the road is lip service to the cycling community if there is no attempt to make/keep them useable.