June 10, 2014

Separation in Sydney: Capacity and Controversy

From the Sydney Morning-Herald:

A Freedom of Information request turned up a gem of a report by Transport for NSW that showed just how effective the bike lanes are. The information was contained in a longer report – so here are some salient paragraphs, in case you missed it:

SydneyConfidential analysis prepared by Transport for NSW shows separated bike lanes installed in central Sydney have doubled the number of cyclists on the road but led to fewer total injuries among them.

“Detailed analysis shows … the number of reported injuries has been halved on the sections of road where separated cycle ways have been constructed,” the analysis says.

The documents also show that the separated bike lanes in central Sydney regularly carry as many people as in cars on adjacent traffic lanes.

The Kent Street cycleway moves 34 per cent of the people using that road in the morning peak, but takes up 25 per cent of the road space. The College Street cycleway, which the government proposes to rip up, moves 20 per cent of the people on 20 per cent of the road space.


Sydney 2


Mind you, we’re not doing too bad in Vancouver: Record Numbers for Bike to Work Week with 65% Increase in Participation

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  1. The College Street bike lanes replace one entire lane of traffic during peak and curbside parking during non peak, so suggesting only 20% of the space is used is a nonsense. The bike lane is shown to carry a total of 6 more people in the peak period, but does so only by having greatly slowed the flow of cars on the adjacent car lane and caused congestion and delay on all the feeder streets that intersect with the bike lane where little conjestion existed before. This is nothing but a report prepared to satisfy a pre-determined outcome and should be viewed with either healthy scepticism or outright disdain.