Tuesday evening was supposed to be a rally with 2GB conservative radio shock jock Alan Jones railing against Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moores plans for expanding cycling infrastructure and the recently completed Bourke Road Cycleway. However, cyclists from Bikesydney organised a counter event at the Sydney Town Hall in support of cycleways which drew up to 300 people. Alan Jones was nowhere to be seen.
"We love to ride our bicycles, we love to ride our bikes, We love to ride our bicycles, Alan Jones get on your bike!" screeched the bicycle PA at the rally, a reworking of the Queen classic song. Clover Moore came out of the Town Hall and briefly spoke to the gathered cyclists.
Lawyer John Mahony has sent the City of Sydney Council a letter of demand for Council to rip out the cycleway on Bourke Road. The letter was sent as a precursor to litigation by some businesses that claim their turnover has been affected by the new Bourke Road cycleway.
Sydney Council is planning the construction of 55km of separated cycleways as part of a 200km cycling network.
"The reality is we don't have a choice, there is an urgent need for investment in sustainable urban infrastructure as we face the threat of global warming and a world financial crisis. Priority must be given to investing in green infrastructure - projects which will make our urban areas more sustainable and better equipped for the future - while providing health improvements, jobs for our community and benefits for the economy." Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said in May 2008.
"Developing cycling and walking as viable and attractive ways to get around the city, as real alternatives to driving a car, will help relieve pressure on our congested roads. "More people are switching to bicycles to escape crowded public transport, reduce car usage, do something for the environment and get fit," Ms Moore said.
According to the AECOM cycling report commissioned by the council and released in May 2010 the bicycle network would reduce Sydney's traffic congestion by 4.3 million car trips a year. "What this study has found is that a bicycle network linking Kogarah in the south, with Chatswood in the north and Watsons Bay in the east with Rhodes in the west is economically desirable and viable. We can say with confidence that investment in cycling as a mode of transport will deliver a solid economic return," Ms Moore said.
Photo by GarryW on Sydney Cyclist