Glebe resident Di Anstey said the planned bike path along Bridge Road and Pyrmont Bridge Road, intended to link commuters travelling between the city and the inner west, would exacerbate liveability for locals who already had to organise their days around clearway time limits.
“Andrew Constance, you’re fabulous in Bega but you’ve got no idea about Glebe,” Ms Anstey said, saying she had no idea how tradesmen were supposed to access homes, or what delivery drivers would do if the city went into lockdown again. “They’re riding roughshod over residents.”
A City of Sydney spokesperson said the cycleway would serve areas where large numbers of people previously used buses to travel to the city via Broadway.
“Many properties affected by these changes are eligible for City of Sydney permits for residents, visitors, tradespeople and carers.”
Liz de Rome, an Erskineville resident and road safety researcher, said the pop-up bike path along Bridge Street in Erskineville — part of the 1.3-kilometre Ashmore precinct to South Eveleigh cycle path — was unnecessary as cyclists in the area tended to take other routes.
Dr de Rome also said that, because of past works that narrowed footpaths, many commuters were forced to walk on the road at peak times to get to and from the train station.
“I’m a strong advocate for cycle lanes, but they have to be put where they are needed and the one on Bridge Street isn’t useful and of great inconvenience to the people,” Dr de Rome said.
The council spokesperson said the Bridge Street and connected Henderson Road cycleway would serve an area where large numbers of people previously used trains to travel between Erskineville and the city.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said the paths had been chosen as they were on busy cycling routes, connect with existing bike riding infrastructure and were positioned in locations where public transport was likely to be overcrowded.
“Where there have been impacts of parking loss, Transport for NSW has endeavoured to offset these impacts with other parking options,” the spokesperson said.
The fresh outcry comes after residents on Moore Park Road in Paddington voiced their opposition to a pop-up cycleway along their road, also citing concerns over parking and accessibility.
During the July 2 council meeting, Cr Forster said the Moore Park Road cycleway was a “deeply unpopular proposal”.
In response, Cr Moore said the pop-up cycleways were an important health measure that would also serve to reduce congestion.
Of the lack of consultation, she said: “The Prime Minister didn’t come out and say to everyone, ‘Well, look, I want to consult with you about … if you wouldn’t mind staying at home, because it’s going to be unsafe for you to go out because we have a deadly virus in our country.’
“And, no, the [Transport] Minister hasn’t done that on this either. He has made it clear through a ministerial order that these temporary cycle lanes are going to go in,” Cr Moore said.
“But overall, overall it’s about safety and he is absolutely very, very strong on this, that … they’ll provide that safe cycling option to people, and it will be about saving lives. And I think anyone who objects to that doesn’t care about saving lives.”
Moore Park Road resident Carla Degenhardt said Cr Moore’s comments “make me feel really, really sad”.
During the meeting, Cr Phelps responded, “I’m a little bit speechless about saying anyone who objects to this doesn’t care about saving lives. I just have to take a moment to recover from that outrageous statement.”
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Angus Thompson is an Urban Affairs reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.