The uncertain future of the Cooks River GreenWay

I recently wrote an e-letter to the NSW Minister for Transport regarding the GreenWay and I’ve written about it before. Briefly it’s a cycling and pedestrian green corridor that will create an important cycle/commuting link between the Inner-West and the city and city-west areas.

I’ve received a response so I thought I’d publish it here on the blog. The Greenway isn’t dead yet, but it also hasn’t been funded. I’m happy the light rail is going ahead but I hope that the GreenWay will be approved too. The fear is that because the light rail has gone ahead it’ll be too costly go then go back and create the GreenWay after the light rain has been done. I’ll be waiting for the Active Transport plan to see if it includes funding and a time for the GreenWay.

What do you think? Poly double-speak or some small sign it might happen?

The NSW Government has allocated $141 million in the 2012−2013 State Budget towards the development of light rail, including continued work on the Inner West Light Rail Extension, as well as the development of a Light Rail Strategic Plan. The Plan will examine the feasibility of extending light rail through the CBD, to the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.

While I acknowledge your views on the GreenWay, the NSW Government’s decision to defer the GreenWay project was based on significant design issues that would have delayed construction of the Inner West Light Rail Extension.

The NSW Government’s decision will simplify the negotiations and contractual arrangements required to build the light rail extension and will reduce the risk of further delays. It will also ensure the Government can integrate the possible future construction of the GreenWay into a wider active transport network as part of an integrated transport master plan.

In the meantime, the Light Rail Project Team will continue working to deliver the Inner West Light Rail Extension as quickly as possible.


Cyclists’ delight: Velo-city cycle planning conference

Two bikes and a city street.

I am still signing up for cycling news services to keep up with what’s happening in the world of cycling. A lot, so I don’t know how well I’ll be able to monitor the cycle media.  I just got this through and thought I’d share it on the blog.

Velo-city is a cycling planning conference that aims to push the need for bicycle infrastructure in urban environments. It’s on at the moment in Vancouver and brings together experts, representatives of associations, institutions, policy-makers and social agents, universities and companies.

I hope your cycle planners from state government and our Sydney city council are attending as we need more support to keep building our city’s cycleways and not let the car/roads lobby stop the momentum. There always seems to be more money for more roads, but cycleways are still seen as a boutique thing that’s expensive, inconvenient for drivers and under-utilised. I think building the ‘business case’ for cycling infrastructure is a powerful tool  to counter this.

Here’s a bit of a blurb about it:

  • Discover the strategies and policies that have dramatically increased levels of cycling in communities around the world
  • Learn how other cities have overcome the challenges encountered when improving cycling facilities
  • Develop the knowledge to ensure the cost effective implementation of cycling infrastructure and programs
  • Review the latest research that helps build the business case for cycling and guides policy development
  • Benefits of professional and academic recognition along with awareness of the latest research
  • See and learn the techniques for cycling growth that supports sustainable communities by city representatives attending the conference

Want to know more? Here’s the link to the Velo-city conference website.

Where do you ride?

Plan your ride with a map or start cycling and see where it takes you?

The way I approach a ride depends on how and where I’m riding. If I’m riding with my partner and our two boys we stick to safe, familiar paths and cycleways. If I’m riding on my own, I usually stick to bike paths, cycleways or safe, quiet streets but I can be a bit more adventurous but I’m always concerned about cars. Here in Sydney, it’s unfortunate, but cyclists aren’t looked upon very favourably. I’ll write more on this in an upcoming post, but you don’t want to mix too much with cranky drivers who have usually fought their way through congested streets and the sight of a bike rider often fills them with rage at the idea of a hippe on a bike who hasn’t paid their taxes and therefore doesn’t have a right to be taking up lane space and slowing them down. There are some really bike friendly, considerate drivers. But it has to be said, there are some unenlightened drivers who think that cyclists don’t pay for the roads and don’t belong on them. Never mind that in a city the size of Sydney you very often need a car so many cyclists also own cars and do pay their road and vehicle taxes. Needless to say, cyclists have a right to ride anyway.

I recently purchased a great little book called WheretoRide Sydney: Best Cycling in City and Suburbs by Simon Hayes and I can’t wait to try out some more rides outside of our area. I do tend to think that I’m lucky to live along the Cooks River cycleway in Sydney so I can ride down to the beach or out the Homebush bay for swimming and picnics the other direction. I’m hoping to get some inspiration for other rides around the city and beyond with a bit of inside knowledge before we take our trailer and boys out riding in other areas.

Each ride has a map, ride log, gradiant/terrian details and description of the ride. Our trailer fits the two boys side-by-side but is narrow enough to fit in the cycleways and paths so we’re not too restricted in where we can cycle. The only real obstacle can be stairs and bollards in and out of paths. Ironically, the path at the end of our street to get down near the cycleway is the most difficult part of getting out to our ride.

As I try some new rides, I’ll post some blogs with pictures to share here and report back on what I find.

If you want to try cycling in Sydney, try the cycleways guide at

You can find helpful maps for cyclists at

All about cycling in London at

All about cycle mapping websites at

Map My Ride app and website info at

Do you plan your ride? How do you plan it?