In the previous post; I made some general observations about the state of cycle paths in Sydney and some of the issues with the current approach to planning and building cycleways. In the next few posts I'm going to focus on current and planned cycleways in and around Newtown, starting with the route from Newtown to Stanmore and further west.
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The route from Newtown to Stanmore is at least fairly well marked; known as L2 in the Marrickville council labelling scheme; this path flows up Mary Street, through the park then down Albermarle Street before turning at Baltic Street, past the Scientology School then down to the Liberty Road roundabout.
The alternative Bedford Street route is more spacious and has fewer stops; however it is more trafficked; and getting to it involves negotiating King Street at the dangerous Newtown Bridge. The solution for me is to make Albermarle Street one way with contra-flows and remove parking from one side of the road. To avoid it turning into a car rat-run; the one way system should change direction half way (say at Chelmsford Street) i.e. one way west from Australia Street to Chelmsford Street then one way West from Bedford Street.
Going further west (with an ultimate destination of Homebush for example) is another story. The marked 'L2' cycle path peters out after the railway line hugging laneway parallel to Douglas St - and for good reason, as the options are not much chop. Some guides recommend a complicated set of zig-zags all the way back to Parramatta Road; twice. This would also appear to be what the OpenStreetMap path is recommending; although it's noteworthy that L5 apparently just disappears somewhere in the vicinity of the Cockatoo Hotel.
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More seasoned riders (such as the Mayor) bite the bullet and take their chances on the narrow and busy Trafalgar Street and Railway Parade rather than the 10 minute detour, but it's not for everyone. The Sydney University guide, reproducing the Bike It map, suggests a split between that way going east; and a slight detour via Brighton Street cycling west.
This gap in the network really needs to be addressed if the government are serious in their commuting targets; if you agree please take the time to comment on the 'Missing Links' link below !
The next post will address cycling north towards the city; in the mean time here are a few more links for you: