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More families take to Sydney’s safe cycleways

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Mike Blackmore and his kids, Henry and Florence, on their way to daycare and preschool drop-off.

Credit: Andrew Booth/City of Sydney

City of Sydney

Mums, dads and their kids are increasingly using Sydney’s safe cycleways with new data showing the number of people riding with a child seat has nearly doubled in the last 12 months.

Women are also riding bikes more around the City of Sydney’s area with their numbers increasing to nearly one quarter of all people riding, according to the latest demographic count results which provides a snapshot of local cycleway use.

The City of Sydney released the results of its latest demographic count on the United Nations World Bicycle Day, 3 June, which draws attention to the benefits of using the bicycle – a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally sustainable means of transportation.

“We know lots of people want to ride, but don’t feel safe enough on the roads. That’s why we build bike paths, because it makes cycling a genuine transport option for so many in our community,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore said.

“It’s wonderful to see this infrastructure being used so well, especially by more and more families and women.

“Riding is a great way to get the kids to school, head to the shops to pick up some groceries or visit your local café. People who ride support businesses in their area. Plus it’s cheaper, good for your health and good for the environment.

“Since 2007, we have built 25km of safe, separated cycleways and these new figures show that if you build it, they will come.

“Connecting the network of bike lanes is a real priority for us and our new city budget allocated another $59 million to safe cycling infrastructure over the next 4 years. Construction is continuing on the Oxford Street west and Castlereagh Street cycleways and the Ultimo to Glebe connection, and we have approval to build two new cycleways in Waterloo as well as a link connecting Ultimo to Surry Hills.”

Sydney worker Mike Blackmore has integrated cycling into his commute from Marrickville. He’s found his new e-bike is a great way to get his two kids, Henry and Florence, to daycare and preschool.

“The bike is as fast as driving with half the stress and traffic. Riding is almost twice as fast as the bus and has added incidental exercise to my day. With the electric assist, I can choose how hard I need to push the pedals,” Mr Blackmore said.

“The kids love the bike and it doubles as a vehicle for weekend adventures to parks, playgrounds and the beach. We love the Wilson Street cycleway in Newtown and the recent upgrades nearby have made it even better. We also love to find new bikeways exploring the little parks and back streets.

“I’ve loved that I see other families commuting while we’re out on the bike. It feels like we’ve joined a community.”

The demographic study counted a sample of 5,722 riders on a Tuesday in March at two sites in the city centre, as well as Newtown, Pyrmont, Zetland, Surry Hills and Glebe. People who ride were counted over two hours in the morning and evening commute.

Counts at these sites showed a 19% increase compared to last year’s study.

Compared to counts in 2023:

  • the number of bikes with child seats doubled
  • the proportion of women represented across the seven count sites increased by 15% with Zetland seeing the proportion of women riders more than doubling
  • the number of share bikes being used more than doubled in the areas where the count was undertaken

This demographic count reflects the increase in riding in our twice yearly counts at 68 intersections which show a 15% increase over the last 12 months and a 168% increase in riding since the count began in 2010.  Permanent counters on our cycleways continue to show solid growth ranging between 4% and 29% in the last 12 months.

The City of Sydney continues to work with residents to help improve skills and confidence with courses and events.

 

 

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