Saddle up! Will the new inner west cycleways get you on your bike?
Did you know that Sydney has the lowest participation rates for cycling of all Australian capital cities? Conversely, research by the University of Sydney’s found that commuting cyclists are twice as happy as people who drive, walk or use public transport to get to work.
The good news is it’s about to get a lot easier to cash in on those good vibes here in the inner west, with the passing by Council of the City’s Cycling Action Plan in late November 2018. The new plan will essentially connect much of our existing network with new shared cycleways and separated bike paths.
You’ll be able to feel the breeze as you freewheel along Wilson Street from Redfern to Newtown; on Missenden Road (from the current stretch on Bucknell Street all the way up towards Leichhardt); and down Burren and Bridge Streets in the direction of Erskineville.
The benchmark for the expansion is to create a cycleway that is safe for a 12-year-old to ride alone.
While 151,700 car trips of less than 5km are still made into the city each day, inner west residents are pedalling away at the forefront of Sydney’s cycling culture. A growing number of residents ditching their cars and opting for bicycle travel in a bid to get fit, save money and do their bit in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics single out Darlington and Redfern, where more than six per cent of residents now ride to work and Erskineville where 5.6 per cent use a bicycle as their transportation of choice. In nearby Green Square, one in seven rely on their bikes to get to work.
And all this cycling is having a knock-on effect on the local property market. Developers are planning in facilities to suit bicycle-friendly lifestyles such as bike parking spaces and dedicated storage areas.
Here in the inner west we’re seeing buyer priorities shifting, with the lure of off-street parking not as big a selling point as it was 10 years ago. Instead, access to cycle paths and parks is getting more important when it comes to a potential purchase.
And that’s likely to become even more important to buyers over the next few years, as cycling become a more feasible alternative for getting from A to B.
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