Westconnex Rozelle Interchange – Safe alternatives for cyclists during construction!

Darryn Capes-DavisCycling

Being an engineer I am one who likes to look at all the pros and cons of big scale projects. Driving back from Port Macquarie today I like the fact they are widening the M1, but disappointed that cyclists are banned during construction. In this case the relative volume may make sense but it is disappointing nonetheless.

Looking closer to home we have the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange about to commence construction. Through the diligent work of Bicycle NSW we have learnt that there are going to be staged closures of cycle access routes during construction. You can see this in the Bicycle NSW video below.

One of the worst stages will be when the bridge across Victoria Rd will close, as will the path along to the Anzac Bridge. This path is used by more than 1000 cyclists daily. If we say that is 500 each way, spread across a few hours across the commute peak, then that would mean 200 or more cyclists needing an alternate route. Currently the proposed alternate route includes narrow paths and small media islands at traffic lights. Putting all these ingredients together is a recipe for disaster.

The poor state of cycle access closure during Westconnex Construction (Bicycle NSW)
Strava Heat Map of logged cycle trips using current cycle access routes

The Strava Global Heat Map shows the popularity of this cycling commuter route. The alternatives available during construction need to cater for these commuters less thye fall back to their cars to clog up the roads.

I urge planners and project managers not to take ‘tick the box’ solutions to alternatives for cycle access during construction. Near home I marvelled at how the Barclay Road bridge over the M2 was widened without removal of any traffic lanes above and below. So smart solutions can be done to give alternate access.

A petition has been created to highlight the need for safe alternatives for this project. I have just signed the petition and urge you to do so as well, for the sake of doing best for all users of roads and road related areas.

Share this Post