The total number of people riding in and around the City of Sydney for work and recreation has soared 132 per cent over the last four years, according to the latest independent figures.
The number of daily bike trips in the City of Sydney local government area has increased from 25,868 in March 2010 to 60,098 in March 2014.
Streets with separated cycleways or shared paths have seen the biggest bike trip growth, with a 408 per cent increase on Bourke Street, 327 per cent on Kent Street and 307 per cent on College Street.
Figures from the almost-complete Kent Street cycleway, taken at the intersections of Kent and King streets and Kent and Clarence streets, show more than 2,000 riders are using it as a travel route during peak hours.
Once completed, the second stage of the Kent Street cycleway will provide a much-needed connection between North Sydney and Darling Harbour/Chinatown.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the growing number of people travelling on two wheels showed the importance of continuing to roll-out of Sydney’s connected bicycle network.
“Bike lanes keep riders safe – research by Transport for NSW shows that separated bike lanes have doubled the number of cyclists on the road but led to fewer total injuries among them,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Their research also showed that the separated bike lanes in the city centre regularly carry as many people as in cars on adjacent traffic lanes.
“Almost 2,200 bike riders are travelling from the north into the city via the Sydney Harbour Bridge during weekday peak hours – one of our highest intersection counts ever.
“We are now working with the NSW Government to roll out more separated bike paths to keep riders safe, to encourage new riders and to connect the most popular routes and existing paths.”
The City and the NSW Government are working to construct three new cycleways in the city centre on Liverpool, Castlereagh, and Park streets. The aim is to finish work before construction starts on light rail in 2015.
The City has also completed a new cycleway from Green Square to the city centre. This link connects Green Square to Waterloo, Alexandria and Redfern with the CBD.
The Lord Mayor said the City anticipates a further increase in the number of bike riders as existing cycleways and routes are connected into a network, but said that safe behaviour by all road users was essential whether people were walking, riding or driving.
“Even a completed network of separated cycleways could not cover every street and road. Bike riders have the right to use our streets and roads, and as more people choose to ride other road users need to be aware of how vulnerable bike riders and pedestrians are.
“We need everyone – whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or walking – to make safety a top priority. The road is there to share.”
The City’s independent bike counts are conducted twice a year at 100 intersections across central Sydney.