Six new temporary cycleways will be created along key roads in Sydney to encourage people to ride to work rather than use public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced the initiative on Monday alongside Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
The six new cycleways will stretch for 10.3 kilometres in total on Bridge Road in Pyrmont, Pitt Street North in the CBD, Moore Park Road in Paddington, Dunning Avenue in Rosebery, Sydney Park Road in Alexandria and Henderson Road at Eveleigh.
Mr Constance says the temporary on-road paths could help people stay off public transport to reduce further COVID-19 outbreaks.
The plan is to encourage inner-city residents to cycle or walk so commuters from further afield can use public transport to reach the CBD.
“We have seen a boom in cycling across the city over recent years but particularly with COVID,” Mr Constance said.
“This is a safe way to get around without being near others and it’s a good way to ensure that we can keep the city moving as we start to see the easing of restrictions.”
The state government will contribute $4 million to establish the bike paths and will consider leaving some in place once the pandemic is over, the minister added.
The cycleways will be constructed in the next few weeks using a combination of barriers, line markings and lane dividers.
Ms Moore says cycling in Sydney has doubled since the city’s bike network was established in 2009 and she hopes the new cycleways become permanent.
Bike sales have “gone through the roof” during the pandemic and the City of Sydney has expanded its cycling classes to help new riders, the lord mayor said on Monday.
“When someone rides to work, they take a car off the road or free up space on public transport,” Ms Moore said.
“This will be even invaluable when people start returning to the city and seek to maintain physical distancing.”