Protecting Cyclists

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined

Decisions:

Moved by Councillor Phelps, seconded by Councillor Forster -

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the implementation of a safe cycling network throughout the City of Sydney has significant public benefits in terms of exercise, public health and transport;

(ii)        it is a public duty of the City of Sydney to ensure that any cycleway (including a pop-up cycleway) is safe before it is opened, encouraging cyclists to use it in the reasonable expectation that all safety issues have been fully assessed;

(iii)      during Covid-19 restrictions six pop-up cycleways have been installed for use in the City of Sydney local government area;

(iv)      a Report of the Safety Audit undertaken on 6 September 2020 by Traffic Engineering Centre Pty Ltd, commissioned and paid for by residents, established that the Bridge Road Glebe/Forest Lodge cycleway was critically unsafe for cyclists to use;

(v)       a number of cyclists have been injured in accidents on the Bridge Road pop up cycleway since it officially opened on 21 September 2020 and the safety audit undertaken by Traffic Engineering Centre Pty Ltd identified that there is a high risk of more accidents with potentially catastrophic consequences including death and serious injury;

(vi)      at the Council meeting on 21 September 2020, Council was informed that safety assessments will not be conducted until after a pop up cycleway is installed;

(vii)     the Bridge Road Cycleway was designed and installed without adequate planning or safety assessment;

(viii)    no response has been provided by Council or Transport for NSW to the findings in the Report of the Safety Audit on Bridge Road commissioned by the residents which was tabled at the Council meeting on 21 September 2020;

(ix)      due to a lack of proper planning and consultation, the Bridge Road pop up cycleway created many adverse consequences for residents including:

(a)       residents, their friends and family and service providers experience difficulties accessing residences, especially those with no rear lane access;

(b)       profound anxiety and upset for residents from accidents that have occurred on the cycleway and may be expected to occur in the future;

(c)       profound anxiety for residents arising from concern about accidents happening due to lack of appropriate traffic management during garbage collection;

(d)       significantly increased costs of delivery/removal of goods imposed by Council due to permits required for delivery vehicles; and

(e)       removal of disabled parking space then relocation of the space to Jarocin Avenue, a dangerous and inconvenient location for people who live on Bridge Road and use the disabled parking space; and

(x)       that Council has a responsibility to ensure that all cycleways, both pop-up and permanent, meet a minimum safety standard as required by s10.2.1 of the Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides (2017); and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         undertake a complete review (including obtaining all documents) relating to the design, planning and safety assessment conducted for each pop up cycleway installed in 2020;

(ii)        provide a report of the findings of this review (which includes copies of all documents) to Councillors;

(iii)      ensure that every proposed cycleway in the City of Sydney Local Government Area - temporary or permanent - must have a safety assessment conducted during the design phase and prior to opening;

(iv)      ensure that every cycleway under construction in the City of Sydney Local Government Area - temporary or permanent - is clearly identified as not in operation until construction is complete;

(v)       provide recommendations to ensure that no temporary cycleway is made permanent and that no cycleway is ever again considered or installed without proper planning and safety processes being adopted and followed; and

(vi)      provide an update to Councillors via the CEO update.

Foreshadowed motion. Councillor Thalis foreshadowed that, should the motion moved by Councillor Phelps be lost, he would move an alternative motion.

The motion was lost on the following show of hands –

Ayes (4)          Councillors Chung, Forster, Phelps and Vithoulkas

Noes (6)          The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Kok, Miller, Scott, Scully and Thalis. 

Motion lost.

Moved by Councillor Thalis, seconded by Councillor Miller –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the implementation of a safe cycling network throughout the City of Sydney has significant public benefits in terms of exercise, public health and transport;

(ii)        six pop-up cycleways have been installed in the City of Sydney local government area, three (3) were delivered by the City and three (3) by Transport for NSW;

(iii)      the NSW Government ordered these cycleways through the Ministerial Order Covid-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic;

(iv)      the aim of the temporary cycleways is to encourage more people to cycle safely between workplaces, schools, services and the city centre, reducing pressure on public transport and roads;

(v)       TfNSW chose Bridge Road as it forms an important link between the city centre and the inner west. It provides access to health services and education institutions, including Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Secondary College’s Blackwattle Bay campus and the University of Sydney. This cycleway is also an alternative for commuters who would usually use Parramatta Road bus services;

(vi)      assessing and mitigating risk is integral to the City’s transport planning and staff prioritise safety throughout all phases of a project;

(vii)     the City completes a design safety assessment and a road safety audit for every project that it is responsible for delivering;

(a)       a Design Safety Assessment (DSA) identifies design risks to all users and documents how they were mitigated and why design decisions were made. These are live documents that are updated at various stages throughout the design, they require in-principle approval from Transport for NSW and endorsement from the Local Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee (based on Traffic Management Plan documentation of the project); and

(b)       a Road Safety Audit (RSA) is conducted by an independent team of qualified road safety auditors, which is then reviewed by a City team and responses to the issues raised are documented. It follows a transparent process, that includes the creation of a road safety audit brief, selection of audit team, an inception meeting, an audit of drawings and designs, and onsite review post-construction and a completion meeting;

(vii)     a Corrective Action program to address identified risks then remains open until actions in the program are implemented;

(viii)    the City helps to identify risks on projects that Transport for NSW is responsible for delivering and advocates to Transport for NSW for safety measures;

(ix)      the City monitors the road environment and takes action to improve safety throughout the lifetime of a project;

(x)       pre-opening Road Safety Audits of the Pyrmont Bridge Road pop-up cycleway have been conducted by DC Engineering and Traffic Engineering Centre;

(xi)      the DC Engineering Road Safety Audit noted that even though conflict points have been created by the pop-up cycleway, in the pre-existing situation cyclists were exposed to collisions along the entire length of the road, it also notes that the cycleway has removed the issue of cyclists being hit when parked vehicles open their doors;

(xii)     Transport for NSW has responded to both with Corrective Action Reponses that detail how each issue will be addressed. These were circulated to Councillors on Friday 23 October 2020; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         provide Councillors with a briefing on how safety is considered and managed throughout the life of a cycleway project in the City;

(ii)        invite TfNSW to provide Councillors with a briefing on how safety is considered and managed throughout the life of a cycleway project at TfNSW;

(iii)      provide Councillors with all documents relating to the design, planning and safety assessments conducted for pop-up cycleways that the City has been responsible for delivering;

(iv)      request TfNSW to provide all documents relating to the design, planning and safety assessments conducted for pop-up cycleways that it has been responsible for delivering;

(v)       ensure that every cycleway that the City is responsible for delivering is clearly identified as not in operation until construction is complete;

(vi)      request TfNSW to ensure that every cycleway that it is responsible for delivering is clearly identified as not in operation until construction is complete; and

(vii)     provide regular updates to Councillors via a CEO update on how Transport for NSW are progressing with the actions outlined in the CAR documents they have provided until all issues.

The motion was carried on the following show of hands –

Ayes (9)     The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Chung, Forster, Kok, Miller, Scott, Scully, Thalis and Vithoulkas.

Noes (1)     Councillor Phelps.

Motion carried.

S129263

Misrepresentation

During discussion of Item 13.7 Councillor Phelps stated that she had been misrepresented in respect to comments made by Councillor Thalis and clarified her position accordingly.

During discussion of Item 13.7 Councillor Thalis stated that he had been misrepresented in respect to comments made by Councillor Phelps and clarified his position accordingly.

Point of Order

During discussion of Item 13.7 the Chair (the Lord Mayor) called Councillor Phelps to order stating that she was not showing appropriate respect to Councillor Thalis.

Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 26/10/2020

Date of decision: 26/10/2020

Decided at meeting: 26/10/2020 - Council

Accompanying Documents: