Bike path questions reveal more work needed

The Greens put a number of Questions on Notice to the March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting.

The answers reveal that Council has done extensive work to identify priority bike paths. However, seven years into Marrickville Council’s ten year ‘Bicycle Strategy’, Council has met only 9% of its targets in terms of the creation of priority bike paths. Council has an annual bike path budget to build new bike paths, but this has not significantly increased, despite significant increases in the number of regular cyclists in the last few years, and major increases to Council’s general footpath and road budgets over the same period.

The Greens think that building better bike paths should be part of Council’s core business, and will be moving for bike path funding to be prioritised in future Council budgets. For more information about how to support the Greens campaigns for better bike infrastructure visit the Better Bike Path Campaigns page.

A copy of the Questions and the Answers can be found in the 18 March 2014 Council Business Paper and are extracted below:

Questions asked by Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore

Question:

What strategies or plans does Marrickville Council have in place or under development to encourage cycling in the local area, including commuter cycling through the local area? Please provide details of the documents and where the public can access these documents.

Answer:
The key strategy is the 2007 Marrickville Bicycle Strategy, which builds on the first bicycle strategy developed in 1996. The 2007 strategy is supported at a strategic level by other plans which have cycling-related objectives, such as the current Community Strategic Plan, the current Delivery Program, the 2007 Integrated Transport Strategy and the 2007 Urban Strategy and the 2012 Recreation Needs Study. All are available to the public on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/

Question: 

What strategies or plans does Marrickville Council have in place or under development to support bike paths and increased cycling infrastructure in the local area? Please provide details of the documents and where the public can access these documents.

Answer:

The key strategy is the 2007 Marrickville Bicycle Strategy, which builds on the first bicycle strategy developed in 1996. The 2007 strategy is supported at a strategic level by other plans which have cycling- related objectives, such as the current Community Strategic Plan, the current Delivery Program, the 2007 Integrated Transport Strategy and the 2007 Urban Strategy and the 2012 Recreation Needs Study. All are available to the public on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/

Question: 

What specific bike routes has Marrickville Council identified as priorities for development through the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy 2007-2017, including:

A. Regional Routes?

B. Local Routes?

Answer:

The Marrickville Bicycle Strategy includes a mapped network of 12 Regional Routes, 20 Local Routes and 13 Local Links. Route maps are within the Strategy document itself and can also be downloaded separately. All information on these routes is available within the Strategy and associated information on the Bicycle Strategy page on Council‟s website: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/

Elements of the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy‟s regional network are also identified in the NSW Government‟s key cycling plan for Sydney, the 2013 Sydney’s Cycling Future, available at:http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/cycling

They are also identified within two regional bikeplans developed as advocacy documents – the 2008 SSROC Regional Bikeplan and the City of Sydney‟s 2010 Inner Sydney Regional Bikeplan.

Question: 

What other bike routes has Marrickville Council identified or invested in, after the development of the 2007 Bike Strategy?

Answer:

Council has not identified or invested in routes beyond those identified in the 2007 Strategy as the goal has been to implement all Strategy routes before considering further routes. Notwithstanding, there is a chapter within the Strategy that encourages Council to consider bicycles when doing works on all streets, including those that are not part of the Strategy network, e.g. creating a passage for bicycles when implementing road closures.

Following is a full list (with descriptions) of Regional Routes, Local Routes and Local Links, in Tables 2 & 3 of the Bicycle Strategy:

Regional Routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy

Regional Routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy

Local Bike Routes identified in the Marrickville Council Bike Strategy

Local Bike Routes identified in the Marrickville Council Bike Strategy

Question: 

What is the estimated cost for the creation of the:

A. Regional Routes?

B. Local Routes?

C. Other routes?

(If breakdown not known, include total)

Answer:

A. Regional Routes: $6,600,000

B. Local Routes: $3,000,000

C. Other routes: $ 350,000 (Local Links)

TOTAL = $9,950,000 (2007 estimate with escalation to 2015).

For cost estimates for each of the Regional Routes and Local Routes, and a total cost estimate for the Local Links, refer to the document Route implementation staging and cost estimates on available on Council‟s Bicycle Strategy webpage. Council‟s experience with implementing Regional Routes 5 and 7 have shown that actual costs are higher than these estimates and final estimates will be subject to investigations and detailed design.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes (questions 3 and 4) which routes include separated cycleways? Provide details.

Answer:
Whilst the Bicycle Strategy shows indicative treatments for all routes, it does not include detailed designs – therefore, it is not possible to identify which routes include separated cycleway treatments. Detailed designs are undertaken prior to implementation of routes (or route sections) and are subject to consultation. The Bicycle Strategy encourages reference to the NSW Bicycle Guidelines when undertaking detailed designs, which include information on a range of treatments. Council will apply separated cycleway treatments if warranted by traffic conditions and where road widths permit, e.g. Myrtle Street, Marrickville.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes, which relate to:

A. the Cooks River and

B. the Greenway?

Answer:

A. the Cooks River: Regional Route 4 – Balmain to Earlwood via Stanmore

B. the Greenway: Regional Route 5 – Camperdown to Cooks River Regional Route 11 – Botany Bay to Ryde Cycleway Regional Route 1 – Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes, have any been integrated with recent train station upgrades? Please provide details.

Answer:
Integration with stations was a general consideration in developing the Bicycle Strategy network, although at the time of preparing the Bicycle Strategy (2007), the exact timing of upgrades for Sydenham, Newtown and Marrickville stations was not known. Priorities, as previously endorsed by Council, have been based on completing one regional route before commencing a new route to provide maximum benefit from completion of a route.

Question: 

Of the bike routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy and late plans/ strategies, how many of these bike routes have been:

A. Completed? Include names of the bike routes and dates completed.

B. Partially completed? Include names for the routes, details as to approximately how much of these route has been completed, and estimated date for completion.

C. Not at all completed? Include names for the routes and estimated date for completion?

Answer:

A. The only route that has been substantially completed is Regional Route 11 (Cooks River Cycleway), which has been rebuilt in sections from 2008-2012. The remaining issue to be dealt with is containing the tidal inundation at the Kendrick Park railway underpass.

B. Regional Route 5 (Camperdown to Cooks River) will be substantially complete this financial year following completion of the recently approved Carrington Rd section. Remaining issue will be a bike lantern installations proposed at Cardigan St & Salisbury Rd and Philip St & Enmore Rd. Grant funding has been applied for their completion next year.

Approximately 50% of Regional Route 7 works have been completed between Newtown & Petersham. Grant funding has been applied for improvements to the contra-flow arrangement at Mary St and Eliza St Newtown to be undertaken next financial year. Council has endorsed concept plans for the balance of the route between Petersham and Ashfield. Subject to grant funding and completion of detailed designs and consultation it is expected that construction would be undertaken during 2016 and 2017.

In addition, small increments of all routes may have been completed through the implementation of the previous (1996) Bicycle Strategy and through miscellaneous works that have been undertaken to address particular issues.

C. Refer to all routes listed and timing of implementation within the abovementioned document Route implementation staging and cost estimates, noting that Regional Route 11 is completed and Regional Routes 5 and 7 are partially completed.

Council has completed around 10km of the Bike Plan of the approximately 95km of, or around 9% of the proposed routes.

Question: 

What has been the direct cost of completing the bike routes to date:

A. For Council

B. For the State Government (if any State funding was provided)

C. For the Federal Government (if any Federal funding was provided)

D. From other sources (if any)?

Answer:
Financial allocations from 2007 to current are estimated at $2,908,000 made up as follows:

A. Council: $1,600,000

B. State Government:  $980,000

C. Federal Government: $275,000

D. Section 94 Traffic Management: $53,000

TOTAL: $2,908,000

Question: 

What is the estimated cost for completing the bike routes which have not been completed, by bike path?

Answer:

Refer to the document Route implementation staging and cost estimates available on Council‟s Bicycle Strategy webpage, noting that actual costs are likely to be higher.

Project costs will have escalated since the Bike Strategy was adopted in 2007 due to CPI and other forces impacting on project delivery costs. Estimated costs have been based on conceptual information and, hence, detailed designs will be required to develop suitable solutions based on current Australian Standards and road layouts before confirming estimates of cost.

The remaining Bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design. An annual increase of $480,000, in 2014 dollars, on the current $300,000 annual allocation is required to complete the program by 2023. It is emphasized that these estimates are preliminary and are likely to vary when detailed investigation and designs are undertaken.

This would also necessitate acceleration of concept development, consultancy, detailed design and approvals, and other preconstruction activities requiring associated resources.

Question:

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to the completion of bike paths:

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. Within Council‟s current (2013–17) Operating and Capital Budget, completion of bike paths for 2013/14 is funded by Project 8068 – Regional Bike Route RR05 Staged Implementation – $300,000 annually.

The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. Council has not yet adopted its budget for the 2014/15 year however, subject to adoption by Council, it is anticipated that the same or a similar level of funding will be allocated for 2014/15.

Question:

Does this include funding for general road and footpath upgrades?

If yes, please provide details of which of the listed footpaths and roads earmarked for upgrade relate to which bike routes.

Answer:
Funding for Project 8068 relates to the completion of the cycleway along Myrtle St and Carrington Rd. Works can include improvements to road and footpath surfaces where these form part of the cycleway, however separate budgets exist for general road and footpath maintenance.

Question: 

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to urgent road repairs on bike paths (ie funding for urgent bike, black spot fixes such as potholes which could be dangerous for cyclists):

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. Bike path repairs are carried out under either the Regional Road Maintenance, Local Road Maintenance or Footpath Maintenance budgets, depending on the nature of the work required. There is no separate budget for cycle paths. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

Question: 

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to bike parking, including bike racks?

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. The current budget includes Project 7795 – Local bike route improvements, which has funding of $10,000 for 2013/14 and every year until 2016/17. This project is intended to fund miscellaneous bicycle infrastructure, and has been largely used to install public domain bicycle racks and other minor improvements to date.

The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at:http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. As mentioned above, Project 7795 – Local Bike Route Improvements, has annual funding of $10,000. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

MAP OF COUNCIL’S CURRENT AND PROPOSED BIKE PATHS – INCLUDING REGIONAL ROUTES

Marrickville Council Bike Route Map - including proposed routes

Marrickville Council Bike Route Map – including proposed routes

 

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