The future of a long-awaited cycling ramp at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be put in the hands of the public, with the state government announcing a competition to determine the final design.
As we previously reported, after years of delays, the NSW government released two cycle ramp concept designs, one with a spiral ramp, the other linear.
Now the NSW government has revealed that, after a consultation period, the community has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a linear design to connect the cycle path on the western side of the bridge deck to Bradfield Park.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the community would be asked for feedback on three shortlisted linear designs, and a winner would be announced later this year.
For decades until today cyclists must dismount and carry their bikes up or down 55 stairs on their commute.
Almost 2800 people responded to government consultation through surveys or submissions regarding the designs, with 82 per cent backing the ramp.
North Sydney mayor Jilly Gibson, who has opposed the designs because of the impact on open public space and potential risks to pedestrian safety, said she was delighted the government was opening the process to a design competition.
Bicycle NSW general manager of public affairs Bastien Wallace welcomed the majority support for the cycling ramp but questioned why a design competition was needed, saying it could further delay the project.
“What riders really need is construction, and we really look forward to the solution being built,” Ms Wallace said.
Committee for Sydney CEO Gabriel Metcalf said the competition was a key opportunity for Sydney to show what it stood for.
“A cycleway across the Harbour Bridge would be a statement to the world: Sydney is about liveability, and Sydney is not afraid of change. Sydney is a place that sees opportunity in the low-carbon future,” he said.
You can see the full community consultation report from Transport for NSW here.
A longer version of this article was first published in the Sydney Morning Herald.