The Beaches Link as documented in the EIS on public exhibition offers nothing for cycling on the Lower North Shore and will result in severe impacts on the existing cycleways and local amenity both during construction and possibly in operation.
Of greatest concern is the popular cycleway alongside Gore Hill Freeway in Artarmon which provides a safe separated regional connection between Naremburn and Eastwood. The EIS states that this cycleway will be closed during construction, which is estimated to take around 4 years, between Station Street, Naremburn and Reserve Road, Artarmon. This also breaks the local connection between neighbouring suburbs Naremburn/Artarmon and Lane Cove.
The document proposes an alternative route to divert pedestrians and bike riders along Station Street, Francis Street, Lambs Street, Cleg Street and Reserve Road. Bike North knows this is an extremely unsafe route, with already a high volume of heavy vehicles on a hilly road, before adding the heavy vehicles accessing the construction sites These documents are on public exhibition at https://caportal.com.au/rms/bl and submissions are open to 1 March.
The EIS document downplays both the risk impact of the detour route and the significance of this bicycle path by:
- Illustrating the detour route in the EIS document in Figure 8-12 as a version of the detour route with less hills and much reduced use of heavy vehicle Reserve Road than described in the text
- Describing the detour in Chapter 8 (p8-47) as being a ‘minor impact on cyclists and would be managed by providing advanced notification to the community and appropriate linemarking and signage
- Implies in Chapter 8 (p8-47) that usage is up to 150 pedestrians and cyclists in peak periods whereas this is shown in chart in Appendix E as up to 150 each hour over a number of hours – by far the majority weekday use is by bike riders
- Fails to include any consideration of risks to bike riders on this detour in Chapter 23 Hazards and Risks
- Fails to identify any access to the pathway at Reserve Road
Please ensure your submission via https://caportal.com.au/rms/bl?hview=modalHaveYourSay requests conditions be set on this project to ensure a safe, separated, usable detour route in Artarmon designed in consultation with Bike North.
Please pass this information to everyone you know who uses, or wants to use this cycleway.
Bike North will provide continue to update the community on issues with the Beaches Link EIS over the next month.