“Why would [Cr] Moore announce a new cycleway for Oxford Street … only to cancel the plans because they weren’t feasible?” asked Cr Scott, who will vie with Cr Moore for the mayoralty in local body elections in December.
“Communities are tiring of an endless cycle of announcements before elections, followed by years of inaction and delay.”
However, Cr Moore said it was vital a design outcome that the whole community could get behind was reached because Oxford Street was one of Sydney’s busiest cycling routes and had an important history.
“Moving the cycleway to the northern side of Oxford Street will make the connection to College Street safe for bike riders, and ensure events can be held on the glittering mile without the need to remove centre-running infrastructure,” she said.
When it was first announced last year, the council said the “innovative centre-running cycleway” on Oxford Street would allow bus lanes, parking, taxi ranks and loading zones to largely operate as they do now, while providing a safe, fast and direct route for people riding.
Plans for the revised cyclepath along Oxford and Liverpool streets will undergo four weeks of community consultation, and a report is scheduled to be put to the council in February. If approved, the project will proceed to a detailed design stage and the cycleway constructed in 2023.
“While it is anticipated the cost of the permanent cycleway would be more than originally budgeted for the pop-up cycleway, we aim to limit construction time and cost by minimising changes to the footpath and maintaining existing infrastructure,” the council spokeswoman said.
The council said the state’s transport agency had provided in-principle approval for the proposal and contributed funds towards the design phase of the Oxford and Liverpool street cycleways.
The state government is yet to release costings and construction schedules for a cycleway along another stretch of Oxford Street between Taylor Square and Paddington Gates, which is an entrance to Centennial Park.
The project, which will be half funded by the Commonwealth, has been described as the “final piece in the NSW government’s eastern suburbs link” election commitment.
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