New South Head Road
Bad cycles leave riders on the edge

While NSW bike riders continue to wait for a safe place to ride on New South Head Road, another issue on the thoroughfare has reared its head.

Beyond the urgent need for protected bike lanes following the recent deaths of two people on New South Head Road, traffic light cycles at intersections could also use a tweak.

Currently, local riders have raised concerns about the timing of traffic light signals which are forcing bike riders to cross intersections on a red light.

The intersection of New South Head Road and Ocean Street near Edgecliff Station is proving particularly challenging for people who ride due to an incline and left turning vehicles.

After these vehicles have turned, bike riders get their go – but as they begin pedalling, still on the incline, the lights quickly change and leave them stranded in the middle of the intersection on a red light.

At the same time, cars on Ocean Street get a green light and begin to move, seeing only a bike rider in their way who they perceive to be running a red. It creates a tense and risky environment.

Traffic signal phases from start to stop play an important role in optimising the movement of all road users through an intersection and can reduce the risk for bike riders if timed correctly.

The Australia Bicycle Council recommends that a minimum green phase of six seconds is appropriate for most bicycles. In the case of this intersection, the phase must also consider the incline and the volume of traffic turning left.

While we wait for proper protection on New South Head Road to make bike riding more comfortable and attractive, an interim reconfiguration of traffic lights to display a longer orange light could help avoid another serious incident.

Bicycle Network has made previous calls to fix New South Head Road, and has also phoned and written to the RMS again to alert them to the new issue on New South Head Road and request action.

However, we also hope that someone else might notice the problem and take action themselves – the intersection is on the front doorstep of Federal Member for Wentworth and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office.

Have your say

Woollahra Municipal Council, where New South Head Road runs through, is currently seeking feedback from residents and people who travel in and around the area to hear about troubles they are having with traffic and transport.

There is a survey that you can take to give your feedback, but you can also pinpoint particular issues on a specially developed map.

Using the map you can make comments and supply photos regarding a specific location, and whether the issue affects bike riding walking, driving or public transport.

Bicycle Network provided feedback directly to Woollahra Municipal Council in a face-to-face meeting earlier this month and encourages anyone who travels in the area to give feedback, whether it is about New South Head Road or another issue.

Take the survey.

Use the specific feedback map.