From pop-ups to permanent in Sydney

In a win for people who ride, two of Sydney’s most popular pop-up cycleways are set to become permanent fixtures and stay in place for another two years.

Rapidly rolled out during the pandemic, the popular separated bike lanes on Pitt Street in the CBD; and Henderson Road, Railway Parade and Bridge Street in Erskineville will become permanent under plans approved by the City of Sydney.

The remaining pop-up cycleways will stay in place with further monitoring, consultation and evaluation by the council for the next two years.

Concept designs for a cycleway along the missing link on Liverpool Street outside the Downing Centre and the return of the popular College Street cycleway have also been given the green light.

It’s clear that Sydney’s pop-up cycleways have been popular with commuters. From July 2020 and April 2021, more than 500,000 trips had been taken across the pop-up cycleway network.

The Pitt Street cycleway alone is averaging 6,000 weekly trips which is more bike rider movements than the Sydney Harbour Bridge - the city’s most popular established cycling path.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney’s pop-up cycleways were offering people more transport options, while helping to reduce road congestion and over-crowding on public transport.

“When COVID hit, we worked with the state government to install pop-up cycleways – a key element of its emergency transport response,” the Lord Mayor said.

“These cycleways have shown us we can make roads safer for riders, calm traffic and create attractive environments that leave room for people, provide space for outdoor dining and support surrounding businesses.

“Recent COVID outbreaks underscore how important our investment in wider footpaths and separated cycleways will be in helping to prevent the disease from spreading.

“Across Greater Sydney there has been a 40 per cent increase in people riding since the pop-ups were installed, and many who took to cycling through the pandemic will continue to ride.

“The growth in people using the Pitt Street cycleway is unprecedented, with a 500 per cent increase in the number of people riding there.”

The cycleways are part of the planned bike network in the City’s cycling strategy and action plan 2018-2030.

Download a digital map of Sydney's Cycleway Network, including the pop-ups. 

See our video of the Pitt Street pop-up lane below. 

Facts about the Pitt Street Cycleway 
  • This two-way separated cycleway sees 6,000 weekly bike trips on average
  • Before the pop-up cycleway was installed, around 89% of people riding a bicycle on Pitt Street were using the footpath
  • The road space changes have significantly enhanced the amenity for people walking and provided more outdoor space for businesses to operate
  • A survey of pop-up cycleway users found the perceived safety of people has also improved, with 97 per cent of people surveyed feeling safer riding on the separated cycleway.
Facts about the Henderson Road, Railway Parade and Bridge Street, Erskineville pop up cycleway 
  • This route was selected to address a missing link between Erskineville-Ashmore and the city
  • Since the first week of opening in July 2020, the number of bike trips has increased more than 30 per cent to an average of 2,900 trips a week and the number of women riding has increased
  • A survey of pop-up cycleway users found perceived safety has also improved. Over 90 per cent of people surveyed felt safer riding on the separated cycleway.
Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
  • The pop-up cycleway on Dunning Avenue connects to Green Square town centre and to George and Bourke streets cycleways, which are key connections into the city centre. It also connects to the south with a shared path on Gardeners Road
  • Plans for a permanent cycleway in a different arrangement are being developed following monitoring and feedback from riders. Consultation on the concept plan is planned for later this year.
Fitzroy Street and Moore Park Road
  • The City of Sydney is working with the state and federal governments and Woollahra Council to develop a cycleway on Oxford Street between Hyde Park and Centennial Park. The community will be consulted on concept designs
  • Once the Oxford Street cycleway is completed, the City of Sydney plans to remove the pop-up cycleways on Moore Park Road and Fitzroy Street.