Gallagher said the community recognized the need for a bike path ramp, but argued that the final design must not detract from the bridge’s historic site. He also criticized the planning path which meant Transport for NSW would review and approve the multi-million dollar project.
“When someone proposes the project, designs the project, reviews the project, and then approves it, that’s hardly in the spirit of an open and transparent process,” Gallagher said.
McLean said that pending final approval, the detailed design and construction phase of the project would need to consider the way cyclists would navigate busy pedestrian zones and the roundabout at the corner of Lavender Street and Alfred Street when merging from the bike lane into the get to park .
He said recent plans included a sharper turn for slower cyclists near the exit and said: “We can work on further improvements and improvements in the final design stages.”
In March, North Sydney Council voted at a heated session to allow the state government access to Bradfield Park to build the cycle path there in exchange for $2.5 million in green space upgrades.
Mayor Zoe Baker said the council has yet to receive any formal advice from Transport for NSW on the status of the project or funding.
“We support active and sustainable transport, but continue to raise concerns about heritage and tree loss in Bradfield Park. We would welcome the solution of the Lavender Street roundabout and the integration of the cycle path into the wider cycle path network,” she said.
The Monuments Council’s approval was subject to conditions that included installing a bronze-coated balustrade, hiring a monuments consultant, and monitoring for possible damage from vibration or settlement during construction.
So far, construction of the cycle path was expected to start in mid-2023 and take 18 months.
McLean said the project will “certainly” not be completed this year but hopes it will be completed in early 2024. He said it was estimated that an average of 1,800 cyclists crossed the bridge each day.
“Once it’s built, all we’ll be talking about is how amazing it is. It will mean a lot to a lot of people.”
Transport for NSW has been contacted for comment.
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