When it comes to cycling as the chosen method of getting from A to B, New South Wales isn’t exactly at the frontier.
In fact, despite research by the University of Sydney showing that cyclists are twice as happy as people who commute by car, bus or train, Sydney has the lowest participation rates for cycling of all Australian capital cities — at a woeful two per cent.
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But that may all be about to change.
The passing by Council of the City’s Cycling Action Plan late last year means work is imminently starting that will join up Sydney’s existing network with new shared cycleways and, where possible, separate bike paths.
Once complete, you’ll be able to pedal an uninterrupted route into the city from a whole host of locations, from Rushcutters Bay in the east and Rosebery in the south, to Newtown, Erskineville and Camperdown in the inner west.
Now all this cycling is having a knock-on effect on the local property market.
New developments make a selling feature of their bike-friendly facilities, such as dedicated parking spaces and ground floor storage areas. And there’s a boon for potential vendors too.
“Cycleways definitely have a positive effect on the desirability of properties around the inner west,” says Joseph Tropiano from Stone Real Estate in Newtown.
“People who live around here, or are looking to live around here, are part of an environmentally-aware demographic, and being close to a cycleway increases the likability of a property, which results in better prices.
“Off street parking in the inner west is a luxury not a must have, and as time goes on, being close to a cycleway will make this even less important.
“If you look at the existing bike lanes through Alexandria and Surry Hills, they’ve become quite sought after, not just because of the convenience but also because of the beautification of the streets.”
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This may not quite put us on par with the Danish city of Copenhagen, recently voted the best place in the world to ride a bike, where a whopping 62 per cent of the population cycle to work or school.
But it may help combat the attitude on our roads that even Aussie Tour de France winner Cadel Evans described as “intimidating”.
“As cycling becomes easier and safer, and people get used to the idea that you can ride into the city, easy access to a cycleway will become just as important as living near a train station or bus stop,” Mr Tropiano says.