Transport for New South Wales has launched a design competition to find an architectural team with heritage and Connecting with Country expertise to design a cycle ramp up to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Source: Architecture AU

Transport for NSW will commence the competitive design process via an open Registration of Interest (ROI). Through this, three leading architectural design will be selected and the community will have the chance later this year to comment on the shortlisted designs, together with plans for the Alfred Street cycle path and the Lavender Street roundabout.

The announcement comes after a community consultation process found overwhelming support for a liner ramp over a looped design, the other option floated by the department.

Community responses showed that a clear majority supported the project, despite a push from North Sydney Council to oppose the ramp, supported by a $15,000 war chest.

Of the 2,578 survey responses received by Transport for NSW between 7 and 28 June, 68 percent supported the linear option, compared to 5 percent for the looped option, 9 percent for either option and 17 percent for neither.

The responses did show a split between those who lived in immediately proximity to the site compared to those further afield, however.

In the immediate community 60 percent preferred neither option, while 82 percent of respondents in the local area supported a ramp, and 97 percent in the wider area also supported the ramp

The majority of survey responses, 71 percent, were from people who cycle at least once a week, 21 percent were from occasional riders and seven percent never cycle.

Submissions made outside of the survey showed a higher level of opposition to the project. Of the 461 submissions received, 40 percent supported the project and 58 percent opposed it.

Transport for NSW said that the people who supported the project were impatient. “They believe the project is well overdue and is vital to making cycling a safe and accessible transport option for a wider group of people – not just those fit enough to manage the steps currently.”

Supporters also believed the ramp could help to activate Bradfield Park and bring recreational riders to the local area.

Those in opposition, however, believed the problem had been overstated and that the steps were “a minor inconvenience at worse.” They believed the impacts to open space were not worth the potential benefits.

In terms of the preferred design, supporters of the linear option thought it was the safer option due to its clear sight lines and separation of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. They also considered it a more direct and easier connection for cyclists and though it looked better and was less intrusive than the loop.

More information about the project can be found on TfNSW’s website.

This article was first published in Architecture AU on 17 August 2021, and is repurposed here with permission.

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