Australia's 'Biggest Bike Lane Skeptic'

The New South Wales minister for roads has taken a firm position against separate bike lanes. Sydney cycling advocates say his policies will bring the city out of step with its global peers.
September 14, 2015, 5am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Daniel Oines

Duncan Gay is Australia's self described "biggest bike-lane skeptic in the government." He is committed to removing a protected cycleway in Sydney, a decision that the city's Lord Mayor and others oppose. 

Plenty of North American politicians appear to share Gay's skepticism. "Earlier this year, Gainesville, Florida returned bike lanes to cars on a 1.6km stretch, resulting in cyclists moving to the pavement. In San Antonio, Texas, the city council removed 3.7km of bike lanes, which the local Express-News paper described as 'a failure of leadership from council.' And, in Toronto, the colourful former mayor Rob Ford oversaw the removal of bike lanes at a cost of CA$300,000."

Bike advocates roundly condemn Gay's view as retrogressive and even dangerous. "British drivers aren't great by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe Australian drivers are even more aggressive when it comes to cyclists. Sydney is borderline terrifying, and that's from somebody who has cycled all over the world. It's not much better than Kuala Lumpur or Los Angeles, which is an indictment in itself."

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Published on Monday, August 24, 2015 in The Guardian
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