Rome wasn’t built in a day

Back in July, just after the World “Youth” Day “Pilgrims” left us, work started on the proposed bicycle lane in King Street, Sydney.

This is to run on the northern side of the street from Sussex Street to Clarence Street. That is a distance of one or two not very long blocks – albeit up a rather steep slope. In fact, work started earlier than that on the opposite side of the street (not really part of the bike way at all but simply of the upgrade of the street), and nothing has happened yet on the second block. So far, we are only talking about the first block, from Sussex to Kent Streets.

Work is still going on. How can it be taking so long?

There are signs up announcing that the Council is doing all this to put in a cycleway, thus –

Cycleway sign on King St

Cycleway sign on King St

but it appears to me that the project has been loaded up with all sorts of other things which, though doubtless desirable, are piggybacking the cycle-specific part of the job. It is clear that the opportunity has been taken to renovate or relocate all of the under-street services – at a guess, water, electricity, gas, drainage – plus who knows what else. A conversation today with a workman sheltering from the rain confirmed this.

I used to wonder how it could be that the quoted figures for construction of cycleways could ever be so high. I am now beginning to suspect a reason why.

When the council proudly trumpets its expenditure on cyclists, perhaps the figures should be scrutinized to see exactly what other works have been included along the way.

2 Responses to “Rome wasn’t built in a day”

  1. Victor Says:

    I recall in the early 1990s that it took the Sydney City Council well over a year to repave just two blocks of footpath in The Rocks. At the time, Sydney was bidding to host the Olympic Games and I wondered at the time how we would ever be a able to build all the venues should the bid be successful when it took so long over just two short footpaths.

  2. Rome wasn’t built in a day 2 « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] wrote last year about the interminable saga of the construction of the King St cycle way in the […]

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