A group of anonymous bike activists have embarked on a guerilla campaign, plastering some Sydney roads with the slogan “Unsafe cycle lane”.
The message has been painted dozens of times on bike lanes, including on Moore Park Road and Greens Road in Paddington and Doncaster Avenue in Kingsford.
The campaign appears to have been well organised with the slogans seemingly made from stencils and colour co-ordinated to match the paint already on each lane.
The “unsafe cycle lane” message on Doncaster Avenue in Kingsford. BIKESydney president David Borella says he is unsure who is responsible.
The “unsafe cycle lane” message on Doncaster Avenue in Kingsford. BIKESydney president David Borella says he is unsure who is responsible. Photo: BIKESydney
The targeted roads have unseparated bike lanes, where strips of paint, rather than a physical barrier, demarcate a bike lane between parked cars and the main road.
David Borella, the president of BIKESydney, said the advocacy group did not know who was responsible but he thought the slogan was intended to highlight the dangers of the lanes.
“Cyclists are being forced to ride in between fast-moving traffic and potentially opening car doors,” Mr Borella said.
The message on Moore Park Road on Wednesday. It has now been painted over.
The message on Moore Park Road on Wednesday. It has now been painted over. Photo: Fairfax Media
“That’s putting peoples’ lives at risk. Riders are clearly having enough and they are evidently making a statement.”
Mr Borella said frustration was high among Sydney cyclists after the NSW government said it would no longer abide by a promise it made that it would not remove a cycleway on College Street before replacing it with a separated path along Castlereagh Street.
The paint job also follows the death of cyclist Henri Sueke, a father of four and a children’s doctor, who died after a collision with a truck in Rose Bay late last month.
“This statement widely represents the feelings of riders that it is time the state government got serious about high quality cycling infrastructure,” Mr Borella said.
The warning started to draw attention on Monday and, by Wednesday, they were being removed.
A City of Sydney spokeswoman said the markings were classified as graffiti and any prosecution would be dealt with by police.
“The City has a program to investigate all shoulder lanes – where parking and cycle lanes run side by side – and to remark and redesign them as required,” the spokeswoman said.
Moore Park Road was listed for investigation and upgrades to Greens Road had already been approved, she said.
The latest available figures for NSW from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show cyclists are injured in about 3000 accidents a year. Eleven cyclists were killed in accidents in NSW last year.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said all road users needed to exercise respect when using the road.
“I’ve established a round table so cycling groups and other interested parties can put everything on the table for discussion; this includes infrastructure and safety of all road users,” he said.