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Slacky Creek ‘counter’ will tally pedestrian and cycle usage at 15 minute intervals

The cycle path at Bulli. Inset: The counter at Slacky Creek.

A COUNTER has been placed on the foreshore pathway at Bulli to capture the number of pedestrians and cyclists passing at 15 minute intervals.

The counter is located at the Slacky Creek bridge, Shark Bay, between Waniora and Sandon Points, Bulli.

The data captured will show Wollongong City Council the number of walkers and bike riders, as well as the direction they’re travelling. Council says the information will be used to plan improvements to coastal pathways into the future, and do not capture personal information.

The Bulli counter is one of three installed at points on the Blue Mile and at Puckeys Reserve, Fairy Meadow.

Director of infrastructure and works, Joanne Page said Council already know anecdotally that the coastal pathway is extremely popular with walkers, runners and riders.

“What we aim to do by collecting this additional data is to have fact-based information about how these spaces are being used,’’ Ms Page said.

“For example, we know the Blue Mile is a popular place for social activity and exercise, but it is more popular at specific times of day – or is it across the day. The same for Puckeys Reserve – are we seeing people using the bike track as a commuter corridor, or is it consistently enjoyed across the day by bike riders?

“The information collected through this study will help us plan for future infrastructure needs and continue Council’s focus to offer valuable active transport links where people use them most.’’

Council is also using fixed counters to measure the use of the trial pop-up cycleways in Thirroul, Towradgi, Port Kembla and in Wollongong. The counters for Thirroul, Towradgi and Port Kembla will be installed this month and track the use of the cycleways.

There are existing counters in Smith and Kembla streets in Wollongong, collecting the number of cycling trips, their direction and speed. Recent data show there were close to 250 trips a week along Kembla Street in the last two weeks of 2021 and the first week of 2022, and more than 600 trips a week on Smith Street in the same period. In fact, for the last week of 2021 there were more than 800 trips along the Smith Street link. The information collected in this study will form part of the trial’s ongoing assessment.

“It’s important we take a multifaceted approach to any assessment of these pop-up cycleways. Data is one way we can look at how the cycleways are used, and community feedback is another way,’’ Ms Page said.

“By collecting a range of data and feedback and considering elements like the particularly wet summer we’ve experienced, we’re able to better understand how they’re used, opportunities for improvements, and how we can support more people in our community considering riding as a legitimate and accessible way to move about.’’


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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