Traffic Conditions in the Sydney CBD?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by nicholastanguma, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma

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    Outside of the morning and afternoon rush hours, which presumably are terrible no matter the city or country, what are the usual traffic conditions in Downtown Sydney?

    Specifically, if I were living in Sydney's CBD and wanted to go for an impromptu moto ride for a few hours of fun would traffic be a frustration in the downtown area, and also getting into/out of the city as whole?

    Bear in mind I'm from New York City, where the freedom to go for an impromptu ride is nearly nonexistent. Going for a ride inside the city, or riding to get into/out of the city as a whole, is not something to do on a whim.
    #1
  2. YouAreNotASlave

    YouAreNotASlave Adventurer

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    I live in NYC too but am from Sydney. Was last home in December 2017.

    Regarding usual traffic conditions:
    • On weekdays, during rush hour - not terribly bad. The longest commute I'd had to do on my bike was from Southwestern Sydney to the CBD (Bankstown to Martin Place) and it was doable in less than hour. 30 to 45 mins with liberal lane filtering (illegal at the time I was doing it; legal now) and use of bus lanes (legal). Not as bad as NYC (though I only commuted uptown to downtown Manhattan via West side hwy or FDR).
    • On weeknights, after hours - really pleasant riding conditions; okay traffic
    • On weekends - Pretty bad. Nearly like rush hour. Everyone seems to be on the road. A little better after hours.
    Rush hour, depending on where you're going, isn't that bad unless there's an accident. Much like NYC, Sydney has key choke points that mess up traffic; the Harbour Bridge, Parramatta Rd, Victoria St, M5, etc. An accident on these main thoroughfares will cause traffic throughout the system.

    It's generally okay to go for an impromptu ride, depending of course where you're coming from and heading to. The ride to Palm Beach is nice but traffic heading there could be bad. Royal National Park or Old Pacific Hwy/Putty Rd are farther away but once you get out of the city, it's okay. My weekend rides used to start from Windsor (out of the CBD) and getting there in the morning was fine but coming home (either southwest, inner west or eastern suburbs depending on where I was living) was always bad in the afternoon.

    TLDR; it's not as bad as NYC. Very much possible to go on an impromptu ride as long as you avoid rush hour in the city and attempting to get back from out of the city during peak weekend traffic.
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  3. tomo8r

    tomo8r Been here awhile

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    Peak hour in Sydney is roughly a 12hr a day, 7 day a week affair. Weekend traffic is marked by numpties that only use a vehicle on the weekend and are not very good at driving.

    When living in Sydney I've not gone for rides because I really didn't want to face the traffic.

    Even simple local rides are problematic. Going to the natio is a balancing act. Go too early and deal with the cyclists. Go too late and deal with the tourists and packs of learner riders doing 20 under the limit.

    The only reason I'd love in the CBD is if all my social interests were in the CBD or close by via public transport.
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  4. anydavenow

    anydavenow Been here awhile

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    Are we taking a dirt or road ride?

    There's a lot of good dirt to ride in Australia but the Sydney CBD is arguably the furthest you can get from any of it.

    And I live there.
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  5. YouAreNotASlave

    YouAreNotASlave Adventurer

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    How far away from the CBD and toward what direction? Only got into dirt riding since moving away. Will be living in the Northern Beaches upon our return.
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  6. anydavenow

    anydavenow Been here awhile

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    There's something good in every direction but you have at least an hour and a half of commuting to get to it. Unless you want to take your Enduro bike up Red Hill which will you'll be close to, but that's pretty technical and dubiously legal.
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  7. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma

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    I am a through-and-through urbanite: I absolutely adore all the hustle and noise and frantic energy of a dense metropolis...but I'm also a through-and-through adventure rider, too. I admit it's a combination that's caused me no small amount of emotional trauma over the years. :dirtdog
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  8. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

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    Sydney is one of the biggest cities in the world in area, so you have to travel a long way to get out of it. I eventually got out of bikes when I lived there because day rides were just not feasible. I believe it's even worse now, any good roads near Sydney have ridiculous speed limits and any dirt roads are locked up. I know there are exceptions, but few and far between. I'm so happy I moved back to the bush. Just to rub it in, I go out my driveway and turn left on to to the Barry Way or turn right for the Alpine Way. Heaven on 2 wheels.
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  9. YouAreNotASlave

    YouAreNotASlave Adventurer

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    #9
  10. anydavenow

    anydavenow Been here awhile

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    I was tearing up reading this... you are very lucky! (Except in winter...)
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  11. Russ

    Russ Long timer

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    You can be out in the country from the CBD in an hour to an hour and a half.
    If going for a day ride on a weekend it's best to leave early and clear the city limits as early as possible you can be beyond the blue mountains from the CBD on good dirt roads in 2 hours.
    We usually try clear the city on a Friday evening that way you start the ride on Saturday without any hassle, and get 2 days of country riding and get home Sunday evening.
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  12. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    Actually Melbourne is much larger than Sydney or Brisbane in 2018...


    Sydney = 1687 Km2 Rank 34

    Brisbane = 1603 km2 Rank 39

    Melbourne = 2080 km2 Rank 25

    http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-area-125.html
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  13. anydavenow

    anydavenow Been here awhile

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    Cool stats. With New York being at the top of that list the OP will find Sydney refreshingly close to the riding areas!
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  14. dirtsurfer

    dirtsurfer Adventourer

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    I'm sure you can and do Russ , but I wouldn't raise the expectations of a visitor to the city. To do it in 90 minutes you would have to leave early , know exactly which route you are taking and have done it a couple of times before and be pretty flexible in your definition of "the country" If the OP is from NYC he may well feel like Katoomba , Bowral, Wollongong are country.
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  15. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

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    Mt Is a is 5 times bigger than New York and doesn't even rate a mention on that list. :lol3
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  16. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    Well the actual town is only 62.8 Km2 if you are referring to Mt Isa in QLD. Are you referring to the actual Shire?
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  17. dirtsurfer

    dirtsurfer Adventourer

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    NYC has a larger population and covers a greater area but visitors should note our roads infrastructure is more inadequate :dirtdog
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  18. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

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    I'm referring to the City area, to show the inconsistency of what you are measuring, with a bit of humour thrown in. A quick Google found 2 lists showing Sydney bigger than Melbourne, but it isn't really relevant to the discussion. The important thing to measure is how long it will take you to get from your garage to the fun stuff, and for Sydney it's a long time. And then after the fun stuff you have to do it all again to get home.
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  19. YouAreNotASlave

    YouAreNotASlave Adventurer

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    Really? Do you know how many potholes there are through out NYC? The roads in NYC are horrendous. Despite the traffic, at least Sydney roads are well maintained.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  20. dirty dennis

    dirty dennis are we there yet

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    What woody said. I roll the bike out of the shed & practise slides up the drive to the front gate for a km or so!
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