Wollongong City Council's cycle-friendly approach may be paying off, according to new figures.
However, comments from survey participants suggested there was work to be done in managing the potential conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on the city's shared pathways.
Each year AustRoads had undertaken a National Cycling Participation Survey via phone in various cities.
In the Wollongong survey of 2020, 33 per cent of those surveyed said they had ridden a bike in the previous 12 months.
In the just-released 2023 figures, that number has jumped to 47 per cent. In numerical terms the study claimed that was a jump from 72,200 resident riders in 2020 to 101,800 this year.
In 2023, one in five Wollongong residents ride a bike weekly, compared to around one in 10 three years ago.
Port Kembla's Jess Whittaker is one of those 20 per cent of weekly riders in Wollongong.
She mainly rode locally to go to the shops, the gym or just for enjoyment
"I can see a lot of people out riding, especially if they live in the CBD where the facilities are really good for getting around," Ms Whittaker said.
However, Ms Whittaker said the shared paths south of the city weren't quite so good, forcing her to skip them when riding.
"Because I have a van, I will drive to Wollongong and then ride around Wollongong and drive home because I don't find the southern cycle way safe or enjoyable - it's too close to the traffic," she said.
The study also included verbatim responses from survey responders, with the etiquette of the shared pathway a recurring issue.
"Can be hard riding on bike paths with so many pedestrians between East Corrimal to Fairy Meadow," one respondent said.
Another expressed concern about the changes to the Blue Mile pathway at North Wollongong.
"Bring back the lane that was dedicated specifically to bikes and replace these new improved shared paths with the dedicated separated paths because people don't understand the icons meaning the path is shared with walkers and bicycles, so it's dangerous," they said.
Pedestrians said they were concerned about the speed of cyclists.
"A bit more of a separation on bike lanes [is needed]. They go zooming by in groups of five or six and have no regards for people that are walking on the paths," one said.
Another was not a fan of the way they rode along the Blue Mile, saying "they do not dismount and ride very fast and not taking heed of pedestrians".
Ms Whittaker had noted those comments about the potential for conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.
"I think generally cyclists are pretty alert and won't hit you unless you step out in front of them unexpectedly," she said.
"I think it's the perception of the cyclist whizzing past when you weren't expecting them."
She felt separated cycling pathways were a good idea because being forced to either ride on the shared pathway with pedestrians or the road with cars made her feel like she didn't have a place.
"I think that's what's so good about the separated cycle ways - even if it's just for a little while you feel like you belong somewhere," she said.
"It's almost like a bit of a buzz, like I've got my own zone."
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