'What could possibly go wrong?': Why this new bike path is being mocked

A newly laid bike path in Sydney’s inner west has been mocked by locals after the council seemed to have overlooked one major detail.

“I have visited the area in recent weeks, and couldn't help but notice a small design fault. See if you can spot it! What could possibly go wrong?” Dr Kerryn Phelps wrote on her Facebook page.

The caption included two images of the Wilson Street bike lane through Darlington and Newtown, paved and painted with a telegraph pole in directly the centre of the section near Golden Grove Street.

An image of a young boy using a cycleway (right) and the pole in the middle of the Darlington cycleway (left)
The bike lane through Darlington and Newtown paved with a telegraph pole (right) in the centre of it has left locals laughing. Pictured left is a stock image of a child riding a bike. Source: Facebook/Dr Kerryn Phelps; Getty Images, file

The new bike path was a welcome addition for the area popular with cyclists, but Dr Phelps was confused about why the roadblock wasn’t removed before the path was paved.

“I would've thought that the best time to remove a telegraph pole would have been before the cycleway was surfaced,” she posted.

A City of Sydney spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the path was not yet open and due for completion in early 2020.

“The pole is scheduled to be moved in coordination with AusGrid before the cycleway is opened,” a spokesperson said.

Until then locals seem amused by the obstruction which has been wrapped in red and white tape to alerting nearby people to the danger.

“Now when you’re wrapped around the pole you’ve got something to read,” one person responded.

“No one building the path noticed a ruddy great pole poking up and thought to ring an alarm bell?” a second person asked.

Others compared it to a recent blunder in Newcastle where a pole now sits directly in the middle of Foundry Street in Wickham.

The City Of Sydney says “completing the Wilson Street cycleway is a priority so we can reduce the impact on local traffic and residents”.

Dr Phelps responded to comments on her Facebook, suggesting a better job could be done to keep cyclists safe.

“Barriers could have been left up around the pole to reduce the chances of someone running straight into it if they are not paying attention,” she wrote.

As for the path, a City of Sydney spokesperson said once the pole was moved they would make sure there was a smooth path with no danger for cyclists.

“We're pushing ahead with construction and will complete a thorough spot fix when the pole is moved,” the spokesperson said.

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