During this year, the Transport and Traffic committee has been involved in a variety of issues, from the WestConnex behemoth to cycling facilities, pedestrian safety and parking management in Glebe and Forest Lodge.
WestConnex continued to dominate the Transport and Traffic agenda this year with the mammoth project rolling on and rolling over the concerns of communities in the inner west. Glebe and Forest Lodge have got off fairly lightly with no construction and no property acquisitions proposed in our area. The mainline road tunnels connecting the M4 at Haberfield with the M2 at St Peters will run underneath Annandale in the vicinity of the junction of Parramatta Rd and Pyrmont Bridge Rd and so well to the west of Glebe and Forest Lodge. The threatened traffic portals on Parramatta Rd near Arundel St will not be built. However Haberfield and St Peters have suffered badly with major earthworks and construction in those suburbs and multiple property acquisitions. The massive Rozelle interchange to be built beneath the Rozelle goods yards site is presenting engineering challenges and a contractor has not as yet been appointed. The mainline tunnels are planned to be completed in 2023.
While construction of the tunnels is underway, trucks carrying spoil away from the construction sites will travel along the City West Link, The Crescent and Johnson St. Once the tunnels are built there is likely to be an increase in traffic on the approaches to our suburb including on Victoria Rd and the Anzac Bridge. The Transport and Traffic Committee is participating in the WestConnex Community Reference Group which is a community based forum that is working with RMS to try to reduce the adverse impacts of the project on the community.
Cycling Facilities and Pedestrian Safety
We have continued our work to improve the cycling infrastructure and pedestrian safety in our area. Early in 2017 we made a submission to the City of Sydney requesting that two separated cycle ways be built through our suburb, running north to south and east to west, to provide safe pathways for cyclists riding to and from the CBD, UTS, TAFE , the University of Sydney, Newtown and surrounding areas. The City has now released its Cycling Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2030 which unfortunately foreshadows no substantial improvements for Glebe and Forest Lodge. The plan refers to an earlier proposal to build a cycleway along St Johns Rd, but this proposal has been rejected by RMS. We will make further submissions to the City asking again for separated cycle ways.
We have real concerns about the safety of pedestrians using the Glebe foreshore path that runs along the edge of Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay. The path was designed by the City to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians. This mixed use is however proving to be problematic with some cyclists riding at speeds that threaten the safety of pedestrians. Inevitably there have been collisions. We have asked the City to put in safety measures along the path and earlier this year the President wrote to one of the City councillors asking for action on this. The City say that educating cyclists in ‘Gracious Sharing‘ is the solution. We are not yet convinced of this.
Following concerns from residents about the pedestrian crossing on Bridge Rd, near the corner with Woolley St, we have written to our local member asking that he lobby the traffic committee in State Parliament for improvements in the safety features around this crossing, which is adjacent to the St James Primary School and two pre-schools.
Parking Management and Shared Zones in Glebe and Forest Lodge
Late last year, the City released a revision to its Neighbourhood Parking Policy and asked for community comment. The City is proposing to make visitor parking permits more user friendly and affordable, provide visitor permits for tradespersons, extend permit times for care workers and broaden the criteria for business parking permits. We wrote to the City in support of these proposals but expressed our concerns about long-term and permanent parking that is occurring in parts of Glebe and Forest Lodge particularly by campers, and asked the City to impose parking restrictions in these areas in consultation with local residents to alleviate this problem.
The City has proposed a shared zone for motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians around the John Street Reserve in Glebe to improve safety for all. We wrote to the City in March supporting this proposal, and asked that the shared zone be extended along a section of John St as has been requested by local residents.