Inner West 40 K proposal

Inner West Council and the State Government have come up with a plan to make the default speed limit on most roads 40 KM/hr . They say some 30 K zones will be considered. The State Roads and Classified Roads that are now 50 or 60 K are proposed to remain at 50 or 60, despite many not being up to standard with regard to cycling infrastructure, and a trend to changing 60 to 50 on State roads over the past ten years. Most serious injuries occur on these higher speed roads.

Worldwide the move is to 30 K urban default speed limit, following a UN Special Declaration in 2020 after the Stockholm World Road Safety Conference, which Australian Ministers or delegates signed. Many cities in Europe have adopted 30 as the default speed limit, including London, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Amsterdam. Wales has adopted 30 throughout. There are exceptions for main highways and certain other major roads with good cycling facilities, but most roads, including residential and shopping, are 30.

IWBC made a submission, criticising the proposal on a number of grounds.

Council did not make any substantial changes to the proposal and it was adopted at a tecent Council meeting. We are disappointed that several key bike routes will remain 50 or 60 K, and the 30 K option is to be only considered on a limited number of roads.

Further information on the benefits of 30 K speed limits can be found on Bicycle NSW, betterstreets.org.au, and 30please.org.

U tube Video from Not Just Bikes on speed limits.
https://betterstreets.cmail20.com/t/t-l-eikhydt-jtiithmg-t/

New NSW guidelines on 30 K

https://standards.transport.nsw.gov.au/search-standard-specific/?id=TBA%20-%200004459:2022#overhead


Petition to the Mayor

With growing dissatisfaction at the lack of action on new cycleways IWBC members have started a Petition to the Mayor on getting on with design and construction.

https://www.change.org/p/safe-cycling-in-the-inner-west

The petition was delivered to Council in May and Councillor Dylan Griffiths (Greens) proposed a Notion of Motion supporting the action items in the petition. A fire alarm emptied the Council meeting in May before it could be considered, and it was rescheduled for the Extra meeting on June 4, at the Council chambers in Ashfield.

Result: Council passed the motion unanimously. Thanks to Clr Griffiths fir proposing the motion and to Clr Stephens (Labor) for his support.

There was an IWBC bike ride to the May Council meeting and several riders spoke in support of the motion, before the fire alarm!


Another ride was planned for June 4, to keep up the pressure on Councillors, but unfortunately no speakers allowed this time- we had our chance first time around apparently. Ride met at Leichhardt Town Hall at 530 pm. See past event on meetup.com/bike-leichhardt.

Here are the 3 minute talks to Inner WestCouncil in support of IWBC Petition, May 2024

IWBC Petition: Safe Cycling in the Inner West. By Neil Tonkin, IWBC.


As we are all aware Inner West Bicycle Coalition has long been advocating for Council to change our street environments to allow our community to safely get about by bicycle and reduce motor traffic congestion.The community could benefit from separated cycleways, cycle orientated road treatments and lower speed environments. Pedestrians and public transport users could also benefit. The health, environmental, public amenity and social equity benefits are well documented.

Our member groups over the years have been patiently working with our local councils and the merged Inner West Council urging these improvements.

Although Inner West Council promotes active transport over private car use we have seen minimal on-ground improvement of cycling conditions. In fact, I have stated on at least two occasions at this lectern that recent Council progress on building new cycle facilities has been glacial.

Our member groups and followers are in touch with people who cycle and the message we constantly receive is: What is Council doing about making cycling safer and better? Climate change is upon us, we are surrounded by road congestion, the road toll is on the increase and society is becoming increasingly unhealthy due to lack of daily physical exercise. It is no surprise that in just over eight weeks Bike Marrickville’s petition had gathered over 1,000 signatures.

Council knows Transport NSW offers capital funding for design and building of bicycle infrastructure under it’s Get Active program. Only recently the Federal Government has also made similar funding available under its Active Transport Fund.We have met with council officers at a senior level and have been assured that Council has the capability to initiate and manage cycle infrastructure projects, yet no new ones have been started in this term of Council.Why is this so?Extra state funding was also made available during Covid to encourage physical activity by building pop-up cycleways, but this council failed to avail itself of this opportunity, unlike the progressive City of Sydney.

Is it no wonder that our members are rightly asking:What is Council doing about making cycling safer and better? We urge Council to seriously consider the challenge that this petition presents, pass the motion and get moving on starting new cycleway projects.

——————————————————————————————

By Fiona Campbell, Bike Marrickville and City of Sydney Cycleway Manager-

It was 24 years ago when I first spoke at a Marrickville Council meeting – to talk about the community benefits of more people riding and to urge council to keep, not axe, its tiny bike budget, and do more for cycling.
 
I thought about reading you my speech from 2000, but these days, you all know about the benefits of more people riding, and you know that a very healthy majority of the population agree. And, in recent years, the Inner West Council has done some really fantastic work – the GreenWay is becoming a reality, the Carrington Road cycleway upgrade is so great, Regional Route 7 – the cycleway along the rail line between almost Summer Hill and Newtown – is almost all very good, and more.
 
Inner West has so much potential. Did you know that in the 2011 census when the City of Sydney only just started building cycleways, it was Marrickville and Leichhardt leading the way, with higher proportions of work trips by bike than the City of Sydney? (MV 4.39%, L 3.81% & CoS 3.64%). Inner West could re-take that lead with the safe connected bike network that its community wants.
 
We know each project is hard. There are many hurdles. There are always some people who object, and that takes some fortitude, but the community as a whole is behind you. But you CAN do this, and the community, almost all of them, will thank you for it. Everyone will benefit from better health, safer streets, safer climate, and even – for those who still drive, it will be easier to park and drive in the long run, overall. You can do this.

—————————————————————————————————

Rozelle Parklands

After opening to much fanfare in December 2023 the Parklands have been unfortunately closed much of the time since January due to the discovery of bonded asbestos in the mulch in the garden and landscape beds.

The much if briefly appreciated through links for cyclists to the Anzac Bridge and to Annandale are currently still closed.

What was obvious before the asbestos debacle was that there has been little to no work done on the connections to the Park, such as Whites Ck path, Lilyfield Rd, Gordon St, Robert St, Victoria Rd, and Johnston St. Many of these necessary Active Transport links were identified in the Westconnex EIS (Appendix N) and in the Rozelle Interchange UDLP, (Ch 11 on Active Transport), but were left to ”others” to do, presumably Council and TfNSW. After 6 years the ”others” have failed to act.

IWBC has put in a submission on these missing links and on some defects of the Rozelle Parklands cycling infrastucture as constructed.

See a photo compilation by Bike Leichhardt, identifying defects or missing connections.

We also suggest that surrounding streets be declared 30 K zones or Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, in order to promote walking and cycling to the new Parklands. This would be consistent with Councils new policy on lowering speed limits, where 30 K is now an option on selected streets. 30 K is much safer than 40 K, and is used extensively in other countries.

Paramatta to Opera House Foreshore Path

The State Government has released a plan for a foreshore bike and walking path from Parramatta to the Opera House. Total length is 91 km, so not meant as a direct route, but a path you could use bits of to explore the foreshores or complete the whole route over time. They have started with 12 projects that they say are feasible now and are also useful as part of other routes. One is a path next to Massey Park Golf Course in Concord. Another is upgrading Foreshore Rd in Callan Park to remove car parking, although this has already been announced as part of a Bay Run upgrade. 

Future progress will depend on a steady roll out of funding, which could be problematic. Any business case might well decide that other more transport-oriented bike routes might be better value. However, more foreshore paths would be great for Bike Leichhardt recreational rides.

Minister for Active Transport Rob Stokes Press Release.

(Includes a link to a download of an animated loop of the route)

Labor Party Policy on Active Transport

The majority Labor Councilors on Inner West Council announced their Policy Platform at the Council meeting on February 8, 2022, in a Notice of Motion.


The Active Transport section has some promising aims. (slightly edited)

ACTIVE TRANSPORT
Active transport reduces congestion on our roads, improves public health, reduces carbon emissions and provides a cost effective and COVID-safe way for people to travel. …. Cycling infrastructure projects have been shown to create on average 11 jobs per $1 million spent, higher than the 8 jobs for similar road projects.

For our community to capture all the benefits of active transport, we need to invest in infrastructure for people who ride or walk that is safe and connected. We know a key barrier to increasing cycling participation rates, particularly for women and families, is safety. …. Our bike paths and networks must also connect and reflect the routes on which people travel, ensuring more people in the community see cycling as a safe and efficient way to move around our community. We also need to work to ensure cycling is safe and accessible to people of all ages.

We’ll work in partnership with Inner West bicycle groups to advocate for the Network. [fantastic]

To ensure Inner West residents are able to maximise the opportunities around cycling and walking projects, Labor councillors will:

● Continue our strong support for the completion of the GreenWay and champion efforts to build cycling infrastructure where it is supported by local communities; [last bit a cop out, need to convince people to support!]

● Audit shovel-ready projects currently in development by Inner West Council to ensure there is an active pipeline of projects available for State and Federal Government funding rounds;[very important]

● Run a communications campaign and support bicycle groups to host events to encourage greater cycling participation across our communities; [Could we run a Ciclovia?]

● Increase maintenance budgets to ensure our roads, cycleways and footpaths are safe;

● Support walking bus programs and introduce wayfinding programs at schools across the inner west local government area to make roads around our schools safer for kids and give families options to walk or ride to school.

-from Council Meeting 8 February 2022
https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/02/C_08022022_AGN_3904_AT.PDF

IWC Community Strategic Plan

The CSP is an important document, updated every 5 years, that sets out Council’s aims and strategies for the future. It has goals and targets that Council must strive to meet. IWBC has written a submission to the CSP and has made suggestions for targets for building bicycle infrastructure. Previous targets were of the motherhood variety, like “are people satisfied” with progress. We have tried to make it more definite, such as “km of bike path constructed”.

Make your own submission on the latest CSP on yoursay.innerwest.nsw.gov.au under “Our Inner West 2036”. Strategic Direction 2 is the most relevant. Outcome 2.6 is where targets can be suggested.

IWBC has suggested :

“KM of bicycle network completed,

improvement in perception of cycling safety,

increase in bike trips,

increase in mode share of cycling trips to schools,

Number of bike parking racks installed.”

Feel free to add your own targets, and let us know, its not that easy to come up with effective ones.

Note added December 2023:

The latest CSP has an important policy in it that says Council will prioritise walking and cycling over private cars. See section 2.6.2 . If only they put this in to practice!

Inner West Council Elections 4 December 2021

IWBC contacted all candidates or their parties to see what their policies are in relation to improving cycling conditions in the Inner West.

We sent them an information document on the benefits of cycling, which included our policy recommendations.

We asked them three questions:

1) What do you see as the key benefits of Active Transport in the Inner West?;

2) Do you support a safe and connected bike network that women and children feel safe to use?;

3) What will you do to support walking and cycling in Council?

Candidates contacted for the various groups were:

Darcy Byrne, Labor- Balmain Ward
Mark Drury, Labor- Ashfield Ward
Philippa Scott, Labor-Stanmore Ward
Mat Howard, Labor-Marrickville Ward
Chloe Smith, Labor- Leichhardt Ward

Vic Macri, Marrickville Independents- Marrickville Ward
Pauline Lockie, Independent- Stanmore Ward
Jack Robertson, Community Independents- Balmain Ward
Julie Passas, Independent- Ashfield Ward
Vera-Ann Hannaford, Independent- Leichhardt Ward
Morris Mansour, Independent- Ashfield Ward
Peter Dixon, Community Independents- Ashfield Ward
Wenjie Zhang, Independent- Balmain Ward

Marghanita Da Cruz, Greens- Leichhardt Ward
Dylan Griffiths Greens,- Ashfield Ward
Kobi Shetty, Greens- Balmain Ward
Justine Langford, Greens- Marrickville Ward
Liz Atkins Greens-Stanmore Ward.

We have received the following replies as of 19 November 2021:

Labor

Green

John Stamolis (Ind)

Pauline Lockie (Ind)

Pip Hinman (Social Alliance)

Jack Robertson (Ind)

Vera-Ann Hannaford (Independent)

For more on the elections see this Page

Results of Election

Labor did very well, with 8 councillors elected. They will have a majority on Council. They won the second positions out of 3 in three wards. Greens polled well in places but only managed 5 positions. Two Independents, John Stamolis and Pauline Lockie, got in.

The good news is that all councillors elected responded positively to our pre-election approaches. New Councillor Tim Stephens (Labor) is a commuter cyclist and a member of Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club. Phillipa Scott (Labor) is also a cyclist and daughter of Ross Scott, long time member of Bike Leichhardt. Mat Howard (Labor) is a member of Anthony Albanese’s electorate office and is keen on cycling, as well as being up on Active Transport issues. Kobi Shetty (Greens) rides a bike and ferries her children around in a cargo bike. Marghanita da Cruz (Greens) is very supportive of Active Transport and has served on the Traffic Committee. Last but not least, Pauline Lockie works in Clover Moore’s office and is very well versed in bicycle issues.

Please get in contact with your new councillors (listed on innerwest.nsw.gov.au) and congratulate them, and dont forget to mention cycling!


Waiting on Wilson

If you ride on Wilson St cycleway progress is good through Darlington and Newtown but there is a lottery at the Erskineville Rd lights. You can get a quick green, a slow green or an even slower green depending on where in the light cycle you arrive.

IWBC has written to Minister Constance asking that the light phasing be upgraded so that cyclists get a consistent short wait at the lights.

There is a No Right turn there too for cyclists, impeding cycling access to King St and the convenient Mary St route to Camperdown and Stanmore. IWBC is asking that restriction be removed. OK, you can dismount and walk across Wilson and remount in Erskineville Rd, but if a solution can be found it will make cycling that much easier and more attractive, particularly for those using cargo bikes and trailers.

A further problem at this intersection is the merge required back into Wilson St traffic after going through the lights. Drivers have priority and a speed and weight advantage and merging safely may be a problem. Ideally cyclists should have priority. A complete redesign of the intersection as a Dutch-style roundabout with raised crossings on exits might achieve this.