Year in Review -2019

IWBC Coordinator Neil Tonkin and other IWBC members have been to around 45 meetings during the year, on a wide range of topics. Meetings were held with Inner West Council staff, Inner West Council Bicycle Working Group, Council Planning Sessions and Reference Groups, RMS, Westconnex (John Holland), a Parliamentary Forum, and local member BUG meetings, plus meetings with Canada Bay BUG. IWBC member Col Jones went to 10 Traffic Committee meetings.

It is apparent and gratifying that we are being accepted as the voice for cyclists in the Inner West.

Some of the issues discussed were:

Lilyfield Rd Cycleway.

The project initiated by RMS and Transport for NSW to develop Lilyfield Rd as a Regional Cycleway began in 2016 but was shelved in May 2018 due to strong resident and cyclist opposition. A new attempt was approved later in 2018 and a Concept Plan was put on exhibition in mid 2019, with two options. One option was to install bidirectional paths as before, the other to do a more “minimalist” less controversial makeover. We met with the new Consultant, Nathan Parish, from Complete Urban, and Stephen Joannidis, Project Manager from Inner West Council.

We made a submission supporting the minimalist option, but said that some of the better parts of the previous plan shoukd be included if they were non-controversial.

The minimalist option was also the preferred option based on community feedback. There seemed to be a more positive response from residents to the idea of a Cycleway.

A detailed design is now being prepared, maintaining (we think, without being involved) in general the existing design philosophy of uphill bike lanes only but making it more consistent and making safety improvements.

Although we opposed a bi-directional cyclepath on the steep hill west of James St we were not opposed to a path along the south side of Lilyfield Rd between Balmain Rd and Gordon St, which is non-residential, and where loss of parking to fit a bike path in would be less controversial. however there may well be an off-road path next to Lilyfield Rd in the Railyard park when it is finished, starting near Lamb St, as part of the Westconnex Active Transport Enhancement Plan.

Inner West Bike Plan

We have attended a number of meetings with council staff to discuss IWBC member groups’ “wish lists” of desired bike routes and safety improvements, for inclusion in a new Inner West Bike Plan, which will be prepared in 2020-21 we hope. Council has also selected some items for attention now.

Parramatta Rd Urban Access Improvement Project, or PRUAIP.

IW Council received $120m from Greater Sydney Commission to do Active Transport projects along the Parramatta Rd corridor. We have been consulted on the particular improvements we would like at key points, such as putting in bicycle crossings, new bike lanes, connecting an East West route from Flood St St to Nelson St via Dot Lane and a path between Balmain Rd and Hay St.

IWC Integrated Transport Plan

IWBC attended meetings on the ITP and had input into cycling strategy and desirable improvements to the cycling infrastructure. One interesting outcome was a recommendation for a bicycle path on one side of Parramatta Rd.

Westconnex and Rozelle Interchange.

We have attended a number of meetings with Council staff and also with the contractor John Holland on bicycle related matters, as part of a Bicycle NSW team. Cyclist detours during construction are a hot topic, as cyclists face several years of disruption to regular routes. We have been keen to find out the route of new paths promised through the Rozelle Railyards to Anzac Bridge. Final details won’t be released until 2020.

We made a submission on the proposed modification to the EIS for The Crescent, where a new motor ramp over the City West Link has been proposed, reducing bike and pedestrian access at Johnston St. There was strong community opposition to the changes and it appears that RMS may back down on parts of their plan.

City West Cycle Link

IWBC has sought to progress the idea of a level route between Hawthorne Canal and Pyrmont, via the railway corridor to White Bay, then via the Glebe Island Bridge. IW Council has passed resolutions supporting the CWCL, but little has been done to push the idea with the State Government.

A promised letter to the Minister Constance apparently never went. IWBC has written to the Govt but as yet no reply. We are currently exploring the idea of a route behind the sound wall of the City West Link road, from Canal Rd to Balmain Rd as an alternative.

We, with Bike Marrickville, met with Council staff on a proposed bike route from Tempe Station to Sydenham Station.

To be continued…