Cycle win for Newtown blackspot
A key missing link in Sydney’s regional bike network will be completed by June following the approval of plans by Marrickville Council at its meeting on 3 March 2015.
Greens Councillor and Chair of the Marrickville Council Transport Committee, Sylvie Ellsmore, said “This month Marrickville Council approved plans to establish a new shared path for bikes, pedestrians and cars at Eliza St Newtown, which runs from Camperdown Memorial Park to King Street. Building this missing connection is the culmination of years of negotiation across Councils and campaigning by bike groups.
“The plans will finally enable cyclists to legally cross King Street in order to get to and from the Wilson Street cycleway. Currently cyclists going to or from Wilson St to Camperdown have no way to cross King Street in either direction without getting off their bikes, riding on part of the footpath or ignoring one of the “no right turn” signs.
“Hundreds of bikes cross King Street from Camperdown to Redfern and the city using this bike route every day, and the numbers keep growing. After years of campaigning I am very proud that Marrickville Council is acting to fix this major bike blackspot,” Clr Ellsmore said.
Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said, “The new Eliza Street bike path is a key missing link in what is one of Sydney’s busiest regional bike routes. Its approval brings us another step closer to implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network.”
The Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network is the key bike plan endorsed by the 15 inner Sydney Councils. It identifies 1 or 2 key regional routes connecting across each Council area as priorities to be built or completed, including a crossing at King Street. The Greens NSW have committed to the full implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network, which has been costed at $185 million.
Ms Leong said, “Our local Greens Councillors have been driving the implementation of bike paths and increasing investment in bike paths. The Greens on Marrickville Council were last year successful in doubling the Council’s bike budget.
“But Local Councils cannot do it alone. It is good news that after many years of planning and reports the State Government has come to the party with some funding to enable this section of bike path to be built. However the reality is that there are many, many other parts of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network which will not be built because State Government funding has not been provided.
“Building proper, safe bike infrastructure takes real investment – not a piece-meal approach of funding bits and pieces of projects. It is time for the State Government and Labor Opposition to step up, and to work with the Greens to ensure that we’re investing in new cycleways and active transport, not new dirty tollways that will further choke our city,” said Ms Leong.
The Eliza Street cycleway plans were approved at the 3rd March 2015 Infrastructure Committee meeting of Council, pending some final discussions with local residents to deal with parking issues and approvals by the State RMS of the final plans. The path is likely to result in the loss of two parking spaces in Eliza Street. Once implemented bike, people and car traffic on Eliza Street will share the space in a 10km zone. The approved plans also include changing the current two-way cycleway on Mary Street to one way, with cyclists encouraged to travel instead on the larger, safer Eliza St cycleway.
The new cycleway will be partly funded by Marrickville Council and partly by the State Government, which has provided $100,000. The Greens Transport vision including costed commitments to public transport and cycleways can be downloaded at http://nsw.greens.org.au/sites/nsw.greens.org.au/files/Greens-Transport-vision-2020-Plan.pdf The ALP launched their transport vision last month. It included no reference to funding for cycleways.
A recent ALP announcement indicated that the ALP plans to join the Greens in committing to fund the Greenway active transport corridor. For more information or to sign up to the Greens campaign to build the Greenway visit the website of Greens MP Jamie Parker.
Media contact: Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213 Greens candidate for Newtown Jenny Leong 0434 095 865