We felt A New Hope when the Premier and Transport Minister supported what bike riders need to play their part in making our transport system COVID-Safe. But for many riders safe bike infrastructure still feels like something in a galaxy far, far away…
Bicycle NSW has fought hard to make the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange project safer for people who ride bikes, because of its impact on one of the highest bike traffic routes in NSW. With submissions and campaigning we tried to bring them to the ‘light side’.
The Dark Side Of Rozelle Interchange
You’ve shared photographs and video and some feature on our #NSWBikeFail page, where we explain the guidelines, principles and laws being broken - how they could resist falling to the ‘dark side’. We couldn’t understand how these issues were making it past road safety auditors so we wrote to Ministers Constance and Toole and we proposed a new process where we could help make projects safer for riders, safe rework costs and reduce safety issues.
The response from a Transport for NSW staff member confirmed road safety audits were carried out and disruption to all transport users as ‘unavoidable’. They also admitted the correct balance had not always been struck on rider issues. Then suggested we approach project managers and ask to complete ride throughs ourselves.
This is about dangerous safety failures, not just inconvenience. Asking nicely for change hasn’t been enough thus far. We wrote back, explaining the legal, technical and safety issues and received…silence. Thankfully the resistance has powerful allies.
Use the Force To Help Rozelle Interchange
Through the power of the parliamentary process and questions asked in March the Hon Jo Haylen, Labor’s Shadow Active Transport Minister obtained copies of the road safety audit of the Detour Routes and the Post Implementation Safety Audit of Stage 1.
It is clear safety auditors knew the proposed detours were dangerous. They did not identify all the issues, failed to appreciate when detours forced riders to choose between breaking the law and being hit by cars, and provided excuses to avoid responsibility on behalf of the project rather than suggesting alternative safe treatments.
As we shared yesterday, the Parramatta Light Rail project is a risk to any rider whose bike cannot fly. We need a paradigm shift to make state infrastructure projects safer.
“People can’t help decongest roads and public transport if construction projects make riding unsafe,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“As so many of us ride more, we need projects to prioritise rider safety,” said Bastien.
If you see safety failures on construction projects you can report them via the SafeWork App or share it on social media and tag in #safeworknsw #speakup #safework and there’s our #NSWBikeFail process to help you locally and for state projects.
Bicycle NSW will be with you...always...