This week we contributed to a workshop planning of Safe Active Streets – with the aim of developing a prototype for Parramatta, to test what NSW needs in urban communities.

We have become used to a ‘standard’ street; houses, apartments, and businesses adjacent to a road (hopefully) with a footpath, perhaps with a station, park, open space, school, community or sports facility nearby.  Occasionally bike paths or lanes are included, and maybe your street leads somewhere special – to a river, lake, farm, beach or bushland.

This model prioritises motor vehicle movement, and is relatively new.  Many of today’s young adults and most older-adults walked, rode and played on the streets near their homes.

It’s time we re-considered our priorities.  Over 1500 pedestrians are hit on NSW roads each year. Transport accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged 1-14 (12%) and responsible for 21% of deaths of 15-24 year olds.

Bicycle NSW has called for lower-speed local streets and Inner West Council has proposed temporary street closures to allow children to play safely.

This week Bicycle NSW joined with NSW Transport, City of Sydney and City of Parramatta Council's , Sydney Metro, RMS, Road Safety, Department of Education, the Heart Foundation, Health experts and community advocates to discuss ways to create streets that enable children to play safely, neighbours to meet and communities to become better connected.

“It’s encouraging to be part of developing ideas for street design that puts people first, so everyone can be active in safety,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

Bicycle NSW looks forward to the prototype design and to the community outcomes of testing new priorities.

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