People forced to interact with the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange Project in Sydney could be forgiven for asking whether new and much reduced ‘safety standards’ now apply when it comes to bike riding.
In the Beginning
The high levels of bike riding in the area were acknowledged by project managers, especially along Lilyfield Road. We were encouraged by promised safety standards and undertakings to ensure riding would continue and disruption would be minimised. Unfortunately, our optimism was misplaced.
Bicycle NSW and members of the Inner West Bike Coalition (drawn from Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville BUGs), have attended meetings, made submissions, short videos, explained problems and tried everything we can to ensure bike riding can continue safely and directly during and post construction. Riders and community members have called, written, over 3300 signed a petition, and Bicycle NSW has even been asked to assist the NRMA whose members were contacting them calling for better safety or bike riders.
Our efforts have also been supported by the local member of parliament the Hon Jamie Parker MP, the Hon. Jo Haylen MP Labor’s Shadow Active Transport Minister and the Hon Cate Faehrmann MP who holds the active transport portfolio for the NSW Greens. Bicycle NSW has written to the Ministers for Transport and Planning, calling for a new way of working to improve the safety of projects for people who ride bikes.
We built a page to explain the principles of safe engineering for bike riders. It also contains videos prepared by a member who has compared what has happened on the Rozelle Interchange project with what should be happening.
Your Comments on Westconnex
The next proposal involves widening Timbrell Drive at Five Dock, making the refuge crossing from Timbrell Park to the Bay Run, even more hazardous. It also proposes completely removing the pedestrian and bike crossing of the City West Link linking Ingham Ave Five Dock with Waratah St, Five Dock.
In recent weeks the Bay Run and surrounding areas have been filled with riders and walkers, and we know this area is popular and congested. There have been warnings that extra COVID-19 controls might be needed.
“Bicycle NSW is encouraging everyone to take a look and comment on this proposal,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“Local people, bike riders, walkers and families need to be safe and we are concerned these changes will lead to people being hurt,” said Bastien.
To find out more details about the proposal you can go here. You need to get your comments in before the 24th of May 2020 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Network Integration Communications, Transport for NSW, Locked Bag 928, North Sydney NSW 2060.