Monday, September 14, 2009

Moving the Inner West

Flights to Surry Hills on the hour

It seems like all our local transport modes are in various stages of revision at once. There's a new train timetable kicking into place next month; the State Transit Authority has just launched a consultation phase for new bus timetables for the South and West, and Sydney Council has just released its draft Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming Plan (catchy name that one) for Darlinghurst, Camperdown, Erskineville and the bits of Newtown they control. Not to mention (which I won't this time, I promise) all the hullabaloo regarding light rail and metro in the wider Inner West.

Inner Westies have just a couple of weeks to get their act together if they want some say in all of this. It's too late for the trains, which after a false start a couple of years ago will start operating to the new timetable on October 11th. The relevant changes are summarised here - there doesn't seem to be much changing on the Inner West line at first glance.

State Transit have gone to quite an effort to consult their planned bus route and timetable changes; apart from this informative website, glossy brochures - complete with detailed maps - have been distributed to all households in the region. Changes to the busses in the area have been summarised in 8 categories:
  • Sydney CBD focused bus services;
  • Balmain, Birchgrove and Glebe bus services;
  • The Metrobus network;
  • Strathfield bus services;
  • Homebush Bay bus services;
  • Mortlake, Breakfast Point, Concord, Cabarita,Abbotsford and Chiswick bus services;
  • Rockdale, Kogarah and Miranda bus services; and
  • Cross Regional bus services;
and I'd really recommend bus users to take the time to read the details and submit feedback; either online or the old fashioned way on the brochures. I've already had feedback via twitter that the new proposal doesn't address the 428 frequency and related over-crowding - if you agree, let them know - it's a rare chance. Feedback closes October 9th.

There's also a new Metro Bus route (M30) that will take you directly from Enmore to Mosman and back should the need somehow strike you. Maybe there'll suddenly be a proliferation of pearls on King Street (or tatts on Military Road).

from the council website
Finally, the Sydney Council have reduced their draft Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming Plan for comment. The mayor attended the original consulting session for this (on a rainy night in Camperdown in March) - I have to say it was very professionally organised and facilitated and it's great to see that notice has been taken of the feedback. I made fun of the name earlier; but the council did explain that the name has been changed from the original 'Traffic Plan' to emphasis the community friendly aspect of the plan, rather that an emphasis on cars - and how to move them as quickly as possible.

The report (click on the 4th link in the further information section) is the most interesting document. It's well worth reading - if you're impatient jump to the recommendations on page 8. It's accompanied by some detailed maps summarising proposed changes - you can also download high-resolution versions of the maps as well.

In summary, the draft plan includes:
  • Pedestrian and cycling access improvements across the area, including intersections on Wilson Street and Abercrombie Street
  • Working with the RTA to install new crossings missing at signalised intersections and a new crossing along Mallett Street
  • Cycleway projects on Missenden Road, Wilson Street and Shepherd Street
  • Kerb extensions and additional crossings along King Street, and potential new bike parking.
We have until Friday 25th September now to prepare any comments - once again, I really recommend taking the time to check out the report and submitting any feedback - all the evidence suggests the council takes it seriously, and this plan will be the framework for changes over the next 5-10 years.

And from the photo above, it seems that the Federal government is still investigating sites a lot closer to home for Sydney's second airport ...


  1. I'll certainly make a submission regarding the 428, but I'm not holding my breath for anything to be done about it.

    The responses to my complaints about the route have been non-committal, vague and often bordering rude - after discussions with other fellow disgruntled passengers, I've found I'm not the only one getting responses like this.

    Despite 20+ standing on the 428 every afternoon, some sustaining injuries as a result (including a bleeding forehead from a sudden brake once) it doesn't seem to be a priority for the STA.

    But enough of my whining, I'll get on with my submission!

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