Submissions closed yesterday for the Inner West Council Going Places – an Integrated Transport Strategy, one of the key evidence-based strategies that will inform strategic planning for the next 20 years.
It is a high-level framework for evaluating detailed transport initiatives and land use planning that will help Council build the future transport network.
In our submission, we agree the key projects identified alongside each of the seven principles are headed in the right direction and recommend ways these projects can be improved to support more walking in the Inner West.
1. Principle 2 to improve safety, personal security and provide equitable access needs to be supported with 20-30 km/hour speed limits.
The NSW Government’s 40km/hour speed limit is based on research carried out in 1994 which focused on vehicle speeds and fatal pedestrian collisions however, it did not take serious injuries into account.
2. Inner West Council needs to uphold Principle 3 – prioritising people in centres and revitalising key roads – by influencing major change on Parramatta Road and Victoria Road Rozelle in coordination with the opening of the next stages of WestConnex.
3. The key project for Principle 4 to build a pedestrian network doesn’t go far enough. While main streets such as those shown in the Strategic Pedestrian Network (page 50) need to be improved to provide more footpath space and amenity, all streets and intersections throughout the LGA should be prioritised for walking.
Slip lanes and kerbside fencing need to be removed. More footpath space needs to be provided in busy locations and at busy intersections. Wide kerb ramps for prams, scooters and bicycles are needed where footpaths cannot be elevated across intersections. State Government advocacy is needed for changes to traffic signals including shorter waiting times, countdown timers at all nonconflict intersections and an automatic green-man so people don’t have to press the button.
4. Principle 6 – a freight and goods delivery network to enhance efficiency and liveability – needs to identify the use of small vans and vehicles as well as cargo and e-bikes for use by local businesses to receive and deliver goods/services.
With an increasing population and greater environmental challenges, Inner West Council can provide leadership on how we get around and use the public domain and we hope their transport strategy will identify these much-needed actions for the future.