WalkSydney is a community group advocating for walking and better streets. Streets provide places for important social and economic engagement as well as infrastructure for walking and WalkSydney wants to see bold coordinated action to make walking in Sydney safer, easier and more pleasant.
The Western City Deal is intended to transform Western Sydney and the Hoxton Park Road project needs to set the foundations for the Western Sydney Economic Corridor, attracting global investment and knowledge-intensive jobs. To do this a high-quality urban environment is needed, recognising the important role of streets in the life of a city and WalkSydney urges RMS to incorporate the following into the design.
Footpaths which can accommodate walking, trees and landscaping are needed in this future growth area to provide an attractive corridor for investment and international visitors. Liverpool City Council’s draft LSPS identifies concentrated residential development along Fifteenth Avenue and this project needs to create the setting for this important corridor by providing high-amenity footpaths with street trees and understorey planting. Footpaths should not be positioned adjacent to the mass transit lanes and should instead be buffered by cycling facilities improving amenity, safety and street legibility.
Separated walking and cycling infrastructure
This project needs to facilitate greater access by walking and public transport use as well as cycling and shared paths will undermine this. Shared paths with mass transport stops are poor infrastructure for everyone. This corridor provides the space for safer smarter options to accommodate active transport and cycling infrastructure that’s separated from traffic and pedestrians needs to be provided to ensure cycling is a real transport choice.
This corridor presents the opportunity to introduce a mass transport lane away from the footpath providing better footpath amenity and improved street legibility. This transit system will serve international travellers as well as local residents and workers and this requires a legible comfortable streetscape that can be navigated without wide roads separating pedestrian spaces.
Stations can be placed close to intersections with station furnishing, such as lean bars, shelters, plantings and short vertical barriers, used to direct pedestrians towards road crossings or, controlled mid-block crossings at transit stops can facilitate safe crossing from both sides of the street with covered stops providing a sheltered and comfortable waiting space.
Emerging transport technology such as guided electric busways are providing new opportunities for road transport and the roads authority needs to embrace these opportunities instead of resisting necessary change in our growing city.
Western Sydney is the future of Sydney. Fifteenth Avenue and Hoxton Park Road will be important corridors serving the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, competing with other major cities in Australia and the Asia Pacific. This demands a public domain that’s inviting and walkable. The Hoxton Park Road project provides a great opportunity to deliver for the future and we hope these suggestions will be accommodated in design development.