Leichhardt local network improvements

Transport for NSW’s Haberfield, Ashfield and Leichhardt local network improvements is open for consultation for a few more weeks.

Excerpts from local comment on Leichhardt –
Reconfiguration of City West Link, Norton Street and James Street intersections

  • We agree that measures should be considered to manage the congestion and rat running in Leichhardt, and delays on the City West Link, noting these issues have materially worsened following the opening of the WestConnex M4 East.
  • In addition, the key issues that locals have been raising with the Council and State Government over many months – congestion and rat-running on local streets (and laneways) – is simply not addressed in this proposal. In fact, the proposal will likely worsen these issues by funnelling heavy traffic onto such roads – thereby negatively impacting the liveability, safety and amenity of our neighbourhood, as well as our ability to engage in active transport.
  • Importantly the proposed removal of the pedestrian crossing on Darley Rd (by Dan Murphy’s bottle shop) ignores the fact that this pedestrian crossing was part of the decision of the Land and Environment Court in relation to Development Application D/2006/311 and therefore removal is not permissible. No information on proposed speed limits is made available. The proposal does not take into account the two pre-DAs for William Street which involve an additional 200+ residents to be housed, instead proposing wholesale parking removal directly out front such locations.

Key Issue 1: Removal of existing ability to directly access Darley Road from north of City West Link
1.4 Safety of pedestrians and cyclists

  • To achieve safe, well connected infrastructure, consideration needs to be given to cycle and walking routes. The design of car movements should not create safety issues and degrade the ability to use active transport. However, the proposal falls seriously short with respect to liveability and promotion of active transport.
  • We note there is no reference whatsoever in the proposal to pedestrian or cycle movements. Indeed, the current cycling route along William Street appears to have been removed from the plans. The proposal instead appears to prioritise car movements over pedestrian and cycle movements. The addition of high-volume traffic (including heavy vehicles) onto William Street and other local streets in Leichhardt North will create safety issues and reduce active transport options. Leichhardt North is a high cyclist and pedestrian access area for school children (those accessing the tram, St Columba’s, Sydney Secondary College), as well as those accessing the green link to the bay run and parks. Many locals travel by foot to Norton Street and local cafes and parks. All of this existing, safe access will be compromised if the proposal to divert and funnel heavy traffic onto local streets, is allowed to proceed.
  • It is dangerous and inappropriate to force southbound heavy traffic onto William Street (which will be the most likely route used).
  • It is also stated in the ‘Update’ that the 3rd benefit of the ïmprovements,’ will be to deliver safer pedestrian crossings. There do not appear to be any plans to improve the safety of the pedestrian crossings in and around Leichhardt. Safer pedestrian crossings should be a key priority and outcome of road changes. It is already dangerous for pedestrians when accessing Leichhardt North Light Rail in particular from Norton Street (southern section) and from Darley Road. When Leichhardt Oval is used for major sporting fixtures (which is not uncommon) the problems are multiplied and pedestrians are literally taking their lives into their own hands in this area. It is only a matter of time before a pedestrian is killed accessing or exiting Leichhardt North Light Rail.
  • No consideration has been given, in this proposal, for pedestrian footbridges to guarantee the safety of pedestrians coming from Norton Street, across Darley Road and also across City West Link to James Street (north). No explanation for this failure has been provided from TfNSW, when this query has been raised.

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