Below is an email send to all members on June 30.
Following public pressure, the Minister has reopened the consultation period for the proposed Oxford Street East Cycleway to August 7. Many of you will have received a flyer from Transport for NSW (“Transport”) entitled Oxford Street East Cycleway Community Update giving some high-level details on the proposal and various options to give feedback (click here for the flyer). We strongly urge all residents to understand more about the project and, if you have concerns, let the project team know.
The initial consultation was not well publicised (the QSWWA was not contacted and we only found out about it after the consultation period had closed) so we have doubts that the early feedback received then is really representative of community feelings, certainly not in Woollahra. The original design issued for comments in the initial consultation can be found at https://tfnsw.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/oxford-street-east-cycleway#/. A large number of comments made on this plan seem to reflect the views of the cycling community and don't appear to be those of local Woollahra residents. We subsequently wrote to Transport with our concerns for Woollahra in early May (it took ages finding to whom to write). Transport has recently released a report with their responses to the issues raised in this initial consultation (click here to download). As we had missed the cut off date, our concerns were not directly addressed but the responses to related issues are not encouraging that our concerns are being met or even considered in any meaningful way by the project team. With consultation re-opened, we have submitted another letter to Transport restating our concerns for Woollahra (click here to download). Now is your chance to give your input, so please let your voice be heard either via their website https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/oxford-street-east-cycleway or via email to email@example.com or if somone from the project team comes to visit you.
A summary of the Association’s concerns are set out below but we strongly encourage members to form your own views. We will continue to update members as further information becomes available.
Giles Edmonds, President, The Queen Street & West Woollahra Association
Summary of QSWWA concerns regarding the proposed Oxford Street Cycleway
To accommodate the Oxford Street Cycleway, the core of the proposal is to downgrade Oxford Street, Paddington as a major arterial road to the City by reducing it from two lanes of traffic each side to one lane each side, increasing congestion and therefore making it unattractive for motorists as a through route. The major deficiency in the planning to date is the lack of identification of what alternative routes Transport wants motorists to take (Moore Park Road is an obvious alternative), what additional steps need to be taken to make these routes attractive and plans to prevent these changes increasing traffic and congestion in surrounding streets, in particular in Woollahra.
The QSWWA has four areas of particular concern which we believe will severely impact Woollahra residents and businesses if not addressed:
Traffic congestion and rat running through Woollahra residential streets – simply making Oxford Street difficult for motorists without enhancing alternative routes will see an increase in cars rat running through Woollahra streets. We are recommending that Transport: develops an integrated traffic strategy which identifies:
.Design of the Paddington Gate intersection - This is a major intersection used by around 63,000 vehicles a day. The current configuration of the intersection is already complicated enough, with a long light sequence leading to traffic backed along Queen Street to Victoria Avenue during peak hours. The proposal to add a dedicated cycle track across the middle of the intersection with its own set of lights will add to the confusion and danger for everyone. In addition, another set of lights for cyclists in the sequence can only lengthen the light sequence for motorists from Queen Street. With the current light sequence and timing, peak hour can see traffic already queued back to beyond Victoria Avenue. Further lengthening of the light sequence will mean even further queues of traffic in Queen Street during peak hour. If queues start extending back to the traffic lights at Moncur Street, the whole of Queen Street will grind to a halt. We are recommending that Transport ensures that any changes to the Paddington Gate intersection do not lead to increases in the times of the traffic sequencing.
Lack of serious consideration of alternative routes – Currently it does not appear that the project team is giving any serious consideration to a route for the cycleway other than Oxford Street when there is at least one alternative route down Moore Park Road. We are recommending Transport:include alternative routes (eg Moore Park Road) in a full evaluation of options for the concept design.
We urge all residents to review the information provided by Transport for yourselves and make a submission detailing any concerns that you may have and the actions you would like Transport to take.
Copyright 2021 The Queen Street & West Woollahra Association Ltd
ABN 98 002 872 43
PO Box 16, Woollahra, NSW 1350
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