[CAMWEST-discuss] Re: bridge over Fidlayson Creek at Allen St, Sth Wentworthville

Ian Macindoe imacian at bigpond.net.au
Wed Nov 16 19:39:35 UTC 2005

Sorry for the delay, Mark. I've not seen this til now (Thursday). I'm familiar with the area you describe, but have cycled it only from one direction, so my perspective is a bit limited. However, the strongest point I can make --- and this applies generally to issues like this --- is that there is no substitute for on-site discussions with the relevant parties. Accordingly, I urge you to copy this email to Brad Donaldson (RTA) and any other RTA and Council personnel that you think needs to be involved. Then arrange for an on-site discussion. If I can make it on the date and time you decide on I'd be happy to be involved. [A dozen or more years ago, Russ Webber arranged an on-site meeting to resolve the problem of how to get the cycleway to go under the Allen St bridge. I attended that meeting and learned the importance of on-site meetings.]

I suspect the Mayor is correct, and agree that either 2 or 3 (possibly 4) would be the way to go. Brad Donaldson is still the key RTA person to alert to these kinds of problems and we know his 'track record' for getting things done in the right way. So, I'd email him (Brad_Donaldson at rta.nsw.gov.au) and follow up with a phone call (9831 0961) to line up an on-site meeting to discuss the options. [Brad may be on vacation at present; I'm waiting on a reply from him myselft on another matter].
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark Robson 
  To: Ian Macindoe ; General Business CAMWEST 
  Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 3:45 PM
  Subject: bridge over Fidlayson Creek at Allen St, Sth Wentworthville

  Dear Ian,

  I would appreciate some advice on an issue emerging in Holroyd around the completion of the cycleway adjacent to the T-Way.

  Just to update everyone, when the Parra-Liverpool T-Way was approved by the state govt part of the design was for an
  Austroads standard cycleway for its entire length. Construction is all but complete. All but, that is, the section adjacent to and parallel with the M4
  from Centenary Rd, Sth Wentworthville to Coleman St. This short section crosses Findlayson Creek.

  The T-Way managers have had a quote for just the bridge of $800,000. This does not include the few hundred metres of conctrete still to be laid up to Coleman St.
  So the made a request of Holroyd Council to run the cycleway across the existing road bridge, known as Allen St. 
  I have measured this bridge with my feet and it is about 12.5 metres wide. A local bus route
  passes across trhe bridge and the bus operators have advocated against narrowing the road lanes.

  On behalf of cyclists should we:

  1)        Demand the dedicated cycleway bridge, as designed, at large cost to the community.

  2)        Advocate for the cycle route to be altered to cross the creek at a cheaper location, there is an existing cycleway ONLY bridge some 400 metres South,
              located in a nice park. This would add 800 metres to the route and also motivate cyclists to leave the 'official' cycleway route and take
              a short cut down back streets straight to the bridge. 

  3)        Advocate for a compromise solution with the bus comany that allows all users to safely use the existing bridge, saving the community a large sum of money.
          Possible compromises are a one-way road bridge with cycleway, a bus/car/bicycle shared zone with, say, 30 km/hr speed limit. ( Remember it's a lousy 50 metres or so )
          or squeeze two narrow vehicle lanes beside a somewhat under width cycleway. This would be 2 x 4 metre lanes with a half metre painted median and a 3 metres cycleway.
          There would be no footpath on one side of the road.

  4)    Ask for construction of a totally new route that bypasses the problem bridge by going via existing cyclist favourite back streets with a footpath based off-road path.

  CAMWEST advocating for 2 or 3 would be conditional on a large proportion of the money that is saved to be held in trust for use IN THE AREA for the benefit of cycling.

  I suppose I see this issue as a possible source of funding of some of the much needed 'gap filling' in the area.  For the sake of a losuy 50 metres of cycleway across the bridge
  Holroyd and the RTA together ( 50/50 funding proramme ) could build over a million dollars worth of cycling infrastructure, wcich would equate to many many kilometres of 
  cycleway.        But if we demand that T-Way just give up all the money there is no saving in it for them and they will just go, "to heck with all of you, build the lousy bridge" 

  I spoke to the Holroyd mayor informally about this last week at the steering committee meeting and he said off the record, " if it's going to cost a million dollars it will never be built ",
  such is his negetive attitude about state govt funded projects. 

  At a meeting with the RTA a few years ago CAMWEST expressed dismay at the proposed route, but RTA followed it anyway. The original idea of following
  Centenary Road would have allowed the creek crossing at the existing bridge. Insufficient width of Centenary Rd meant the cycleway was re-routed alongside
  Cumberland Hwy. So the bridge issue is one of their own unfortunate making.

  The best solution for the cycling community that we seek to represent will obviously be for the money to be saved and used for the benefit of cycling in the area.

  How do you advise that I may best go about achieving this?


  Mark Robson

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