[CAMWEST-discuss] M2 Closures for cyclists

John Holstein jonhol2 at netscape.net
Thu May 13 10:43:26 UTC 2010

Fellow CAMWESTies,
                                most of you would be aware of the proposed closure of the break down lane on the M2 for a period of two years whilst upgrading works are carried out. The greatest effects will be felt around Macquarie Uni, but it will have ramifications for any commuting cyclist travelling east of Windsor Road.

Bike North has done a lot of lobbying with the owners, Transurban to have a suitable alternative route identified and built whilst this work is carried out. The end result is, if yoy live North of the M2, forget about commuting along it at all as you won't be able to gain access to the proposed bypass until you cross Pennant Hills Road near North Rocks Road. 

Initially there was some hope that a usable cycle path would be the result of the exercise, but it appears all that is being offered is a second rate alternative of shared footpaths, white bicycle signs & crossing of major roads at pedestrian crossings.

Bike North have decided to focus on short sections of the route & target areas that will affect other users of the paths, such as pedestrians & joggers as well as cyclists. There first target is Browns Waterhole & their request for protest emails is set out below (blue text).

Similarly in CAMWEST territory, basically the alternative proposals west of Pennat Hills Road is an unsuitable option. A long convoluted path that will see you using North Rocks Rd, Church St, Windsor Road, Northmead Ave, Kleins Rd, Hammers Rd, Old Windsor Rd etc, to travel from Pennant Hills Rd to the end of the M2.

Access to Brown's Waterhole blocked

During the M2 widening, access under the M2 from Vimiera Rd Marsfield to the Brown's Waterhole cycle path will be periodically blocked. This is apparently for safety reasons, as there will be major construction taking place on the northern side of the motorway.

At a meeting with representatives from Transurban and Leighton (the construction company contracted for the project) on Wednesday 5 May, it was not possible to get any accurate idea of the duration of the closure.

There is no alternative route. The nearest crossings of the Lane Cove River are on Lane Cove Rd and Pennant Hills Rd.

Brown's Waterhole is one of the most important and heavily used cycle paths in Northern Sydney. Its closure, even if only intermittent, impacts seriously on many bike commuters, sporting and recreational riders. In addition, the path is a popular pedestrian route, for recreation and for access from South Turramurra to the Macquarie area, with a significant number of people walking to work this way. It is also an important access point for fire control during summer.

What action can you take?

If you want any sort of reasonable access during the two years of M2 construction, then now is the time to act.

Deadline - May 25: Send email to enquiries at hillsm2upgrade.com.au. Make your message polite, short and to the point, only talk about Brown's Waterhole (we'll do other issues later). They are obliged to reply, so you may even get an interesting "conversation" going!

Points to address:

* Importance of Brown's Waterhole for cyclists and pedestrians, for both commuting and recreation.
* There is no alternative route of any kind.
* Duration and timing of the closure.
* The Vimiera Rd culdesac should not become a parking area for construction vehicles.
* Clear and safe access must be provided to the underpass from both sides.
* All temporary and permanent works must be well illuminated at night for the safety of cyclists and other path users.

Stand by for more info on the M2 construction on Bike North's website (http://www.bikenorth.org.au).

>From the CAMWEST point of view, we should also be writing letters of protest focussing on the Nth Rocks Road intersection which will require crossing at the lights at Bunnings, utilising the footpath to James Ruse Drive, negotiating the off ramp of James Ruse Drive & then crossing Windsor Road to ride up Northmead Ave, along Kleins Road to Hammers Rd, then follow Hammers Road to Old Windsor Rd where you will negotiate 6 lanes of traffic & the Transit Way before joining the shared footpath.

We need to join with Bike North. Send polite, short protest emails to enquiries at hillsm2upgrade.com.au setting out you displeasure at the proposed alternative route.

The points you should address are:

*  The need to cross 10 lanes of traffic in less than 500 metres

*  The use of a narrow shared pathway past Bunnings that does not comply with Australian Standards as a footpath, let alone a shared path.

*  The need to cross Toongabbie Creek on Hammers Road on a dual lane bridge that carries a large amount of traffic at all times, plus an uphill grade on the westbound journey

*  The crossing of Old Windsor Road & the T-Way

*  The fact that this route takes you some 2 kilometres away from the M2 when you cross Old Windsor Road.

Please take some time to send an eamil in protest.

John Holstein 
Member of CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West. 

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey 
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )
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