Amazed? Stunned.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) is proposing to install a 180m long and 6m wide garden structure (entitled “A-maze”) in the middle of Pyrmont Bridge. SHFA appears to have paid only lip service to the installation’s effect of obstructing the 70,000 pedestrian and cycling trips across the bridge each weekday, increasing the risk of pedestrian-cyclists conflicts, and requiring riders to dismount altogether during times of associated “events”.

A-maze is the right idea in the wrong place.  You can read the detail of our objection to the proposal here.

 

2014-09-03 - Amazed. Stunned

 

2014-09-03 - Amaze internal structure

 

(Update: Fri 12 Sept 2014

Both Alex Greenwich (Member for Sydney) and Penny Sharpe (Shadow Minister for Transport) this week raised their concerns about the A-maze installation in Parliament.  Both lines of enquiry drew on the themes raised in BIKESydney’s submission – link above. )

 

The most important (but by no means, only) concern is that the A-maze installation increases the potential for serious conflict between riders and walkers on the bridge. The installation will introduce many blind corners, and there are many bridge users (generally tourists) that seek the edges of the bridge (often for photo opportunities) that will emerge suddenly into riding lines.

2014-09-03 - Cross Sectional view - Ped conflict

We’ve sought dialogue with SHFA on this proposal to negotiate safe outcomes for the bridge’s walkers and riders, but haven’t been granted a two-­way discussion.  The lack of consultation with the cycling community – a key stakeholder – is unacceptable.  The trend of  State Government departments bypassing consultation with the community on such projects (eg, RMS at the Anzac Parade Bridge) is a story in itself…

SHFA’s proposal to spend $150,000 on the installation again defies its long-standing responsibility to improve Pyrmont Bridge as a mobility corridor.

The proposal represents another step in SHFA’s neglect of developing Pyrmont Bridge role as one of the City’s primary mobility corridors ­ the western gateway to the city ­and suggests itself as another step in an active strategy to disfavour cycling. This again shines a light on the suitability of  SHFA being in control of such significant public assets.

There have been long-­standing calls to SHFA to improve the corridor’s management of pedestrians and cyclists including:

  • ­providing segregated paths for walkers and riders;
  • upgrading of the Murray St / Union St intersection to properly detect and safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians (an RMS function, but one that should be championed by SHFA given the impact on safety to users of Pyrmont Bridge);
  • clarifying the flagpole obstructions at the western end of the bridge;
  • clarification of the Bridge’s deck furniture (bins, lights, flagpoles) and,
  • a response to the unacceptable corralling of pedestrians and cyclists onto the narrow King St shared path which presents conflict and hazards for walkers and riders, and particularly so on rainy days when hoisted umbrellas present dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

 

As evidenced by the fallout from the A-maze proposal, there remains a very strong need to provide an segregated east­-west cycling route through Darling Harbour.  The proposal to link Rhodes and Wentworth Point by a shared path bridge suggests that a suitable solution has been easily managed elsewhere, including having the bridge paid for by the private sector (…and named in honour of a recalcitrant state government agency).

 

2014-09-03 - Wentworth Point Bridge

 

Ironically, had these matters been attended to previously, A-­maze would now present as a highly attractive and valuable engagement of the public.  Riders would be using an alternative (likely, devoted) path and the bridge would be left to walkers to engage purposefully with the installation.

The proposal is the right idea in the wrong place.

Even moreso given that the purpose of SHFA’s $150,000 spend is to encourage “eyeballs and wallets” to Darling Harbour commercial and retail businesses which are complaining of reduced custom while Darling Harbour is a major construction site (Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct).  If this is the goal, then placing A-maze on the foreshore near those businesses rather than on Pyrmont Bridge which conveys people through the precinct seems the smarter choice.

Here we are, still confronted by sub­-standard and now diminished commuting infrastructure (eg, King St ramp) in the face of all government gestures to address road congestion and improve active transport options.  This on one of the few, key bicycle routes identified in the State Government’s Sydney City Centre Access Strategy (from which the map below is taken) and its vision document Sydney’s Cycling Future.

We would love to see more vertical gardens installed in Darling Harbour.  And permanent ones.  Perhaps just such that they don’t command the width of Pyrmont Bridge hey?  The right idea in the wrong place.

Time for some integrated, consultative and competent planning perhaps.

 

2014-09-03 - Sydney City Centre Access Strategy key route

 

 

 

 

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Comments
2 Responses to “Amazed? Stunned.”
  1. Another $60 million bridge.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurilpa_Bridge

    Could someone Lean on Lend Lease or Ask Arup to design something similar for us?

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  1. […] Our campaign outlined how the proposed 180m long, 6m wide A-Maze installation would introduce hazards for walkers and riders on the bridge.  Pyrmont Bridge now conveys approximately 70,000 walking and riding trips each weekday and is identified as a key cycling corridor in the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Cycling Future blueprint.  Members on all sides of Parliament including Roads and Maritime Services Minister, Duncan Gay raised concerns with the proposal. […]



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