Idly googling on why we have 12.8 m streets in Sydney that are just slightly too narrow for bike lanes I came across this Article. On p 5 it says it was in 1855 that the standard width of 66 feet total road width (the "carriageway") was settled on, with 12 foot footpaths. This left 42 ft or 12.8 m for the road width kerb to kerb.

why 66 feet? It was based on the standard surveyor's chain, which was made of 100 steel "links", invented by English clergyman Edmund Gunter in 1620.

if only he had made it a few feet wider! 

A question that arises is why did Melbourne choose a wider carriageway in general?

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My father used to claim that those places that had wide main streets were because they had to be wide enough to turn bullock drays around!

I like this comment of  "The joke was you could get kicked out of one pub for being drunk and you'd be sober by the time you crossed the road to the other pub," Trundle publican Danielle Ward said. 

No problem of this and they might have to do it all over again if there`s pubs across the wide road when they stagger out on way.

and why are they bitumen all the way to the edge? They could be a tree lined garden oasis.

Huh. That explains a lot of tree lined streets I've seen in other towns. Hey Grafton, here's looking at you. Taree as well (without the trees)

Trees take up valuable parking spaces, we can live without trees but not without parking

Free parking is a basic human right in the constitution.

And a nice photo of a Gunter chain. What a coincidence.

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