Inner West Courier of Nov. 6, 2018 reports (p3) that Inner West Council has spent $514k on consultants fees on the Lilyfield Road Cycleway project, but has not received any "workable plans".

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 In a statement to the Innerwest Courier, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said: “I have referred the matter of council's expenditure and oversight of the Lilyfield Rd Cycleway project to the independent [ombudsman].”

This would be I guess the Internal Ombudsman for the Council, set up recently. Nothing there so far about the cycleway.

The designs produced by GTA Woodhead were concept designs, which I suppose cant be used for construction without getting down to exact drawings and dimensions, but the main problem was that residents wouldnt cop one way streets and we wouldnt cop narrow bi dis down steep hills, and council wouldnt give up parking on one crucial section, Balmain Rd to Catherine.

If council just used the existing setup of uphill bike lanes and share downhill, and banned car parking on the non residential sections, with some safety tweaks, they maybe wouldnt need expensive consultants. But they swear they dont have the capacity to do it themselves. 

they are having another go, with a new tender brief being finalised, with some of the above ideas included, so i hope this move by the mayor (which may well be justified and he did promise a Review in May) doesnt stop that going ahead.

Latest is the mayor has a motion up for a Tuesday’s council meeting, seeking to implement a ban on boats and trucks on the section of LFRd between Denison and Justin, near Catherine., but allow motor vehicles under 4.5 t GVM,  ie cars and vans. It’ll become a de facto white van storage yard I imagine.

Well and good you might say, but the shelved bike Plan had recommended no parking at all, so the width could be reallocated to wide bike lanes or path. If the motion goes through it will preempt the new consultant, if one is chosen, from considering this, or at least make it harder. 

Item 4 is a report on the history of the project, item 11 is the Mayors motion

Two items on the Council Meeting on Tuesday about LFRd.
One, a report on the history of the shelved report, item 4, and two, item 11, a motion to allow parking of motor vehicles under 4.5 t GVM along the railway side ... AT_WEB.htm

suggest emailing him to say hold off until new consultant for LFRd can have a look.

On item 4, the report on LF Rd project, they passed a motion to proceed with a new consultancy for LF Rd, if they can find one, but the councillors want a fuller report first, in light of the Mayors referral of the past project management to the Internal Ombudsman. The ombudsman has referred it on to the Audit and Risk Cttee, and says an independent consultant should do the report. (Not exactly sure of all that, have to wait for the  minutes). 

The Mayor got his way on item 11 and trailers and trucks will be banned along part LF Rd, but not cars and vans. There was an amendment by Cr Kiat, Greens, to say that Council would, in the future, need to consider banning all parking on the south non residential side, to fit in a bike path, which the Mayor accepted if “would” was changed to “might”.

A  bit weak, and I don’t see the reason to do this know, but at least the idea has been implanted. Hope any consultant won’t take too long to realise this is the easiest way to get a Cycleway in.

Bill got up and argued the case for the soundwall route, which will be included in the brief for the consultant to investigate anyway, I believe.

Bill and Bob, thanks for your practical advocacy efforts!!

The section of the cycleway between Balmain Road and Catherine Street could be implemented as a fully off-road route inside the rail yard, along the northern edge where there is a gap between the storage sheds and the northern property boundary. This would remove any need to fiddle with the parking or traffic on Lilyfield Road.

The 1km long City West Cycle Link tunnel would have used this option because it would have had an exit/entrance below Balmain Road in the rail yard. (The tunnel itself is unlikely since, based on the Westconnex twin tunnels costing $500 million/km, it would cost about $250 million whereas the RMS is budgeting $5 million at most for the whole of the road route.)

If you look at the cadastral detail on, rail yard Lot 22 in DP1194941 extends along the northern boundary from Balmain Road to Catherine Street where it becomes Lot 23 and then Lot 24 which takes you as far as the overbridge on Victoria Road. Thus the route naturally joins into the foreshadowed Westconnex bike path leading to the Anzac Bridge.

The Behind the Sound wall route from the west would arrive at Balmain Road at road level and then gradually descend over 180m along Lot 22 to reach rail yard ground level before the Catherine Street bridge. The gradient would be about 6%.

Easier to use Lilyfield Rd to Justin than build a ramp down from Balmain Rd to Railyard level at Catherine and not so steep. Also very little room between the western-most warehouse and the cliff.

council might still be willing to widen that bit of Lilyfield Rd to accommodate a good Cycleway as  in the defunct plan, and RMS would pay so why not? And if parking was banned it would be cheap, no widening needed. 

It never ceases to amaze me that people's desire for free storage of their personal property on public land is seen as more important that keeping citizens safe and making our transportation system more efficient.

I don't understand why there is a need to ban trailers there, as long as they are not encroaching on the cycleway,  Can't get doored by a box trailer or boat.  And there is never competition for parking, so what is the problem Council is trying to solve? It's obviously not the one Dan mentions "making our transportation system more efficient"

Some of the trailers are full of builders rubble or abandoned, there were old boats full of water etc, plus hard to see if reflectors missing. Also long trucks are  parked illegally, and wide trucks are parked up on the footpath or blocking the bike lane, and these are a dooring hazard.  

So all in all the new regulation banning non motor vehicles and trucks is justified IMO, but why do it now when the bike project might re-recommend banning all parking, like they did in the shelved plan, although they were going to put in a 1 m “rain garden” divider, so we still weren’t going to get the full 3.4 m. See img.

Weve asked that banning all parking to be still on the table if they do employ a new consultant, and the mayor seemed to agree to this tho I havnt seen the final wording of the amended motion for item 11.

A similar case occurred in the approved new cycleway on Railway Av in Stanmore, but there they have kept the boat trailers and are putting in a narrow bi Di as a result. They don’t seem to be able to make the connection- we need width for good cycleways and banning storage of boats and private cars on non residential sides of roads is probably the easiest and least controversial way of achieving it.


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