The Dot Lane east-west route through Leichhardt is open

The Kollector cafe adjacent to the western end of Dot Lane has built a deck across the locked gate blocking access through the Forum delivery area and in the process the gate has been painted and the lock removed so that the gate is now permanently open.

The deck is in the way and this means a two step ascent/descent at this point. I suspect that the cafe has built its deck over public laneway as this space has been used as car parking for years.

The Government has promised $$ to open up this route as a low traffic bike route to the north of and parallel to Parramatta Road and the IWC is to announce details this month. Perhaps this is a move by the cafe to stake a claim before this occurs.

The route links Pyrmont Bridge Road in the east with Sloane and Ramsey Streets in Haberfield in the west via Cahill Street, McCarthy lane, Albion and Redmond Streets, car parks on Hay and Balmain Roads, Dot and Renwick lanes, Jarrett, Albert and Flood Streets, Lords Road and the underpass to Lords Street, Haberfield.

I would think that the cafe would benefit from the location changing from a pokey laneway to a well used pedestrian and cycle route which provides a destination at the southern end of Norton Street which is not the traffic disaster of Parramatta Road or the Forum dead zone.

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The hours posted on the front of the building reveal that Kollector is closed on Tuesdays but open on the other weekdays 7am to 3pm and weekends 8am to 4pm. Seems to be a second hand car dealership with coffees.

If only I had kept that old VW type 3, it’s apparently worth $12800 now.

do you have to get people having a coffee to move before you can go through the gate?

It wasn’t clear to me the other day when I took this photo  if this was going to be a little seating area or what.

If the 56 Beetle is anything like my 65 was before I sold it, there won't be too much steel included!

OK Bob, can I meet you at Kollectors for a coffee to find out. Of course we would both cycle there. The owners might realise that there is a potential new customer group.

Hey Bill, i lifted my bike up the step and through the gate other day from Dot Lane but its awkward, with steps at both ends. Left a little dusty wheel track across his new timber floor. Had a coffee there, i guess its for people waiting for a hair cut, since they are advertising, "cars, coffee and cuts" ?. Not a very scenic view tho, the backs of shops fronting Norton St and P'tta Rd.

I am surprised that Leichhardt needs another coffee shop, barber or used car sale yard, particularly ones that are hidden away at the end of an unloved back lane. Perhaps the deck is an attempt to convince customers that this lane is not the province of the undead.

If Parramatta Road is not to be resurrected by its conversion to a light rail route then perhaps the shops on the Leichhardt side could reverse to face into Dot Lane, the car parks and Redmond Lane and bring some life into this part of the shopping strip.

It does seem to depend on what shape the Parramatta Rd redev  takes. There has been a total demolition of one premise nearby off Dot Lane, you can see all the way through to Parramatta Rd. Interesting to see if they adopt the backs to the main road idea, or if Council is encouraging it. 

Peter Newman on ABC this morning is supporting trackless trams over light rail, “a tenth of the cost of light rail”, so maybe Inner West Council will resurrect their push for the GETS system of centre running electronically guided trams on Parramatta Rd, but hopefully not their support for retention of kerb side parking.

Since I started this discussion 6 months ago, things have not faired well for this potential alternative to Parramatta Road. The  Norton Street to Hay Street via Dot Lane section which had government funding, has been split into two sections: [1] Norton Street to Balmain Road  and [2] Balmain Road to Hay Street.

Inner West Council staff have given up on [1] Norton to Balmain Road due to the access from Norton Street being through a right-of-way (rather than a public laneway which is what it looks like) and perhaps up to 14 lots which may be claiming access rights.There is also the Forum truck parking area which defeats them. 

In their words, "To ensure connectivity on this cycle route, a dismount section will be included along the footpath on Parramatta Road, between Balmain Road and Norton Street." Frankly, novice cyclists can choose to do the Parramatta Road footpath on foot already, so what have they given us?  Other, more able, cyclists will simply take the Parramatta Road left hand lane all the way to Catherine Street.

Section [2], Balmain to Hay, "This section will be fully designed and built under the existing funding scheme" (No timetable .) However the Stag hotel has just put a high barricade around the parking lot that we had hoped to get access through and locked the gate and piled large items against it.

The parking lot owned by the RMS on the eastern side of the gate now has a barrier fence around two sides : "the fences have been installed to prevent further illegal dumping and abandon of unregistered vehicles on RMS land, and that they will remain in place until further notice."  I get the feeling that a  cycle route is not wanted.

The State Government has $Millions in its Active Transport budget so should be able to make this route happen if it wants to.

Better news at Johnston's Creek, the eastern end of the route:- They are planning a route along the Creek which will pass under Booth Street and reach as far as The Crescent where an under pass gets you into Jubilee Park, Glebe and then the Glebe foreshore route, Harold Park, the Kelly Street bike route and UTS, close to dead level the whole way.

re Johnston’s Ck, IWC now are saying Sydney Water won’t permit use of the canal between Parramatta Rd and Chester St so they are only looking at doing Chester to Booth St, where they won’t be able to go under Booth. There would be a crossing near the Wigram Rd roundabout, to join with a path down Wigram to rejoin existing Johnston’s Ck path. Don’t see much point to that, as Chester St is too steep to be a bike route and Nelson St is a reasonable north south route, all the way to The Crescent. 

IWC also said at the last bicycle meeting that Pyrmont Bridge Rd will get a bidirectional path between Ptta Rd and Booth St as part of the PRUAIP ( Ptta Rd Urban Amenity Improvement Scheme!), but not for about 4 years while the dive site for Westconn occupies the triangle of land between PB Rd, Ptta Rd and Mallett St- it’s all been razed to the ground just this week in preparation.

I live in the Forum. The ‘northwest passage’ to Norton St through the Kollector Cafe deck is not always open. I wheel my bike past the Centrelink building (since the BFS car park bastardry) and get past Catherine St to Whites Creek lane all the way to the Western Distributor and Anzac Bridge. The problem with the Glebe Foreshore route is that it doesn’t get you safely to Pyrmont Bridge.

Interesting to meet someone who actually lives in the forum. Is it a good place to live? Is the piazza noisy for those above it? Do you get to know your neighbours? Any chance of a cycle route through the car park to link Norton with Balmain Road?

On my way to the city I do the ramp to Quarry Master Drive, then the walkway under the flats to lower Mount Street, Miller Street and Union Street on the road to get green lights all the way to Murray Street and the Pyrmont Bridge.

I used the Foreshore route to get to UTS where I worked.

What do you think the BFS is up to in their carpark? Or did they get word of the cycleway plan and that put the wind up them?

Some of us have been plugging away at this east-west cycle route plan literally for decades. How do cyclists get more political clout to make things like this happen?

I didn’t know about the path proposals until I read your post (although I have been working in the NT till fairly recently) but I regularly used the gap in the fence to get down to Catherine St and beyond. The BFS ‘car park works’ don’t seem to have progressed. There is strictly nothing to stop people cutting through the Forum Carpark to get onto Balmain Road. A formal path from Norton St would require the creation of an easement.

I do like living in the Forum. It is super convenient. With the commercial downturn it is pretty quiet in the piazza and dead silent at night so I can open a window for the breeze. The early noughties was a different story. As for neighbourly relations I probably need to make more of an effort as that is a 2 way street I guess.

I will give your city route a go too!


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