I do wonder "to what end?"... I feel they would be better served enhancing onroad facilities around that area, because you can't leave Parramatta without taking on roads. It's a little like the Clover lanes... you can have green corridors inside the CBD but you have to get there first. Parra Council is trying, for sure, but drilling holes in an old bridge? They'd do better to take over a lane or two to convert to bike lanes on some of the main streets such as Philip St.
I used to feel the same, but as pretty and historically sacred as the bridge may be, it's still just a piece of infrastructure. And one that is heartbreaking for cyclists. Having the freewheeling run along the river in either direction interrupted by that bridge feels insulting. Cities and infrastructure should accommodate people, not the other way around. With the underpasses, there will be an almost unbroken path from Parra park to SOP along the river.
And with work (very slowly) extending the paths either end of those two locales, it may one day be possible to ride from Penrith to Syd CBD entirely off-road courtesy of the Lennox Bridge tunnels. A couple of holes in a bridge isn't sacrilege in that context, I reckon.
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I get your point TTar, I guess mine is that this isn't the final piece in the puzzle and we have to see roads being sacrificed to green clover lanes and bus lanes of we want to see cycle infrastructure improvements. Cheaper than holes, better visibility outcomes for riders, and one that allows speed. The ride next to the river is so littered with peds and ducks and dogs that I just ride Victoria Road all the way past the All Saints church and Bike Barn's old spot to the parra stadium car park. It's faster and safer. Does the hole create the best outcome for the money? mThat's my question.
Parramatta has been a dump for so much of its 220 odd year existence, the lack of amenity regarding the river has never helped this. Even now if you want to walk from Church Street to Parramatta Park following the river after having a lovely midday meal, in summertime you have to walk around the back of the old hospital through a sun trap that sends the temperature up to something hotter than the centre of the sun while the cool river basks below you with no path, just a mass of weeds and crap. Then stand at the lights opposite the gatehouse waiting a week for the lights to change to something in your favour. Hopefully building the tunnel through the bridge will be the start of finishing a route that is a genuine riverside path. For cyclists such as us that frequent the forum i don't think it will be of much use as pedestrian traffic will be high (as it should) but as something to bring Parramatta into the modern age it is to be welcomed with open arms.
2013 Lynskey R230. 2001 Lemond Buenos Aires.
Parramatta has certainly undervalued the river as a natural asset, which has led to many years of neglect. This does seem to be changing though. Council has done up the riverbank a bit on the eastern side of Lennox Bridge in the last few years. Now that the bridge will have a tunnel, hopefully council will also be motivated to improve the riverbanks on the western side of Lennox Bridge as well, to address some of the problems that Hergest pointed out. I hear developers have already contributed some money, for the development of the carpark opposite Riverside Theatre.
I should add though, if you want a more pleasant walk from Church St to Parramatta Park, currently the best way is to use the shared path on the northern bank, alongside Riverside Theatre. This has underpasses beneath each of the bridges, which will now include Lennox Bridge.
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