The cycleway along the Lower Prospect Canal is closed between Prospect Reservoir and Hylands Rd.
This closure is in effect until 17th October (if we are lucky).
There is supposed to be a signposted detour route along Greystanes Rd and through the Nelson Ridge residential area. There appear to be no alternatives that I see apart from either Chandos St or The Horsley Drive and through Wetherall Park or Blacktown and the M4 or via the regional route along the railway.
This closure is due to a major industrial and residential development planned by Boral for Southern Employment Lands (usings the old Prospect Quarry) granted by the Minister for Planning in July 2007 under the Part 3a approval process - this is the approval process that gives the Minister the right to approve any site he thinks is significant enough without any interference by the local council or community. That change to the EP&A law went in several years ago but the Minister is planning even tighter control over development applications, taking away even more council influence, meaning taking away even more consultation with the local community and other stakeholders, like bike groups.... but thats another issue!
There is information about this development on the planning nsw web site (
here search for Greystanes and you will find it).. You will notice that there is a singular lack of recognition that there is any cycleway in the area and just one mention of building a cycleway (as if its a benefit rather than reinstating access already available)
Anyway, according to Holroyd Council the original plans include an alternative cycleway including a cycleway bridge over a proposed road which is part of the development. BUT more recent construction diagrams show diverting cyclists onto Greystanes Road and through the Nelson's Ridge estate and Holroyd Council is raising concerns with the lack of consultation and risk to cyclists. Council is asking for urgent representation to retain the heritage canal and cycleway intact at the location of the roadworks by providing a grade separated crossing of the proposed road.
(this is is just another case of closure of a cycling route without providing an alternative.)
The original plans and documentation that Holroyd Council all had a bridge.
The bridge is not in the scope of supply by Boral, but by other, and some plans by the RTA. My understanding is that roadway being put through is very much lower than the level of the Canal and the pathway.
Holroyd council is currently working hard to have this mess sorted out as they have been annoyed as to what has transpired.
CRAG (Canal Reserve Action Group) have a new easier to remember web address, WWWdotCANALRESERVEdotORG, but I'm not allowed to post a proper link. The site is gradually building more information about what has happened on the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve Cycleway and encouraging everyone to write emails/letters and ring the people responsible for closing the cycleway access.
The site has contact information for Boral and various government departments.
There is a link to the Boral webpage that contains all the planning documents and various maps etc.
A photo gallery also shows that the canal and cycleway can't be saved as Boral have already bulldozed.
Please visit the site and support the fight to have a bridge built that will give us back a SAFE cycleway.
Website address is http://www.canalreserve.org/
CRAG has posted a major update to the CANALRESERVEdotORG website tonight with lots of new information. Please take a look and support the protest against the cycleway closure.
I see that Roozendal the road minister was asked in parliament four weeks ago what was the rationale for replacing a promised bridge over the new six lane road with a set of traffic lights but has not responded.
( http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/l ... enDocument ).
Four weeks and still no answer to a simple question- why did you allow it? If the decision was defensible when it was made it should be defensible now, the RTA/Planning meeting at which the decision was made will have minutes detailing the discussion leading to the approval.
Meanwhile Brisbane's FOURTH river bridge for cyclists/pedestrians is being built with footings being prepared.
NSW- State of Confusion
QLD- Smart State
NSW - 30 years of crushing anti-developement regulation.
QLD - creeping regulation just starting, currently enjoying plenty of tax $$$ from a mining boom.
Let see QLD in 20 years time!
It would be so much better if the government would just get out of the way and leave it to community groups in the common law courts.
The cost of fighting a never ending queue of no-win-no-pay nuisance laws would frighten any developer into consulting your socks off.
I disagree uucryphia.
Qld has a mental image of itself as the new frontier, the California of Australia. Look at the plan to put 2kW of solar cells on the roof of every state school in Qld.
NSW is not stymied by anti-development legislation. It is being killed off by interest group politics; do not upset anyone. Every 60yr old Marrickville red brick slum must be protected least the neighbours be upset by a slightly different verandah shape.
Qld has a plan for the SE in place and is building according to the plan. NSW is not even brave enough to have a single plan linking building development/transport/education/water/electricity. Every project is considered as just the latest pseudopod of the amoeba to be allowed to grow or be cut off at random.
http://www.canalreserve.org/crag/highwa ... l#20080625
My understanding from the rules of Parliament is that the answer to the Question on Notice regarding the process by which the displayed development application with a bicycle bridge turned into a set of stoplights crossing a four lane road has to be answered by tomorrow.
Wait and see what excuse Watkins/Roozendahl come up with.
Very observant. An interesting psychology.
Just for emphasis
- all Sydney bus services run by different companies cannot be common badge (as in Perth, alas not yet in Brisbane) least unionised and non-union drivers be brought into proximity
- ditto no integration of train/ferries/buses least the Railway Enginemen be compared with Master Seaman
-no changing housing height/profile/finishes least the Left rise up against the Right
-no carbon tax least the miners (who moved into the Hunter Valley last week chasing high wages) loose their ancient livelihood
-no supporting cyclists least the (car driving) Right rise up against the (cycling) Left
Hopefully Roozendahl will explain why Boral was allowed to vary the original application to allow breaking the canal cycleway. He should also announce that Boral will be required to pay to replace the removed section with a bridge built to Australian cycleway standards, i.e. at least 3m in width.
http://parramatta.yourguide.com.au/news ... 07452.aspx
Cyclists want to close the gap
BY ALISON MILLS
9/07/2008 11:08:00 AM
The allocation of $200,000 for a path linking the new suburb of Pemulwuy to Sydney's bicycle network has highlighted a major gap in the region's cycleways.
Cycle groups said the safety of the Lower Prospect Canal cycleway had been compromised when a heritage-listed section was closed in May to allow for extension of the Prospect Highway, forcing cyclists to cross The Horsley Drive.
Residents of the rapidly growing Pemulwuy will have direct and safe access to the Sydney bicycle network when the path to the Lower Prospect Canal cycleway is finished in seven weeks.
Small Business Minister Joe Tripodi stood in for Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal last Thursday to announce $200,000 for the job.
Canal Reserve Action Group president Steve Morton welcomed the funding but said the project highlighted concerns about safety while the section of the Lower Prospect Canal cycleway remained closed.
"The burning issue remains, and that is the [need for] funding of a bridge to cross the Prospect Highway [Reconciliation Road] extension at Widemere,'' he said.
"This bridge must be built to retain the safety that the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve cycleway has become renowned for.''
Mr Tripodi said he was sure Mr Roozendaal was aware of the situation.
"Obviously it has to be lined up against a whole range of other projects,'' he said.
"The weight of the argument, and desire to get the bridge is there, but they will have to compare it to all their other capital works priorities.''
A spokesman said the RTA was negotiating with Boral, developer of the technology park, about the canal section.
I have put my life on hold and read the documents wherein the Planning minister approved the changed design that removed the cycleway over the road in favour of a set of stop lights on a multilane industrial road:
In addition to NOT finding a mention of 'bicycle' in the amendments there is also this let-out in the approval:
" CONSULTATION AND EXHIBITION
Modifications are not required to be publicly exhibited, although pursuant to Section 75X(2)(f) of the Act the Director-General is required to make publicly available requests for modifications of approvals given by the Minister."
Nothing actually stopped the minister requiring greater information being passed to cycleway users but the amendent was allowed with minimum information being put into the public sphere.
Seems the approval process went from:
Initial application criticised by cycle groups
Application changed to include drawings for overhead separated cycleway to
Application changed to a form that cyclists would not want
The detour to the reservoir is now a little better with the opening of a new section of track that leads into the Nelson's Ridge estate.
To see a google map with the detour overlaid and a text description have a look here:
www DOT canalreserve DOT org/crag/highway/news.html#20080912
CRAG (Canal Reserve Action Group) has updated the contact details for the new government ministers responsible for the Canal Reserve cycleway.
Please write to all these new Ministers asking for the return of a SAFE cycleway. Details are at:
www DOT canalreserve DOT org/crag/highway/news.html#20080917
CRAG has updated their website today and is proposing a way of reopening the cycleway that won't require an injection of new funds. Merely the more creative use of existing funds.
The proposal needs support from the community.
Come to wwwDOTcanalreserveDOTorg and lend your help. The site has letters you can copy and send to the people holding the purse strings.
(one day I'll have enough posts up to not have to do the DOT thing)
Boral's original claim was that the cycleway would be closed to October 2008. Council has now erected signs indicating October 2009... But this photo of the construction site today shows Boral are a long way from finishing this road...
The cycleway was in the distant part of the photo, above the where you can see the dozers.
Here is a google streetview showing the before situation from the point on Widemere Rd where I took the photo above
before view Excavation of the cutting through the hill looks far from complete, and they're a long way short of bridging the transitway and water pipelines.
This was the first time I'd been along the Prospect Canal Cycleway since Borals vandalism started - I'd forgotten how wonderful it is - flat, fast, and well separated from traffic for most of its length. Sydney's cyclist were given one helluva raw deal here.
Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
Rees and Daley couldn't find the recipe for a BBQ let alone organise one!
http://www.bicyclensw.org.au/Assets/Dow ... %20_2_.pdf
Ten months ago Rees and Tripodi undertook to find out how Boral was allowed to get away with destroying public infrastructure without same-for-same replacement.
Ten months and no news.
Rees is so disrespected by his own Transport minister and by the RTA and Planning departments that they will not give him an answer.
The roadworks won't actually be complete when the cycleway is reopened on 31 October 2009. Boral intend to lay a temporay asphalt track across the roadworks to join the concrete paths.
Don't know if everyone was aware of the letter writing campaign initiated by CRAG in April but after 6 months the RTA CEO finally provided an inadequate response.
The response and CRAG's reaction has now been posted on the CRAG News Page.
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