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Chippendale residents champion bicycling plan for inner west

An innovative plan for an off-road pedestrian and cycle route through Chippendale, masterminded by a group of Chippendale residents and small business, is set to be integrated into the City of Sydney Council’s (City) ten year cycle strategy reports Ben Falkenmire in the October 2006 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

Conceived by the Combined Chippendale Community Groups (CCCG), the Parkway Plan addresses the glaring absence of small to medium sized routes in Chippendale, Darlington, and parts of Redfern in the City’s draft network of cycle routes.

The Parkway Plan features two major axes of ‘green people connectors’.

A north-south axis runs from the city and East Darling Harbour through Pyrmont, Ultimo, the Carlton United Brewery (CUB) site, Chippendale and finishes in Alexandria. An east-west axis links the University of Sydney with the University of NSW, running through Chippendale and Darlington, and linking Glebe into the City’s draft network.

Both axes run through Redfern Station, which the Parkway Plan prescribes as the City’s pedestrian cycling hub. Links with train stations and support of future light rail use are additional features of CCCG’s initiative.

The forecast urbanisation of the Chippendale area and its surrounds under the Redfern Waterloo Authority’s Built Environment Plan (BEP) and development of the CUB site provided more than enough impetus for CCCG to push for the City’s adoption of the Parkway Plan. The CCCG claims more than 40,000 workers and residents will be added to a land corridor 1.5 kilometres long under the BEP and CUB proposals.

The Plan is also a timely and beneficial addition to the City’s Draft Cycle Strategy which has been on exhibition since early August and aims to increase the number of bicycle trips made in Sydney as a percentage of total trips from the current 2% level to 10% by 2016.

CCCG representative, Jeanette Brokman, said the Parkway Plan will fast track the City’s targets for increased bicycle usage by providing routes that are safe, in contrast to commuters having to negotiate hazardous ‘road arterials that quarantine our suburb’.

“The City based their forecasts on experience in the US and journeys to and from work,” she explained.

“Our plan encourages bicycle use whenever people wish to commute locally”.

The Parkway Plan went before the City’s Steering Committee on the 26th September. Prior to that date Andrew Dodds from the pro-cycling group BIKESydney who sits on the Steering Committee, canvassed his thoughts about the Plan with the South Sydney Herald.

“There are lots of cyclists in and around the Chippendale area,” said Andrew Dodds. “I think the Parkway Plan would promote further biking and make it more liveable for everyone.

We will, however, need to talk more about the Plan’s routes for The Block and for the CUB site”.

The Parkway Plan features a route through the heart of The Block and through Balfour Street on the CUB site. The route through the Block awaits approval from the Aboriginal Housing Company.

“We think a cycling route through The Block is a wonderful opportunity to unite the community,” said CCCG’s Jeanette Brokman. “We also believe a CUB site route is a logical fit in the network.”

The City expects to finalise their Cycle Strategy by the end of the year.

[Source – South Sydney Herald October 2006]