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Talking traffic and transport blues

ALEXANDRIA: Public transport and parking issues took the spotlight at the Alexandria Traffic Forum this month, as residents voiced their concerns over the area’s transport problems. The forum was attended by members of the Council, Sydney Buses, the NSW Department of Transport, transport consultants, and the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA) reports Charles Turnbull in the May 2012 edition of The South Sydney Herald.

The influx of traffic into Alexandria, and the limited parking availabilities in the area were heated topics, but the Council defended its stance towards parking development and parking permits. “Yes, we do restrict development on-site for parking and that is to really prevent all those car trips. We restrict that so it provides less incentive for people to drive,” said the Council’s transport planner, Melanie Fyfe.

The tenants of the Australian Technology Park (ATP), including Channel 7, were criticised at the forum for not doing enough to encourage their employees to use public transport. However, the director of planning at the SMDA, the branch of government that deals with the ATP, said the authority was focused on creating alternative travel modes. “The ATP and the state government and the city have desirable objectives to change travel behaviour, to move behaviour to other sustainable forms of travel,” said Jason Perica.

But transport consultant, Chloe Mason, said promoting public transport and cycling should have been a focus point from the beginning. “We need to encourage and support the City of Sydney to include travel plans, and to enforce them on major developments,” Ms Mason said.

The Lord Mayor acknowledged that the rail and bus services in the area needed to be improved to make this possible, describing them as “patchy at best”.

Former principle train driver of Railcorp, Wayne Rylance, also stressed the importance of upgrading the railway system and increasing the amount of trains that stop at Erskineville station. “What you simply need is another two tracks; it’s been planned for years,” he said.

Mr Rylance also called for more rail stations in the inner-city area. “You’ve got a railway line just across the street, you could have a station there called Alexandria. Just down the street you potentially have another station, Waterloo.”

While parking and public transport were the prominent issues of the evening, the forum also discussed the Department of Transport’s “Long Term Transport Master Plan” which will be released in November this year.

Event organiser, and active member of the Alexandria Residents Action Group, Desley Hass, deemed the forum a success. “Just having the different groups here sitting at the table together and hearing their replies. It’s really important they’re all working together on these issues,” she said.

Source: The South Sydney Herald May 2012 –