Submission for: Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway Connection
Connect Macquarie Park & North Rydw
Macquarie Park, New South Wales
Connect Macquarie Park and North Ryde is a transport management association, working with government, landowners and leading businesses to help Macquarie Park grow, without growing congestion. Our members include major employers including Optus, Foxtel, Downer, Macquarie University and more.
Connect strongly supports Transport for NSW's stated intention in the Future Transport 2056 strategy: "More people traveling by active transport will improve network outcomes overall in addition to delivering positive health, wellbeing and environmental outcomes. Increasing the number of people using active transport for short trips to their local and city centres will require us to look at safe, well connected infrastructure such as bike paths and walking routes."
At a local level, we know from employee testimonies in Macquarie Park and North Ryde that commuting by bicycle is both popular and desirable, that the Epping Road / Gore Hill cycleway is one of the most popular local cycling routes, and that more people would cycle if appropriate conditions were provided.
To that end, Connect objects to the proposed detour for people walking and cycling along the Gore Hill freeway in Artarmon, which forms part of a continuous route from North Sydney to Macquarie Park and beyond.
The EIS states that the cycleway will be closed between Station Street and Artarmon during construction, which will be for several years. The proposed diversion will take people who are walking and cycling along a circuitous route, through a heavily-trafficked light industrial area which has high road speeds and challenging topography. When compared to the current and existing level of service, the proposed diversion is entirely unsatisfactory. Diverting people walking and cycling along this route cannot truthfully be said to be of "minor impact", as the EIS does.
Working in a busy and growing district like Macquarie Park, Connect fully understands the need for progress and the challenges of managing construction impacts. However, we also understand the importance of supporting growth by increasing the number of people using public and active transport. If a diversion at the Gore Hill freeway is unavoidable, Connect would support a temporary path which offers the same level of service to the current facility (i.e. traffic free, low speed environment)
We would encourage the provision for people walking and cycling on the Gore Hill shared use path to be revisited, and a safer, more satisfactory alternative planned.