Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, has joined local community groups to express serious concern over the approval of the Anzac Parade Moore Park bridge to be known as Albert (Tibby) Cotter Walkway.

Mr Greenwich said:

“This is another encroachment on parklands that is not needed and fails to connect to cycling networks.

The groups opposing the bridge include The Paddington Society, the Centennial Park Residents Association, BikeEast, BIKESydney, parkland defenders and local MP Alex Greenwich. The City of Sydney Council also recently passed a motion opposing the bridge.

The parklands have suffered heavy loss of green space over the years including for the busway, Eastern Distributor and SCG development. Moore Park east is regularly alienated with major event car parking and more parklands will soon be lost to the light rail, while inner city populations are soaring and need more recreation space.

The groups are alarmed at the pace of the project with proposal details released weeks after a government announcement, giving the public little time for effective consultation. Construction starts next week and is expected to be complete by February 2015 – in time for the next election.

There is no justification for two bridges, with the light rail project also providing a pedestrian bridge over Anzac Parade 350 metres away. The $25 million cost could be better spent on other options.

The group considers the deck and its helix ramps to be far too intrusive in this heritage-listed landscape. RMS officers say the large helix ramps are needed for cyclists, but the bridge doesn’t link to the Anzac Parade shared bike path or any other regional network or route. Cyclists won’t be able to use the bridge during events when large numbers of pedestrians are expected.

Despite minor changes to the design, the bridge and its ramps are so intrusive in this heritage-listed landscape.

The group says other less damaging and less expensive options should have been considered, such as cyclist and pedestrian paths within the nearby light rail cut and cover tunnel, traffic lights over Anzac Parade or a bridge with steps and a lift.

The group is concerned that one proposal was pushed in a muddied process, without independent oversight, where the RMS is proponent, assessor and builder. Time for consultation and exploration of other solutions should have been provided.

David Borella of BIKESydney said:

“We want Moore Park east and west connected for pedestrians and cyclists including large event crowds, but we don’t want a massive built structure on the grasslands. In any case, a $25 million bridge purposed for cycling must connect directly to the Anzac Parade cycleway rather than still require cyclists to cross the high-speed busway.”

The Paddington Society President Will Mrongovius said:

“We have always supported improving connectivity between Moore Park east and west, however this monstrous bridge will not achieve any of its stated objectives. Where is the integrated planning process this Government prides itself on? We need to slow down and re-evaluate this proposal; we must get it right without destroying the park.”

Alex Greenwich MP said:

“There are cheaper, less intrusive and more responsible ways to deliver the connectivity that we all want, without costly monument building.”

The City of Sydney called for the proposal to be abandoned and a joint working party to develop a proper alternative at this Monday’s Council meeting.

Centennial Park Residents Association Co-Chair Peter Tzannes concluded:

“Our parklands must be protected and preserved. There is no need to destroy Moore Park east and west. More time is needed to produce a sympathetic and better plan which preserves these historic parks, the integrity of Anzac Parade and provides safe access to the stadia.”

For further information contact Alex Greenwich MP on 9360 3053

Keywords

Anzac Parade, Moore Park, Bridge, Alex Greenwich, Albert Tibby Cotter Walkway, The City of Sydney Council, parklands

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