The state government’s Sydney Park Junction project is a pedestrian friendly, traffic calming initiative aiming to extend the look and feel of the southern end of King Street into a new St Peters square.
Transport for NSW proposes reducing traffic lanes and creating new walking and cycling links from Princes Highway to St Peters Station, King Street and the green open space of Sydney Park.
The proposal reimagines road space as al fresco dining, recreation and entertainment, but the reduction in on-street parking will impact small businesses.
The removal of the right turn in and out of May Street where it intersects with Princes Highway has also raised concerns.
The deadline for Transport for NSW’s consultation process was Labour Day, with the consultation period over the school holidays.
Councillor Macri told the Independent the consultation process has been questionable.
“When you’re going to push more traffic down Railway Parade, you think you would have had a conversation with the people of Sydenham and Tempe who’ll be the users of it,” he said.
Transport for NSW plans to remove traffic signals and reconfigure May Street to left in and left out only movements.
Councillor Vic Macri said removal of the right turn on May Street will force people to make challenging manoeuvres to get into the St Peters triangle.
Saxon Strauss, a resident of St Peters, told the Independent, “it’s not an inconvenience if it’s removed, it becomes a total impediment to living in the area.”
Big impact on small business
Strauss operates an art gallery and an art transport business. He said visitors will be discouraged due to the complicated access routes.
Transport for NSW said the project will reduce on-street parking access to local businesses for customers, and staff and deliveries would be reduced along King Street, Princes Highway and Sydney Park Road.
“This has the potential to impact customers, staff and delivery drivers of businesses with no or limited on-site parking and may reduce the convenience of businesses for some customers, particularly where visits are for a short duration.
“This would be balanced in part by improved access for pedestrians and cyclists, which may encourage some people to walk or cycle for some local trips they otherwise would not,” Transport for NSW said.
Strauss said Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Road, and Norton Street are all cautionary examples of what happens when parking is removed.
“All traffic is inevitably funnelled into Westfield and other shopping centres, rather than towards small business on the surface streets,” he said.
Strauss is asking for further examining of impacts on the local area.
“The work hasn’t been done to really understand what the true local area impacts are and how this proposal’s going to change them,” he said.
Inner West Councillors were granted an extension to give feedback on the project until October 20th.
Council asks residents to send submissions to council by October 18th.