April 6, 2008
April 12, 2008
Construction work on the King Street upgrade and cycleway is set to start this month with the City of Sydney Council’s approval of a tender for the project.
The King Street component, between Sussex Street and Clarence Street, of the CBD cycleway was part of the initial design and consultation process. A final round of community consultations began in September last year and is now complete.
“It’s only two blocks, but it’s a big step,” City of Sydney Councillor Shayne Mallard said.
Together with the two-way cycle path, the King Street facelift will include black granite pavements, stone kerbs and ‘smart pole’ lighting. Pedestrians will be separated from cyclists by a kerb, while a new median strip will separate cyclists from cars.
A string of Liquidamber trees in the new median strip completes the “photo montage” of the finished look, provided for public viewing by council. On-street parking will disappear from one side of the stretch of King Street and loading zones will be put in place for peak times on the other.
A report to council recommends that work commence immediately to allow the first stages of the project to be completed before World Youth Day in July, when 300,000 visitors are expected in Sydney.
But residents of the several apartment buildings that line the King Street stretch will have to endure at least nine months of disruption, given the project’s completion is not expected until January next year.
“These things are always painful,” Cr Mallard said. “We’ve seen that from work on Oxford Street and Glebe Point Road, but there’s no gain without a bit of pain.”
Sydney’s bicycle community has welcomed news of the approval. “It’s great to see this going ahead,” said BikeSydney president Andrew Dodds. “I’d like it to go a bit faster but it’s all really encouraging.”
Mr Dodds said cycle paths are the first step, with the next being bike safety education and getting people onto the paths. “But the council’s plan actually encompasses that,” he said.
The King Street upgrade is the first stage of the east west cycle route connecting Pyrmont Bridge to Macquarie Street, through the city centre.
This article was first published in City Hub, April 6, 2008 and City News, April 12, 2008.