Council demands $30m to fix WestConnex mess

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has called on the State Government to commit $30 million to help mitigate the traffic nightmare bearing down on Inner West streets as a result of WestConnex.

The call comes on the back of a detailed new independent Rat Run Study, commissioned by Council, which demonstrates the terrible traffic impact that WestConnex will have on streets adjacent to the motorway.

“This report shows that rather than solving traffic congestion in our community, WestConnex will create the mother of all rat runs in many local streets across the Inner West,” said Mayor Byrne.

“When the State Government failed to look at traffic impacts on our local streets as part of planning for WestConnex, Council stepped up and took responsibility.

“We’ve identified the traffic calming measures that are absolutely necessary to prevent chaos on our streets and we’ll be sending the State Government the bill.

“The report shows that a slew of local streets and arterial roads will be overrun with traffic – with some hit by massive traffic increases in peak hour by 2021.

“This ill-conceived motorway will have a major impact on our area and it is vital we act now to try to mitigate the damage and ensure local streets are not turned into one giant rat run.”

The study identifies streets likely to be affected by increased traffic and proposes treatments to protect and improve them using measures such as traffic islands, roundabouts, and traffic diversions.

“The study estimates it will cost up to $30 million to put real traffic calming measures into the local area – a drop in the ocean for this $20 billion project,” said Byrne.

“Local residents have already suffered enough from having this woefully inept motorway bulldozed through our suburbs – and if we don’t act now it will leave once quiet suburban streets choked with traffic after it opens,” he said.

The local community was consulted throughout the development of the Study with hundreds of residents providing input and valuable local traffic knowledge to the plan.

Subject to funding, detailed design, approval and implementation of the traffic calming measures would be carried out with further input from the local community.

The study includes a strategic framework and broad cost estimates for traffic management, streetscape and water-sensitive urban design improvements for the following five precincts:

Precinct 1: Ashfield $4.0M
Precinct 2: Haberfield $9.3M
Precinct 3: Leichhardt West $6.0M
Precinct 4: Johnston Street $7.2M
Precinct 5: St Peters $2.2M
TOTAL (five precincts) $28.7M

For more information, please call John Roper (02) 9392 5914

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