Have been to a couple of lengthy meetings with Leichhardt and City of Sydney Councils, RTA and a developer over a proposed roundabout at Wigram Rd and Booth St. David Borela from Bike Sydney was also at the last meeting. Quite a dangerous intersection, with buses and other vehicles turning left and right across cyclists’ paths. Have had a near miss there myself when a 370 bus pulled out of Wigram, and then there’s the narrowing shoulder as you head over the bridge up Booth towards Bridge Rd. LBUG has been campaigning for bike lanes from Wigram Rd to Bridge Rd for years, to match up,with the rest of Booth St.

After Leichhardt Council rejected the development on traffic grounds the developer appealed and got approval from the Land and Env Court for a supermarket near Taylor St, where the hardware store used to be, and the court also said Council should build a roundabout to enable vehicles to turn and come back to enter the supermarket, instead of making a direct turn into the supermarket.

Complications are that City of Sydney boundary is along Booth St and up Wigram so they have to give consent to any roundabout.CoS also has a plan to build a shared path on their side, across the bridge, so cyclists from the Trio (old Childrens Hospital) can get to Wigram Rd and CoS’s new bike path along Johnstons Ck, and that LBUG has been campaigning for years to put bike lanes in Booth St from Wigram to Bridge Rd.

City of Sydney has rejected plans so far on grounds they don’t provide a safe crossing of Wigram Rd, because buses take up too much room when turning left to provide a refuge crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.

RTA of course just said put up a barrier so pedestrians and cyclists from the Trio will not be able to cross and force them to cross Booth St twice if they want to get onto the northern Wigram Rd footpath.

I and David Borella from Bike Sydney suggested a solution was to put the shared path on the other side of Booth St so cyclists From the Trio can cross there at a refuge and continue on past Wigram Rd to Taylor St, where they can go to the supermarket or turn right into Taylor if going to the foreshore along Johnston Ck path. Either that or CoS should go back to the Trio management and suggest they build a ramp up to the Trio from Wigram Rd, as we suggested years ago, near Orphans Ck steps. (See http://www.sydneycyclist.com/forum/topics/anyone-live-in-the-city)

Complicated, no?

Pedestrians will still be disadvantaged, plus a few people on mobility scooters and wheeling prams who we saw crossing Wigram Rd on way up Booth St. If CoS doesn’t agree there may be another courtcase.

Another solution would be lights at the intersection, but Leichhardt doesn’t want that because they will have to pay the operating costs for ten years according to RTA rules. Unless Cos pays, which they indicated they might, and they have deep pockets, it appears there may be a stalemate. Lights may be the safest for cyclists, and if cyclists could use the footpath as we suggested, coming from Booth St, they could avoid the lights in that direction.

No idea how it will turn out, since there are so many interests involved, but hope whatever happens cyclists will get a safer intersection and better conditions on Booth St up to Bridge Rd.

Battle of Booth St
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One thought on “Battle of Booth St

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:03 am
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    Another potential change to Booth St has come up. Council wants to install speed humps and kerb extensions in Booth St at Annandale and Trafalgar Sts, and remove the bike lane there. This is part of a plan to make Booth 40 K limit, which is good IMO, but don’t want to see bike lanes lost.

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