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This was the Infrastructure, Planning & Environmental Services Committee Meeting. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.   Absent: Clr Iskandar.  Note: MC = Marrickville Council.

The Councillors & Wards are as follows – LABOR:  Iskandar/Central, Haylen/North, Tsardoulias/West, Woods/South. GREENS:  Phillips/Central, Ellsmore/North, Brooks/West, Leary/South.  LIBERAL: Gardener/North, Tyler/West. INDEPENDENT:  Macri/Central, Hanna/South.

To build a separated cycleway along Carrington Road Marrickville South – Speaker 1: For. Bike Marrickville representative.  This is a key linkage road. The need for a cycleway here is undoubted. We have worked with MC on this for many years. I ask Clrs to support the design & approve the proposal.

Speaker 2: Against.  NFP organisation on Carrington Road. We hold meetings outside business hours. 50-100 people come & most drive. We are concerned with loss of parking. The frustrating part is bikes will be crossing 5 side streets. It makes more sense to have cyclway on eastern side.

Speaker 3: Against. Business owner in Carrington Road – resubmitted a petition of 500 signatures. Semi-trailers come in & out. I’ve invested heavily in Marrickville & worked tirelessly to have fair process.  I’m not opposed to bike riders.  You should look at doing the bike path without harming the businesses & if you do, you should compensate them.

Speaker 4: Against.  The businesses on the western side, the buildings are small. They have to reverse in & out. This poses a risk to the cyclists. When a parked car is there it is a buffer zone. If cycleway was properly painted it would work.  We have huge problems with flooding – half a metre of water flooding through the buildings.  Last week MC said that the stormwater drains are all clear. It’s been known for 25-years that Carrington Road is low lying & flood prone, yet the drains are choked up & the canal full of debris.  This morning in Renwick Street water was coming up out of the drains.  The Cooks River was flooding & pushing water into Mackey Park & Renwick Street.  MC is spending $300,000 on a cycleway, yet you can’t fix blocked drains.  We own property on the eastern side & we are hoping to develop sometime.  The cycleway could come through the rear.

Clr Macri:  Moved an amendment not to proceed with cycleway & investigate alternative route or incorporated into new development.  In the interim, MC paints the road.  Against the motion – I’ve been speaking to lots of residents re loss of parking. They balked at a residential parking scheme as they have 3 cars per house, but can only get 2 permits.  I’m not convinced that a separated cycleway will give the safety more than a painted cyclway.

Clr Brooks:  In favour of recommendation. MC has spent $100,000 or more to find the route. This is the best option we have.  We looked at the opposite side of the road, but more parking would be lost.  We have a matching grant of $100,000 to spend in the next 6-months. Delaying will lose it. MC has made its commitment clear. Staff:  NSW bicycle guidelines recommend separated cycleways in roads with the traffic volumes Carrington Road has.

Clr Tyler: I support.  I believe people have the freedom to ride & get killed or kill their children if they like.  We’ve had grave concerns of safety of cyclists.  There is going to be a fatality.  That be your choice.  I’m not going to stand in your way.

Clr Hanna: Against.  Everyone knows we are having trouble with parking. We have to wait to get the proper money for it. We have to support the residents.  500 names is plenty.  Clr Phillips: Supporting.  This is the final piece of the route. We need to give it a try.  I acknowledge the difficulties.  We should be supplying a separated cycleway.  I don’t think painting marks on the road will help.  It’s not irreversible.

Clr Gardiner:  Australian standards stress the need for separated cycleways on heavy roads.  There has been a growth in cyclists in Sydney & I am confident that this is because of increased safety on the roads.  We need to do what we can to increase cycling. I’d like to see numbers of use over next 2-years to see that we are not wasting $150,000.

Clr Woods:  What proportion is non-mountable?  Staff:  It’s mountable between Renwick & Warren Roads & also a cross driveways & intersections. It’s 50mm / 2 inches high.

Mayor Haylen: Building this cycleway means 17 car spots less. I want to encourage people to ride to work.  It’s a key link & more people will use it when it is safe. I’m doing it for the greater community.

Clr Macri:  Moved an amendment that MC investigate purchasing a property for parking.  Clr Gardiner:  What a waste of MC’s money that would be.  We have the poorest rate of open space, yet we want to buy land to build a car park.  I am a small businessperson.  We must look at the greater community need.

Vote on Clr Macri’s amendment for investigating buying a car park – For: Clrs Marci & Hanna.  Against: Mayor Haylen, Clrs Tsardoulias, Woods, Phillips, Leary, Brooks, Ellsmore, Gariner & Tyler.  Lost.

Vote on building the separated cycleway – For: Mayor Haylen, Clrs Tsardoulias, Woods, Phillips, Leary, Brooks, Ellsmore, Gardiner & Tyler.  Against: Clrs Marci & Hanna.  Carried.

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