Built around Sydney’s tramways in 1890s, Newtown needs KPIs to prioritise humans not cars.
The proposed transformation will activate Newtown as a premier destination for locals, as well as domestic and international visitors.
Bring the tram sheds back to life – creating a new gathering point. Landscape and open the areas around the tram sheds, with increased passive surveillance and human scale lighting. Make more spaces to sit, reducing crowding, and create new cooling green islands.
Create quicker connections between business areas with new paths. Most people head straight to northern King St. Use shared identity, anchors, and wayfinding to encourage visitors to spread.
Newtown only receives 10% of the international visitors as the Opera House
Reactivate Brennan Lane and the old path along the Bank Hotel.
It’s great to see the well-connected lobby groups also calling for improved active transport.
The [Committee for Sydney] is also advocating for the fast-tracking of the state’s planned Greater Sydney cycle network to be completed in three years as a post-COVID-19 economic stimulus initiative.
The Harbour Bridge proposal, by cycling group Bike North, would see the far-western traffic lane of the bridge reserved for south-bound bike users and the existing cycleway restricted for riders heading north to allow space for social distancing in transit.
‘Hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders will have to change their commuting habits over the coming weeks as the state government looks to impose strict controls on the public transport network that may result in traffic havoc on the roads.’
Transport experts have warned Sydney’s road network is unlikely to cope if everyone swaps their bus or train commute for a car.
“We are looking at basically ‘carmageddon’, where all the roads are full with the people that were on buses and trains [but are now] in cars,” University of Technology transport expert Mathew Hounsell said.
“You’re going to have the underlying problem that the road system cannot support all of the people that will need to come off public transport.”
He said as well as temporary bike lanes and a shake-up to some bus services, the best way the government could maintain some order on the roads would be to keep people working at home or commuting outside of peak hours.
“There will be roughly 800,000 people now needing to travel without using public transport, they can’t all go onto the roads,” Mr Hounsell said.
“We need to make some choices between what people are used to versus what will keep people safe in the long term.”
‘The state government may be forced to open up more city parking and build temporary bike lanes as commuters avoid public transport when offices in the heart of Sydney start to reopen.
Transport experts predict the easing of pandemic restrictions will cause a surge in traffic in the coming weeks as people avoid trains, buses and ferries. The pressure on Sydney’s roads will also be hit by tough social distancing rules imposed at train stations and on buses for those who do choose to take public transport.’