by Asa Wahlquist, Bays and Foreshores Subcommittee Convenor, September 2021, from Bulletin 8/2021

Pedestrians are unable to use the foot path on the Blackwattle Bay side of Bridge Rd in front of the Fish Market development site. This leads to overcrowding on the other side of the road. (Photo: Janet Wahlquist).

The issue was raised at the last meeting of the new Fish Markets Community Consultative Committee. That section of the road is actually a designated 40km/h zone, but it is poorly signposted, with many cars actually picking up speed along Bridge Rd where it widens from one to two lanes. Pedestrians walking along Bridge Rd from Glebe towards the city have been confronted with a problem at Wentworth Park Rd. It has been described as ‘an accident waiting to happen’. The footpath next to the new Sydney Fish Markets (SFM) is frequently blocked, with pedestrians told to cross Bridge Rd, but with no assistance to do so.

A CCC member, Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully, said City of Sydney council had been lobbying for improved signage. She asked for submissions from other members to take to Council. Councillor Philip Thallis then raised the matter at the Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee.

The footpath next to the new Sydney Fish Markets (SFM) is frequently blocked to pedestrians. (Photos: Janet Wahlquist)

The problem of the footpath being closed will continue during construction works, with future plans including raising the level of Bridge Rd. The main entrance to the Fish Market will be on Bridge Rd at the end of Wentworth Park Rd and there are plans for that intersection to have traffic lights. In the meantime, pedestrians have to dodge the traffic, which thankfully is still light due to the lockdown.Cr Scully said there was a need for clearer 40km/h speed signage on Bridge Rd, for police to enforce speed limits, and for traffic calming measures and pedestrian access on Bridge Rd during the construction of the new SFM. Committee members also asked for a crossing, with lights, at the intersection of Bridge Rd and Wentworth Park Rd, to be installed sooner than planned.

Cr Scully said Council will raise the issue of policing the 40km/h speed limit with the police. She said City of Sydney staff ‘will be liaising with the SFM developer to advocate for the installation of the signalised crossing as early as possible, and to advocate that the crossing covers all three sides of the intersection’.

Pedestrians are frequently told to cross Bridge Rd where there is no pedestrian crossing and no assistance from traffic controllers. (Photos: Janet Wahlquist)

When it comes to better signage for the 40km/h speed limit, the NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines state that they can only be used in conjunction with ‘either school zone, local traffic area or high pedestrian activity, not alone. Hence the use of the smaller roundel with ‘40km/h’. Cr Scully said Transport for NSW agree this is no longer appropriate at this location. When new guidelines are published, City of Sydney will ask Transport for NSW to change the signs.

At the moment, there is simply no protected way for pedestrians to cross Bridge Rd next to Wentworth Park Rd. Those with foresight can cross at the Taylor St lights, but they still have to risk crossing Wentworth Park Rd.