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  • Written by SCC

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015. The City of Sydney’s first walking strategy will see Sydney become a more accessible, attractive and safer city to explore on foot.

The Walking Strategy and Action Plan prioritises key actions that will support people of all ages to walk more, while boosting the local economy and the health of Sydneysiders. It follows extensive consultation and nearly 100 submissions from the community during its public exhibition.

“People told us they want our city to be well connected to make walking quicker, easier and more convenient for those of all ages and all abilities,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“In particular, people called for shorter wait times at crossings and for road rules to be enforced to improve pedestrian safety. We will continue to work with the NSW Government to help deliver these and many more benefits to make Sydney easier, safer and more enjoyable to move around.

“The City is investing $50 million to improve the quality and safety of the most popular walking routes in central Sydney, with upgraded footpaths and improved lighting. We’re also investing a further $10 million in a wayfinding network that will clearly direct people to their destination and places of interest.”

“The number of people living in the city is set to reach 280,000 by 2036, and the number of city workers to top 570,000. It’s vital we work to better accommodate these people on our footpaths and promote transport choices that are easy and reliable,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It’s also important that we prepare for the construction of the new light rail network and pedestrianisation of George Street by improving options for people to walk around our city and assisting them in finding alternative ways of getting where they need to go.”

C.O.S - Walking Sydney images…Chinatown and Broadway 2014

The strategy is designed to make walking quicker, more convenient, inviting and easy. Actions include:

  • Creating at least five kilometres of additional pedestrianised streets and laneways;
  • Improving pedestrian lighting and footpath networks;
  • Working with the NSW Government to reduce pedestrian waiting times at crossings;
  • Investigating and promoting safer routes to schools;
  • Developing events and communication campaigns that promote walking;
  • Upgrading main streets to support the local economy;
  • Creating an integrated wayfinding system across the city;
  • Working with neighbouring local governments to improve walking infrastructure;
  • Making public spaces more accessible for everyone;
  • Taking a ‘people first’ approach when designing new developments and urban renewal areas; and
  • Undertaking a walkability audit every five years to monitor improvements.

“Research shows that the more people walk, the more economic benefits are delivered for local businesses, because people who walk visit shops more often,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We also know that walking delivers incredible health benefits. Inactivity costs the Australian economy $13.8 billion a year, and at least 60 per cent of the population is either overweight or obese.

“Our Walking Strategy aims to make the city centre and surrounding villages easier to get around, more interesting and better connected, while building a happier and healthier community.”

The City’s Walking Strategy sets out targets to be achieved by 2030, including:

  • Walking to represent a third of all commuter trips by City residents;
  • Reduce delay to walking times by 10 per cent on key routes;
  • All residents to be within a 10-minute walk of retail outlets; and
  • Reduce traffic-related crashes involving pedestrians by 50 per cent.

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