A new Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) proposal will prioritises traffic over safety on Oxford Street.
The median strip in Oxford Street, Paddington was temporality removed by Ausgrid while they carried out necessary upgrades, and was to be replaced once work was complete. RMS now want to make this removal permanent to widen traffic lanes and install a fence along the centre of the road.
The proposed fence would prevent pedestrians crossing the road along the major shopping strip between Oatley Road to Jersey Road.
RMS says this proposal will improve road safety, but in actual fact it will negatively impact businesses and residents by turning Oxford Street a freeway. If RMS was serious about safety they would simply reduce the speed limit in this section of Oxford Street to 40kms.
Restricting pedestrian access along upper Oxford Street will have a huge impact on businesses along the strip and risks making Oxford Street's traffic problems worse.
The City does not support such fences like this on city streets. Instead of encouraging people to cross at the lights, fences can trap frustrated pedestrians trying to find a quicker way to the other side of the street. They are a hazard to fast moving vehicles and reduce sight lines for both drivers and pedestrians.
A similar fence in the middle of Oxford Street near Taylor Square was removed because it did not stop people crossing the street and created serious pedestrian safety problems.
The proposal also removes right turns for vehicles into adjacent side streets along this section of the road.