Johnston's Canal Shared Path Opening

(11am 11 August 2012, Federal Park South)

Hello, everyone. Welcome. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who live in our City.

This shared path we're opening today is one more step towards making Sydney a civilised, connected city for pedestrians and cyclists.

It extends from Wigram Road in Forest Lodge through Bicentennial Park to Blackwattle Bay, providing easier, safer access through Inner West Glebe to the harbourside.

It has always been well used by the local community and was identified in the City's Cycle Strategy and Action Plan as a key recreational route, linking people from the Inner West to Blackwattle Bay.

In late 2010, Council endorsed a design for the Johnston's Canal shared path. The plans included upgrades to the existing pathway, turning the "goat track" behind Minogue Crescent into a fully accessible path, building new sections to create a continuous route, and improving the landscaping, lighting and park furniture.

In a number of places, we've widened the path to the minimum 2.5 metres - recommended as a minimum by NSW Bicycles guidelines - and increased it further in areas of possible conflict.

A range of speed limiting devices have been build in to make the shared path as safe as possible for all users, including subtle curves, direction changes, different materials and path-sharing logos. Improved lighting has also been installed, directing light downwards to minimise light spill.

Extensive new plantings have been introduced along the path, in line with our Urban Ecology Strategy. We've also removed invasive species and included logs, rocks and leaf matter to create a welcoming habitat for small animals and reptiles.

This work follows extensive public consultation and discussion with local residents and bicycle user groups and the final design incorporates many suggestions coming out of those consultations.

It now provides an important recreational link, giving access to pedestrians, joggers, bike riders and people with disabilities to these valuable local parks and the harbour foreshore.

I hope you will all use and enjoy it.

I would like to thank:

  • Our contractors, Hargraves Landscapes
  • Consultants Phillips Marler, and
  • Our City Projects Team, especially Ian Teh, project manager, and Sarah Scott, design manager.

It's been a great team effort and a very pleasing result, and I'm delight to officially open the Johnston's Canal shared path.

Thank you and please enjoy the morning tea.