Improving Access and Circulation - The People's Loop
In June 2015, Parramatta Park Trust consulted with the community on stage two of the $8.7 million ‘The Paddocks Precinct’ improvements, including the next stage of the playground, restoration and expansion of the Queens Road Gatehouse and additional Park facilities including new toilets and shelters.
Feedback from this community consultation and others held by the Trust indicated that the community supported improvements to the Park, identifying the need to upgrade facilities as the population density of the region increases and the Park plays a greater role within the community.
The Current Situation
The Trust recognises the growing problem of conflict between the different modes of transport used within the Park – cars, bicycles and pedestrians. The Trust has identified three elements exacerbating the conflicts between these Park users:
- the Park is experiencing increase visitation growth which will increase over time as a result of new residential and employment development in Parramatta and the region;
- existing path and road infrastructure is not suitable for a diversity of users; and
- the speed of cars and bicycles increases risk to all Park users.
The Trust is now reviewing how to make walking and cycling safer by changing the way cars move and park in Parramatta Park. In order to respond to the challenges the Park faces both now and in the future, a transport study was conducted, testing numerous design options for improving circulation within the Park, called The People’s Loop.
The Trust has spent the last year researching how visitors access and move within the Park. It was discovered that on weekends over a quarter of the cars entering the Park are driving through on their way to another destination outside the Park.
The proposed People’s Loop will remove cars from the majority of the existing internal road within Parramatta Park. This frees up the internal road for wider pedestrians and bicycle lanes making walking and cycling easier on the loop and reduces the conflict with the different modes. This will mean more people, families and children can cycle or walk safely for fun or fitness.
It is proposed that car parking will be located in hubs around the Park to allow access to key destinations. The car parking hubs will reduce conflicts with the various Park users. There will be no net reduction in car parking numbers available in the Park. The People’s Loop will also remove the ‘rat run’ between the Parramatta CBD and Westmead.
The main objectives of this proposal is to:
- increase Park safety by minimising conflict between differing modes of transport;
- provide a dedicated and safe, car-free, pedestrian and cycling loop;
- preserve and enhance the heritage and amenity of the Park; and
- accommodate increasing visitation to the Park.
For further information and design options, download our Access and Circulation Community Consultation Boards.