Velobahns & the Super Campus
A Greater Sydney Commission Submission | 2017
Where do we start?
A more accessible inner city for work and play requires a transition from an expensive motorway monopoly, to a freer market of transport options that are part of a vibrant metropolitan network. An easy first step involves the low cost shift of commuters and tourists alike within the critical 10km diameter of the inner city, to active transport. This can progressively free up space for all commuters on both rail and road. Creating a safer, healthier and more accessible environment for those active travellers. A potential estimate of 5 million trips/day could be relocated from overburdened existing transport infrastructure. Potentially saving up to $4 billion a year to NSW economy (adapted from the Australian Government Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport 2012). The savings outlined in the Federal Government’s Master Plan 2030, but so are the reasons for inaction.
“Individuals are most likely to notice congestion on their part of the transport network and are likely to find that many in their travel community share their concerns regarding the performance of their transport system. These shared experiences are likely to contribute to differing views across the city on the suitability of investments in pedestrian or cycling infrastructure, or the building of more motorways and railways. All of these would ideally be built, but funding for all (particularly at the same time) is unlikely to be available.”(Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: State of Australian Cities 2014-2015)
Car manufacturers spend billions convincing congested car commuters, that having a car will provide freedom and adventure. So, getting people on their bike requires, not only shifts in funding, but telling a story that directly challenges the car mythology. Imagining a city where parents can drop their kids at school on their cargo bikes, where kids feel safe enough to ride with their trainers, where grandparents can get to the shops and park on their e-trikes.
The Velobahn concept can be self-funding because of the savings to health and environment costs. Also as an “entity,” it can become a public private partnership, seeking value capture. Advertising and development potential would create incentives for companies associated with battery and e-bike development to become involved with hotels and other commercial properties associated with metro and HSR lines. The model that worked for the city of Tokyo, could be adapted and improved.
The Super Campus as a community can be a catalyst in the development of such ventures, where they can trial and test new approaches that, if successful, can be imitated or improved on, by the rest of the city, other super campuses, or other cities.
The network explained
While using Velobahns and the Super Campus to pioneer an inner city network we should examine other transport modes that further enhance access to the enormous earning capacity of the Inner City. Filling in the 5km service gap on existing metro between new Waterloo and Sydenham stations, with a new metro station at the Bedwin Rd Bridge Enmore on the corner of the designated Marrickville industrial area and next to a major shopping mall. This station would be 3 minutes from both Waterloo and Sydenham and compliment the proposed administration/service centre for the metro. Next, a proposed new Metro Centre Line from Central to Parramatta with stations for the RPA/USYD designated research/education development area in Camperdown and also Taverners Hill interchange at Lewisham. Finally, tie them all together with a Smartram (900mm gauge) ‘Cultural Loop’ that services local and overseas tourists by connecting formal and informal cultural institutions with potential commercial development areas. This Cultural Loop would be accessed by interchanges at the new Metro stations (Enmore and RPA/USYD) and future High Speed Rail stations at White Bay, Garden Island and Barangaroo, connecting the Eastern and Western Sydney Airports to the CBD.
The Greater Sydney Commission has been tasked with the responsibility to give us a vision of the potential future of the kind of city we want to live in. What we experience as we travel to work and play, as well as how long it takes, is critical to its success.