Fire truck reignites row - (Comment) Now is the time for action

Inner Western Suburbs Courier

Monday 15 September 2003

Leichhardt's parking problems ignited again last week after a fire truck side-swiped four cars on its way to an emergency.

Leichhardt Council's decision to enforce a $60 fine for cars parked partially on the footpath has again come under fire after the incident last Wednesday when the fire truck hit four cars in Hill Street on its way to a fire.

Leichhardt mayor Maire Sheehan said the council had. been lobbying the Reads and Traffic Authority (RTA) for some time to solve the traffic problems, but it got nowhere until just before the March election when a working party was established.

Councillor Sheehan said the working party, of which she is a member, was looking at all options to solve the parking problems, including re-engineering the footpaths for better space sharing and restricting parking to one side of the street only in some instances. A council pamphlet sent to residents recently said emergency vehicles needed a clearance of at least three metres between parked cars.

Recently, the Pedestrian Council wrote to Leichhardt Council suggesting that turning a blind eye to footpath parking could amount to unlawful conduct and Leichhardt could face a significant damages bill if someone was injured on the footpath.


Inner Western Suburbs Courier - Monday 15 September 2003

Now is the time for action


Families have cars and when they are at home, cars are parked on the family property or in the street. Which brings us to life in the narrow streets of the inner city. Many families park their cars partially on footpaths to help traffic flow.

Leichhardt Council has now told residents it is enforcing the law prohibiting pavement parking. The council was warned in a letter from the Pedestrian Council that turning a blind eye to the practice could be unlawful conduct and Leichhardt could be liable for damages if a pedestrian was hurt.

Back to the parking problem: Either residents park completely on the street and hinder traffic in some areas or the law is changed to allow pavement parking. Leichhardt Council is lobbying the Roads and Traffic Authority, but with no result so far.

As the first fine notices start appearing under windscreen wipers, tempers are going to rise.

Perhaps, our local MPs might start lobbying for action on the issue, sooner rather than later.

Letter from NSW Fire Brigades - Minimum Safe Widths - 11 Dec 1996