Narrow Streets Blamed

Glebe and InnerWester

Wednesday 17 September 2003
by KIM SHAW

NARROW streets and a lack of off street parking have been blamed for last week's smash involving a fire truck and parked cars in Hill St, Leichhardt.

In the early hours of Wednesday a fire engine sideswiped and damaged four cars it negotiated its way along the tiny street.

The incident has renewed resident calls for legal footpath parking but voices against this are also strong.

Leichhardt Councillor and Balmain fire station commander Chris Windsor said it was illegal to park on the footpath and the council had to enforce the law.

“If people don't like it they can lobby the RTA. " he said. Councillor Windsor is council’s traffic
committee chairman.
“We have just letterboxed residents with postcards and told them, that parking on the footpath is illegal.

“But council is trying to find a medium, with shared streets, streets shared between cars and pedestrian where you bring the speed limit down to 10kph.

“We are doing a narrow street audit to identify streets where we can traffic-share.”

Harold Scruby of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, said the run-in with the fire truck was an “accident waiting to happen”.

He said Leichhardt Coundl should never have allowed cars to legally park along both sides of the street.
“These streets are too narrow for parking on both sides,” he said. “Since 1999 it has been illegal to stop on the footpath or nature strip, yet you go down Rowntree or Short St and see 50 cars on the footpath.

“We have board members who are in the Royal Blind Society and the Paraquad
“They can't drive. The footpaths are for people.”