10 Dec UPDATE: Activate Manly has been deferred until the New Year due to concerns with the appropriateness of the proposed changes to traffic, shopper convenience and the potential impact on access to Churches, development sites and waste management.
The project is likely to be radically cut back. Darley Rd and The Corso look set to remain two way with no dedicated bike lane. The pavements will be ‘extended’ as ‘parklets’ near the Italian restaurant in Darley Rd and near West End at The Corso. There will also be decals on the pavement, and maybe the road and plant pots.
The project, along with a project at Bilgola, was to be funded from grants made available by the NSW Government. These grant funds may now be at risk, however, the decision to proceed with these two projects was rushed and proper community consultation was not undertaken.
12 Nov: The Council ‘Activate Manly’ plan is set to roll out next month. This major reworking of The Corso and part of Darley Rd is designed to share the street, giving bike riders and pedestrians access to space which was previously reserved for cars. The biggest chance is that The Corso and Darley Rd, between Whistler St and the Wentworth St intersection, will become one-way only. Vehicles will be able to leave, but not return to the Eastern Hill via those roads. This will create a dedicated two-way path for cycles and more space for cafes. It’s an ambitious plan, and while it’s getting support on the Council’s Your Say page, there are plenty of concerns as well.
Twenty short term parking spots will go from The Corso and Darley Rd. This is a worry for locals needing to access essential services, such as chemists and banks; as well as for businesses relying on drop-in trade.
Access for returning traffic to the Eastern Hill will be reduced from three routes to two. If an accident or a major event closes one of the other routes, we are in a bad way. And already there are plans for major work at No 6 The Corso and No 50 East Esplanade which will involve hoarding and large trucks, adding to the congestion. Routine services, such as garbage collection, deliveries for shops in The Corso and funeral vehicles at St Matthews may also be problematic.
Cyclists are also uncertain about the bike lane configuration, which will require crossing from the far left lane to the right side of the road, and back to the far left again.