Manly is set to become a more pedestrian-friendly zone.
The Northern Beaches Council has committed over $2M to making Manly more accessible and safer for pedestrians, including people with prams or in wheelchairs.
The Walk Manly - Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan - has been put together to identify and fix existing trouble spots; improve access to public transport including the Hop Skip Jump Bus; and anticipate and manage future demand. Go to our zone-by-zone list of items in Walk Manly plan.
The scope of the Walk Manly plan includes Manly beachfront, town centre and wharf, and streets within a 400m catchment of those areas, as well as outlying areas such as the Andrew Boy Charlton Swim centre.
“It’s fantastic that Manly is finally getting the attention it deserves,” Good For Manly President and Northern Beaches Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said.
“This is a very thorough assessment of pavements, intersections, pedestrian crossings and overall pedestrian and cyclist needs in the Manly area.”
Cr Bingham said planned improvements included putting in a new set of traffic lights at the Pittwater Rd and Carlton St intersection; improvements to crossings at North and South Steyne and improving appearance and pedestrian safety in Bower and Rialto lanes.
The survey also looked at pedestrian safety on Raglan St near St Mary’s School; at the intersection of Darley and Wentworth roads near Manly Public School; and and on Pittwater Rd near Harris Farm Markets.
The notorious pedestrian crossing between The Corso and the Wharf was another focus.
“Everybody has seen people taking stupid risks at this intersection,” Cr Bingham said. “People are always running across the road against the lights to get their ferry. It’s amazing no one has been killed there.”
“While the Walk Manly plan has suggested count-down timers to let pedestrians know how long they have to wait before crossing, it looks like this would lengthen overall waiting times for everyone, so I’m not sure it’s the right solution.”
Cr Bingham said the shared cycle/walk path along the oceanfront also needed more study. The suggestion is to simply improve line markings on the cycle way, but Cr Bingham said a better solution would be to make it bike only, with pedestrians using the main beachfront promenade.
The total cost of the plan stands at $2,125,000, of which $1.3M is for high-priority work - to be completed within five years. The biggest item is currently $800,000 for a new crossing with traffic lights at the Pittwater Rd/Carlton St intersection, but as Pittwater is a State Road this work will hopefully receive at least 50% in costs from the RMS. Another $250,000 of the high priority work is maintenance related.
Pittwater and Belgrave roads were revealed as pedestrian black-spots, with an average of two people injured each year in each location. North Steyne was next with four people injured over six years. Over the area studied there were, on average, six pedestrian injuries a year.
“Part of what makes Manly such a great community is that people can walk to where they want to go and interact with other people along the way, which doesn’t happen if everyone is in cars,” Cr Bingham said.
“I’m delighted that the Council is committed to making Manly even better for walking and cycling.”
Walking and cycling routes used in the study are shown below.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.