Light rail study a chance for pedestrian friendly communities

12 October 2009

The decision by the state government and the City of Sydney to end their bunfight over light rail and work together on a study has been welcomed by property developers.

The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said a light rail extension through the Inner West will provide an opportunity for new compact, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighbourhoods.


We strongly support the Governments investment in new light rail services, Mr Gadiel said.


Investment in infrastructure, such as light rail, will inspire confidence and encourage private sector investment in urban renewal projects along the route.


However, the study must also consider the need to secure strong patronage on any new service.


Patronage on the light rail system will be strongly influenced by the type of urban development that is encouraged in the vicinity of its stops.


Compact, mixed-use development will be critical to the success of this transport project.


Independent research consistently shows that density has a significant impact on the use of public transport.


Every 10-percent increase in population density has been associated with about a 6-percent increase in public transport patronage.


New flexible zoning plans are essential if high levels of patronage are to be achieved.


The low patronage levels of the Liverpool-to-Parramatta Transit Way are a clear sign of what can occur when the urban planning is not adjusted in parallel with the transport planning.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $69 billion to the national economy each year and creates 709,000 direct jobs. The construction industry is Australias third largest source of employment.



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