It’s a problem that’s not just facing the Inner West, but everywhere in Sydney: share bikes. Abandoned oBikes, Ofo, Reddy Go and Mobikes litter the streets, from parks to suburban streets to main thoroughfares. The share bikes were hailed as a positive innovation, but instead have caused headaches for commuters, pedestrians and local councils.
Top photo shows dumped share bikes on the Bay Run, Rodd Point. Above: On the Victoria Road footpath, Rozelle
The Inner West Council has started impounding dumped share bikes, sending enforcement rangers to retrieve the bikes, with some even having to climb trees. The state government has given councils the power to issue fines of up to $2500 for each littered bike. Local councils and the state government still disagree on whose responsibility it is to force operators to clean up their own messes, with debate over whether a permit system is the right idea. Whatever happens, action needs to be taken to prevent the share bikes from obstructing footpaths and allow pedestrians to avoid seeing an eyesore everytime they turn a corner.
Dogs off leash
Two new inner west parks have been approved for new dog off leash trials. Elliot Park and Balmain Cove in Rozelle will introduce new off-leash trial areas for six months following a community consultation and a public survey on the Council’s Your Say Inner West website. Over 1,500 flyers were distributed to residential properties within the Balmain Cove area to ascertain neighbourhood opinions. The Inner West Council currently has more than 40 off-leash areas in local parks.
Dreams to double the height of a residential tower at Burwood’s town centre has been slashed, with local councillors deeming it unacceptable. The block is opposite Burwood Station, with a a development plan in place to increase the height from 70m to 163.5m. However, the ambitious plan to create 426 residential apartments was deemed “out of context” as it would dominate the local landscape. Councillor’s also cited a lack of sunlight and lack of regard for the area’s heritage.