Monday, 5 August 2013

Parade of the Anzacs

Randwick Road 1871-1873.    Mitchell Library archives 
Randwick Road which ran diagonally through Moore Park was always recognised as a major arterial road. The sandstone pillars that marked the start remain today. On the 9th January 1917, in a minute to the works committee of the City Council, the Lord Mayor (Alderman Meagher) suggested that the widened Randwich Road be called Anzac Parade and this was adopted. This would have been to honour the sacrifice of the diggers who had died at the Gallipoli landing and would continue to die until the armistice in 1918.
City of Sydney Archives  SRC14702
The photo above was presumably taken in the 1950s and shows the tram rails to the tram lines in Moore Park. In the early twentieth century Sydney had developed one of the largest tram networks in the world, with good reason. The only crossings of Sydney Harbour was via ferries from Circular Quay to Milsons Point. To get from the suburbs of Sydney to destinations in Eastern Australia from Kirribilli to Cape York one had to travel to Circular Quay, get on a ferry and continue the journey on trains, trams or buses from Milsons Point.

That all changed when the Harbour Bridge was built. The people of Sydney could make continuous journeys from the southern suburbs to the north, and Anzac Parade was the only arterial road from the south-eastern suburbs to the harbour crossings. The importance of Anzac Parade to the south-eastern suburbs increased with the building of the Cahill Expressway, and even more with the opening of the Harbour Tunnel. There will never ever be a vehicular crossing of the Harbour to the east of the Harbour Tunnel so the importance of Anzac Parade will keep on increasing.

People no longer travel to Circular Quay to reach destinations from Kirribilli to Cape York. Indeed the train station and tram stops at Milsons Point have been replaced by Luna Park. Only the small proportion of commuters in Malabar, Little Bay and southern Maroubra who have jobs or businesses in the northern CBD have any need for a tram from Circular Quay for the first five sections then change to a bus for the next five, and they are certainly no better off.
Milsons Point 2005
Forcing all the traffic in Anzac Parade not headed for the northern end of the CBD or Circular Quay into the one lane carrying buses in order to establish a business model for a 50/50% tram/bus route from Circular Quay to Malabar is truly nostalgic and utterly insane. The most critical portion of Anzac Parade will be reduced to one lane 24 hours a day, forever.

1 comment:

  1. Anzac Pde is wide enough, even in the section between Nine Ways and the intersection with Alison and Dacey, to support two traffic lanes in each direction with trams running down the centre of the road. Obviously there will be no more bus lanes and no more on-street parking along this part of Anzac Parade.

    As for the tram stops, it looks like they have been positioned in areas that currently have either a central reservation or a right turn lane that can be removed to provide the necessary space. My major concern is the predicted travel times: 24 minutes from Central to Kingsford - worrying to say the least!