Olympic Park - new rides



A

Andrew Price

Guest
Went for a wander through the new cycle paths running on the southern side
of the Parramatta River and running on either side of Haslam's Creek today
after this mornings club ride - its described with a map on p14 of the
current Jan/Feb edition of Australian Cyclist.

This was the horribly polluted area they left "as is" for the Olympics -
goes through the old Newington Armoury (claims to have supplied munitions to
the Australian military for all conflicts from the Boer War to East Timor)
and adjoining Silverwater prison and the former athletes village which
became the "new" residential suburb of Newington.

That description is a bit harsh as the native landscaping they have sensibly
planted has grown enough to have started the remediation process and its
actually a pretty nice series of wide bitumen landscaped cycle paths (about
an extra 15km from what was there before). If you were to fall in the creek
look forward to growing another head - they dumped dioxins and battery acid
here and the water smells - hope the increasing number of water birds there
are well insulated.

Fairly good transport access to the tracks from either Auburn or Rhodes
railway stations (although the path from Rhodes seems to be lost to a
construction site - hopefully temporary) or the Parramatta River ferry or
road access off the M4, Homebush Bay Drive or Silverwater Rd.

Paths are wide and shared with pedestrians so its only ever going to be
gentle recreational cycling but given the large area of the old armaments
storage which is still security fenced (not enough money to decommission and
make safe the rest of the site there would be more than enough room for a
good road racing and a crit circuit - the Waratah Vets used to race on the
Olympic Park roads before they got kicked off for safety reasons and I for
one would love to see an enclosed racing circuit provided in the final
incarnation of this park (called Millennium Park I think).

They have made a couple of "markers" being hills (I suspect former rubbish
or soil mounds) which have a concentric paths gently rising around the sides
at a very constant (I'm guessing) 4 or 5% rising say 30m - sort of what the
consultants the authorities use think would be of interest and amusement to
cyclists - worth going up them once to get a view of what's otherwise pretty
flat land.

If you want to go for a quiet ride with the family or someone who is only an
occasional cyclist you could do worse than check out what's been done - you
may want to take some food and drink in a back pack as there is not much in
the way of cafe culture out there yet.

I presume when more funds become available the rest of the armaments depot
will be opened up to the public - be nice to go out there for a race again
sometime - its a long way to Eastern Creek and I have fond memories of
having the odd bit of luck in races out there a while back.

best, Andrew
 
M

My Pyro

Guest
Andrew Price wrote:
> Went for a wander through the new cycle paths running on the southern side
> of the Parramatta River and running on either side of Haslam's Creek today
> after this mornings club ride - its described with a map on p14 of the
> current Jan/Feb edition of Australian Cyclist.


These cycle paths are not new. SOP are simply promoting the area as
being a great place for cycling - which includes the distribution of the
new SOP "Bike Safari" maps to all BNSW members and Cycle Sydney
participants. An excellent idea since the western areas of the SOP
precinct are less well known yet have some very good rides.
>
> This was the horribly polluted area they left "as is" for the Olympics -
> goes through the old Newington Armoury (claims to have supplied munitions to
> the Australian military for all conflicts from the Boer War to East Timor)
> and adjoining Silverwater prison and the former athletes village which
> became the "new" residential suburb of Newington.


Sorry, this is not correct.

A large area - including the area covered by Narrawang Wetlands and
Haslam Creek Flats - certainly *was* remediated in the 1990s during the
lead up to the 2000 Games. The general remediation technique used was
risk assessment with consolidation - whereby some of the more toxic
wastes identified by the various reviews in the mid 1990s - were
consolidated into the mounds which are scattered about the area (total
of 11 IIRC). There is a leachate drainage system in place across the
area - with the most polluted leachate diverted for additional treatment.

NB Personally I don't think this minimalist "risk assessment with
consolidation" strategy was the best option ... there is still too much
toxic waste in the area.

The Newington Armory was not part of the cleanup because it was in use
until December 1999. The site is simply restricted due to unexploded
ordinance.

>
> That description is a bit harsh as the native landscaping they have sensibly
> planted has grown enough to have started the remediation process and its
> actually a pretty nice series of wide bitumen landscaped cycle paths (about
> an extra 15km from what was there before). If you were to fall in the creek
> look forward to growing another head - they dumped dioxins and battery acid
> here and the water smells - hope the increasing number of water birds there
> are well insulated.


Really depends on which creek you fall into... :) Certainly a swim in
the bay may not be a good idea ...
>
> Fairly good transport access to the tracks from either Auburn or Rhodes
> railway stations (although the path from Rhodes seems to be lost to a
> construction site - hopefully temporary) or the Parramatta River ferry or
> road access off the M4, Homebush Bay Drive or Silverwater Rd.


Agreed that the current cycle path past Rhodes is an abomination.
Supposedly it will be resurfaced and new lighting installed... Road
savvy cyclists can use the new link road but keep an eye out for doors
opening on the parked cars... grrr...

Much better access to park for Northern line rail access is via Concord
West station.

>
> Paths are wide and shared with pedestrians so its only ever going to be
> gentle recreational cycling but given the large area of the old armaments
> storage which is still security fenced (not enough money to decommission and
> make safe the rest of the site there would be more than enough room for a
> good road racing and a crit circuit - the Waratah Vets used to race on the
> Olympic Park roads before they got kicked off for safety reasons and I for
> one would love to see an enclosed racing circuit provided in the final
> incarnation of this park (called Millennium Park I think).


Interesting bit about the Waratah Vets - the SOP website (see
http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/visiting/recreational_activities/cycling)
specifically mentions racing cyclists being able to use on-road cycle lanes.

I can also add that I've seen groups of road cyclists flying around at a
pretty good pace. Fun to watch and keep up with for a few minutes!
>
> They have made a couple of "markers" being hills (I suspect former rubbish
> or soil mounds) which have a concentric paths gently rising around the sides
> at a very constant (I'm guessing) 4 or 5% rising say 30m - sort of what the
> consultants the authorities use think would be of interest and amusement to
> cyclists - worth going up them once to get a view of what's otherwise pretty
> flat land.
>
> If you want to go for a quiet ride with the family or someone who is only an
> occasional cyclist you could do worse than check out what's been done - you
> may want to take some food and drink in a back pack as there is not much in
> the way of cafe culture out there yet.
>
> I presume when more funds become available the rest of the armaments depot
> will be opened up to the public - be nice to go out there for a race again
> sometime - its a long way to Eastern Creek and I have fond memories of
> having the odd bit of luck in races out there a while back.
>


One last tip - there is a newly opened path linking the far north end of
Bicentennial Park with Bennelong Road - which means that you can get to
the Haslams Creek area without having to go on roads.

pyro
 

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