Taking steps to a more walkable city

The City of Sydney’s new footpath lighting, tactile signs, maps and clear walking routes will give residents and visitors new and easier ways to explore the city on foot.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was committed to improving safety and accessibility for everyone.

“When people can get from A to B easily, with plenty of walking options, the whole city functions better – it’s cheaper, more efficient and takes pressure off our roads and public transport networks,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Sydneysiders want a city that’s well connected, that’s quicker to get around, easier and more convenient for people of all ages and abilities.

“This is all about looking after people’s needs and giving them an experience that allows them to enjoy the best our city has to offer.”

The City is investing $50 million to improve the quality and safety of the most popular walking routes in central Sydney, with upgraded footpaths and improved lighting.

A further $7 million has been committed to a wayfinding and tactile signs network that will improve accessibility and more clearly direct people to destinations and places of interest.

Pedestrian Lighting Project

New footpath lighting will improve visibility and safety for pedestrians walking at night on city streets.

Street lights have traditionally focused on the road rather than footpaths. As part of the City’s Walking Strategy, a trial of footpath lighting has been installed on Arthur and Fitzroy Streets in Surry Hills.

NSW Police says lighting is important for people walking at night.

“If you’re walking after dark, we always recommend sticking to well-lit, busy areas, be aware of your surroundings and walk in groups if possible,” said a NSW Police spokesperson.

“Improving footpath lighting in the city is an important step in creating safe and comfortable places for all pedestrians.

“Keeping the streets well-lit means pedestrians are more visible for taxis and also visible to other road users when crossing the road. We want everyone to feel safe, whether you’re walking, riding or driving.”

The next phase of the rollout has begun, with 25 LED lighting poles installed at Glebe Street in Glebe and a further four poles in Jones Street, Ultimo.

The environmentally helpful LEDs will improve visibility for walkers without compromising privacy for surrounding homes and businesses.

The installation will be delivered over three years by the City and Ausgrid.

Tactile signs

The world’s largest network of tactile and braille street signs is being rolled out to every signalised pedestrian crossing throughout the City of Sydney area, making it safer and easier for people of all abilities to navigate our streets.

More than 2,100 braille and raised letter signs are being installed with the support of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Vision Australia.

“As someone who is blind, being able to easily identify my location in an unfamiliar environment gives me increased confidence to travel independently,” said Michael Simpson, Vision Australia’s General Manager of Client Services in NSW.

“With clear and consistent information, I am very hopeful that these wayfinding signs will help to improve access for thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors to our beautiful city.”

The tactile aluminium panels feature street names and building numbers in both braille and large, raised lettering to allow touch-reading by people who are blind and close range reading for those with low vision.

These panels are now being installed throughout much of the CBD, with the full network expected to be complete by the end of July.

Wayfinding Signage

The City has worked with local community to develop wayfinding signs that will be installed at key locations throughout the city and surrounding villages, making it easier for residents and visitors to navigate Sydney’s streets on foot.

The pylons will feature a pedestrian-friendly map, showing libraries, schools and community centres, while the street signs point the way to local amenities.

Wayfinding sings will be installed from July 2016.