What is the fuss about Rushcutters Bay Park‘s paths? Located on Sydney Harbour down the hill from Kings Cross, it has views of the city and the Harbour Bridge. After hearing comments from various people about the excessive width of them, I took the dogs there for a walk today. Yes, they are very wide – double the width of the standard ones that people are used to and yes, the Council have created a low mounding around the water side of the oval.
It needs to be clarified that only the western section of the park, that includes Reg Bartley Oval and the tennis courts, is under the management of Sydney City Council. The remainder of the park is under the control of Woollahra Council.
There may be some common sense reasons for such changes. Firstly, by having a wider path, there will be enough room for all users to stay on the path rather than trampling/compressing the grass/soil. Secondly the mounding may have been done to negotiate level changes in order to create a smooth transition. It may be worthwhile for people to look at just how big a space the park is and that design is not about pavement width and circulation only – it is also about space and relationships.
Perhaps if people who use Rushcutters Bay park could go to Waverly Park, Waverley which is up the hill from Bondi Beach. There they will see what excessive bureaocratic design is – they even have lines down the middle of their excessively wide paths to try and control which side of the path people/dogs/cyclists go on – like trying to control the traffic! And this is meant to be public space!