How a “trendsetting” design in Glenmore Park quickly became dated and costly

The winding roads of the Glenmore Parkway. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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They add delays, tyre wear, are dangerous at high speeds and even going slowly can be stomach churning.

But back in 1995, the “trendsetting” Glenmore Park subdivision, including its infamous chicanes, won the prestigious Local Government Innovation Award.

Developed by Lensworth, the design of Glenmore Park and its main estate road – Glenmore Parkway – is reflective of an era that was moving away from conventional urban design.

“Glenmore Park will be the first of its kind in Australia and will establish a totally new image for roads and estate development,” a Douglas & Sanger report tabled to Penrith Council in November 1990 states.

The Parkway, which bends and weaves sharply for about 5.5 kilometres, was designed with “tightening of corners” and single lanes to achieve lower speeds and avoid it becoming a shortcut between Mulgoa Road and The Northern Road.

While no doubt achieving its objective, the bold design has not been replicated in new estates and has spawned some costly pitfalls.

Glenmore Park resident and owner of Bondys Auto Centre Matt Bond said he routinely finds Glenmore Park motorists with more tyre wear than his average customer.

“They need to maintain their tyre pressure, not necessarily pump them up more but to actually maintain the tyre pressure at its proper level all the time,” he said.

Mechanic Matt Bond. Photo: Megan Dunn.

“If you are maintaining the pressure then you’re maintaining an even tyre wear. If you’re allowing them to get flat, you’re allowing the tyre to roll and go from there.”

He said speed was also a contributing factor.

“The other issue with Glenmore Park is it has a 50km/hr limit and not many people do that,” he said.

“If people slowed down to the right speed and maintained their tyre pressure they wouldn’t have the bad tyre wear they do.”

In 1995, local media reported “young children, adults and pregnant women” had experienced “severe bouts of sickness” after using the eastern end of Glenmore Parkway.

This was at odds with planners’ original vision to provide an “attractive route” that offered motorists “a pleasant experience rather than a high-speed dash”.

The road has seen 104 casualty crashes between 1996 to 2018 but no fatalities, Transport for NSW said.

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