Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. (via Wikipedia)
Sydney is starting to support and implement more of these projects, but one example that has struggled over the years is the Bondi Junction Complete Streets project by Waverley Council.
At the moment, Spring St is a very wide street. The road is often filled with multiple double parked vehicles, pedestrians running to cross. The footpaths are often littered with objects.
Some temporary parklets have been installed to provide some traffic calming near the heavily used signalised crossing between two major shopping precincts (Southgate and the Mall), and also provide some colour and seating for the bare street.
Despite the proposed streetscape improvements to improve the amenity of this space, local business owners continue to oppose the proposed streetscape / traffic calming / cycleway improvements due to possible overestimation of economic impacts around losing street parking.
The Heart Foundation released a business paper in 2011 outlining the economic benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly.
Walking and cycling are essential to the success of revitalisation strategies. Streets, laneways and squares that are dirty, dangerous and unattractive discourage walking and reduce the quality of urban life.
People feel safest in places that are busy with others going about their ordinary business, so falling numbers of pedestrians becomes a vicious circle.
Despite this small, ongoing amount of backlash, we are glad to see Waverley Council’s strong commitment to this project, with $5.3 Million state funding being received to start building the long-awaited main sections of the project (including Spring St) this financial year.