A better Bondi

Waverley Council is in the final stages of making Notts Ave, next to Bondi Beach, walkable.

Notts Ave now has a 10 km/h speed limit
Notts Ave now has a 10 km/h speed limit

Notts Ave overlooks Bondi Beach at the south end, and has many people walking along it each year, as it is the starting point for the world famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. It used to have a narrow footpath for the over one million pedestrians using it annually, and at the same time, a wide thoroughfare for a few cars. Notts Ave is a dead end street for cars. It had an inappropriate distribution of roadspace.

Now it is a shared zone that has a 10 km/h speed limit for vehicles, and, importantly, priority for pedestrians. This makes it safer as well as more relaxing. The lighting, fencing and seating is much improved.

There is a lookout with shade where visitors can linger and watch the ocean. The road surface, with its patterned pavers, suggests a different environment to most streets, encouraging drivers to be cautious and slow down.

One downside is that there is still public parking on one side of Notts Ave. This means the many people walking here still mix with people in cars who are looking to park on this avenue. Removing all public parking would have been a better option than just removing a third of the spaces. This would have significantly reduced the number of cars driving along here for the purpose of seeking a car park. At popular times, Notts Ave regularly sees overly optimistic drivers travel along the street, find no available spaces to park and drive back out, with the net result of achieving nothing but making the street less safe and enjoyable for the dozens of people on foot.

Restricting access to this street to residents and delivery vehicles is hopefully a change that Waverley Council can still consider. This would lead to a quieter, more enjoyable place for the thousands who walk along Notts Ave, and pause to admire the view. Removal of the parking spots would make negligible difference to total parking space around Bondi Beach, since there are hundreds of spaces on Queen Elizabeth Drive and Campbell Parade.

Looking out over Bondi Beach
Looking out over Bondi Beach

A major upgrade of Campbell Parade will hopefully be implemented soon by Waverley Council. Ideally, we will see more improvements for people walking to, from and around Bondi Beach. The priority needs to be making Bondi Beach an enjoyable place to visit and access, not a place that maximises how many vehicles drive through it and are parked next to it.

How it used to be
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