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High Street’s transformation to begin next week

Tuesday 8 October 2019

High Street’s transformation into a vibrant, people-friendly thoroughfare will kick off in style next week as the first phase of trials to enhance pedestrian access gets underway on October 15—the same night as Late Night Art.

Announced by Mayor Phil Goff and North Shore Councillor Chris Darby in July, the trials will be phased over approximately seven months, with the council testing and refining changes to the streetscape according to feedback from local businesses and residents.

Phil Goff says it’s about designing High Street around the needs of the people who use it most.

“Traffic counts show that pedestrians on High Street outnumber vehicles 14-to-1, but the street isn’t set up for them—large numbers of people are squeezed onto narrow footpaths by a small number of cars, reducing enjoyment, safety and air quality.

“By rebalancing towards people instead of vehicles we can create a thriving commercial and cultural area for everyone, not simply a parking lot,” Phil Goff says.

Starting at the north end of High Street, on-street car parks will be progressively replaced with temporary place-kit, widening footpaths to make the street more attractive to shoppers and pedestrians while making it more accessible for service and emergency vehicles and people with disabilities. New street furniture, planter boxes and other elements will also be rolled out to improve the look and feel of the street.

Phil Goff says, “Lessons learned during each phase will inform how the next phase is configured and rolled out. By working with the community through the co-design process we will ensure that the best final design is in place to get on and fully upgrade High Street into a world-class pedestrian-friendly space by the end of 2022.”

Chris Darby says, “We are changing the way we think about our urban streets, fostering design that recognises the vitality of people as the anchor of city life.

“We are changing the way we think about our urban streets, fostering design that recognises the vitality of people as the anchor of city life.

“Where pedestrians outnumber cars by 1,400 per cent, like on High Street, personal mobility and enjoyment trumps parking and kerbs to bring life on the street.

“We are triggering change that will reinvigorate High Street.”


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