Sydney CBD’s George Street is currently undergoing developments to extend its car-free zone, which will see the vehicle-free area spread across its entire run between Town Hall and Railway Square. The first new pedestrian zone since the $43.5 million project begun has now been unveiled, with a new area between Bathurst and Goulburn streets now open to the public.
Under the multimillion-dollar City of Sydney plan, George Street will become a pedestrian-friendly boulevard, with wider granite footpaths replacing car lanes, new street furniture installed, more trees planted, improvements to intersections and added spaces for outdoor dining. The project will ultimately see more than 9000-square-metres of new public space added to the bustling inner-city street.
The remainder of the project is currently under way, with work at the Goulburn Street intersection and a transformation of George Street between Goulborn Street and Rawson Place slated to be finished early next year.
It’s the latest change for the bustling street in the heart of the city, which has undergone quite an evolution already over the past decade — including the installation of the infamous new light rail. The City of Sydney and local business owners are hoping that the proposed changes will help revitalise the area. Sydney’s lockout laws saw the closure of venues like Hudson Ballroom around George Street, and the hardships that venue owners were already facing were only compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This part of town has always been a bustling entertainment hub that attracted a diverse demographic looking to eat, drink and come together at a range of venues, but due to COVID, we saw business slump overnight,” director of operations for the owners of the Albion Hotel, David Highet said when the project was first announced in April.
“When we cautiously return to the city while seeking to maintain physical distancing, wider footpaths and more space for pedestrians are critical,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore, announcing the opening of the new stretch between Bathurst and Goulburn streets.
“Creating this space opens new opportunities for businesses, and, crucially, provides places for people to gather and get around safely.”
For more information about the car-free boulevard along George Street head to the City of Sydney website.
Published on September 24, 2021 by Ben Hansen