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Upgrade challenges: watch your step in Redfern Street

The Redfern Street upgrade is causing challenges for pedestrians and cars alike, according to local businesses affected by the works reports Bill Birtles in the October 2006 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

Pedestrians have been hit or narrowly missed by cars at the Redfern and George Street intersection, which has been temporarily altered during recent works on the upgrade. Peter Aspres, who runs a business near the intersection, told the SSH that he had seen a woman “walk into the intersection and collide with a car”. Other business owners and locals also said they had witnessed people almost hit because the normal four lanes had been reduced to two, causing confusion.

In response to concerns, the Sydney City Council erected signs to warn pedestrians to be more careful, although some locals claim that they are not easy to see.

While the work may be causing challenges for pedestrians, it is also taking away parking places for cars.

With less spots on Redfern Street, local business is feeling the pinch.

Aspres, whose video business partially relies on people driving there, says he has lost half his revenue during the recent work. While he accepts this as part of the upgrade process, he says the movement of a bus stop, contrary to what was planned, reduced the parking opportunities even further.

In response to his concerns, the Council had the bus stop moved back, but Lord Mayor Clover Moore has acknowledged that local business will find it hard while the works are going on. At an information night in August, she asked that “business owners bear with us whilst we undertake the work on Redfern Street. For years now we have seen businesses barricaded behind steel shutters on an uninviting streetscape.

We can look forward to a more attractive street with slower traffic and a greater numbers of pedestrians.”

The upgrade, which is scheduled to be complete late next year, is set to encourage business in the area by making the street more attractive.

Councilor Tony Pooley says that the current shutters that adorn shop fronts “reflect a street that shuts down at 5pm each day”. In addition, while local business owners are looking forward to a more attractive streetscape, the short-term pain during the interim is set to increase next year after Christmas, when work will continue.

[Source – South Sydney Herald October 2006]