MAGELLAN Street in Lismore could be opened up to two way traffic again if a proposal outlined in Lismore City Council's CBD Master Plan is adopted next year. According to Lismore City councillor Vanessa Ekins, the proposal was first tabled at a council workshop earlier this year, but there has so far been no opportunity for comment or discussion on the proposal from any of the councillors.
"The idea is a ridiculous WOMBAT." Cr Ekins said. "That stands for a waste of money, brains and time - it's a term Council likes to use. We spent a million dollars on turning it into a one way street 20 years ago. Now it's a wide avenue and a delightful space for gatherings and events - it's insane to change it."
According to Brent McAlister, Lismore City Council's executive director of sustainable development, two way streets make it easier for visitors and tourists to navigate their way around town and help increase retail spending.
"If visitors can't turn into a street and have to go round the block to get a park, it can deter them from shopping in that street, and becomes a loss of trade for businesses," Mr McAlister said. "If it was changed to two way, there would not be a significant cost. The existing carriage way would be enough to cover the two way street and the extended footpath areas would remain. However there would be a loss of some of the parking spaces.
"One way streets were introduced across Australia in the 1970's and have now been taken out in many places after trade was affected."
Mr McAlister said the proposal would go to Council's chief CBD advisory group, the Lismore Business Promotion Panel, in February, before being taken to a council workshop and turned into a report.
"And before that there will be consultation with all retailers in Magellan Street," Mr McAlister said. "We are not certain it will be pursued. At the moment, it's just an idea in the masterplan document as one of the options for the CBD. It's still at the start of its journey."
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