Shared streets, public art laneways and greater accessibility for events in the Bathurst CBD could become a reality in the near future, with funding approved for a trial public access project.
Bathurst Regional Council has secured a $767,884 grant from the state government to commence the Bathurst Streets as Shared Spaces Pilot project, which will assess the capability of pedestrians, traffic and public events coexisting safely within parts of the CBD.
The project will be trialed on three key streets: William Street [between Howick and Russell streets], Church Street and Ribbon Gang Lane.
Mayor Bobby Bourke said the trial will assess strategies to improve Bathurst's streetscapes and examine the capabilities of the CBD as a multipurpose location as per the Bathurst Town Centre Master Plan.
"The funding provides quick-response demonstration projects and strategic pilots that temporarily adapt streets to support healthier, safer and more resilient communities," Cr Bourke said.
"From council's perspective, we also want this project to encourage people back into the CBD and patronising local businesses."
Elements of the project include the capability of making Church Lane a 10 kilometres per hour shared zone, public art installations along Ribbon Gang Lane and the use of planter boxes to cool and beautify the CBD.
"This is only a trial and if we find it doesn't work within the chosen streets, we'll look at other areas," Cr Bourke said.
"But I'm confident this trial will achieve a desired result."
The project will also look at improving pedestrian safety and comfort within the CBD and enhance Kings Parade as a key venue for celebration and commemoration.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said the project was funded through the state government's Streets and Shared Spaces program, and was among 48 successful proposals across NSW.
"There's no doubt about it, when you look at Kings Parade, it really is the heartbeat of Bathurst," Mr Toole said.
"It's a beautiful part of the town that we want to assist in making more accessible for locals and visitors alike."
"We want this area to grow as a prime space in the centre of town for events, in turn fostering a greater sense of community and belonging."
Council is aiming to have the pilot project ready in time for next year's Bathurst Winter Festival, and will commence engagement with surrounding businesses and property owners in the coming weeks.
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