Avalon will see a road become a pedestrian shared space as part of a traffic trial.

Originally announced by Northern Beaches Council as part of the Avalon Place Plan, $500k in funding for a pedestrian shared space trial within the Avalon village has been announced by Member for Pittwater and Minister for Active Transport Rob Stokes.

The funding commitment by the state government supports the Northern Beaches Council’s proposal for a shared pedestrian and vehicle zone at the northern end of Old Barrenjoey Road between Avalon Parade and the Woolworths car park.

Barefoot boulevard shared space traffic trial

The area is known by some locals as ‘barefoot boulevard’ after the shopping centre of that name, which is currently undergoing a transformation into a Woolworths Metro store.

The area between the shopping centre and the Avalon Recreation Centre is proposed to become a trial shared space. Northbound vehicle access will be removed during the trial and southbound traffic will be limited to one lane only, 10 km/h. Footpaths will be expanded, and the area will receive new landscaping and additional seating.

Barefoot boulevard shared space traffic trial

Pittwater MP Rob Stokes said the trial had the opportunity to transform the centre of Avalon and improve pedestrian safety.

Rob Stokes

Rob Stokes

“This is all about supporting the vibrancy of the Avalon village, creating more open space and improving connectivity for pedestrians. This concept has been talked about for decades, but the funding hurdles have always been prohibitive in seeing it launched.

“This area of the village can be particularly busy with people moving between the shops, Dunbar Park, community facilities and the beach. The opportunity to create additional open space for people to relax, dine and move around the village is really exciting.

“Throughout COVID-19 we’ve seen a resurgence of people wanting to shop local, sit outdoors and explore the community. This project supports all of these elements and will provide a great case study for how the concept could be expanded elsewhere,” said Minister Stokes.

Traffic arrangements will be altered at the intersection of Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey Road. A reduction in the number of approaching lanes should enhance pedestrian safety. Bus routes will be adjusted to accommodate the changes.

The provision of funding will allow Northern Beaches Council to move forward with community consultation, refinement and implementation of the trial.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, NSW Government

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