A notorious Avalon intersection is about to undergo a significant transformation.

The intersection at Old Barrenjoey Road and Avalon Parade in the heart of Avalon Beach’s shopping district is well-known to locals with its four pedestrian crossings. The northern section of Old Barrenjoey Road near Woolworths will be changed to one-way southbound by December (2022).

Pedestrians crossing Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach

With $500k funding from the NSW Government under the Streets as Shared Spaces program, Northern Beaches Council will be transforming the section of road north of Avalon Parade into a one-way (southbound) pedestrian-friendly mall.

The trial is similar to the change implemented last year at The Strand, Dee Why, which was also conducted under the Streets as Shared Spaces program. The change to Old Barrenjoey Road between the Avalon Recreation Centre and Woolworths is part of Council’s Avalon Beach Place Plan, which aims to ‘prioritise people over cars’ in the Avalon Beach Village Hub Precinct.

Barefoot boulevard shared space traffic trial

The trial at Avalon Beach is planned to last at least six months, according to Council plans. The trial at The Strand, Dee Why, was extended for another 12 months at the April 2022 meeting of Northern Beaches Council.

During the trial period, Council is asking the community to share feedback as they experience the new shared space. Northern Beaches Council CEO Ray Brownlee said improving the Old Barrenjoey Road and Avalon Parade intersection was a major issue identified through community consultation.

Ray Brownlee

Ray Brownlee

“After years of community consultation and detailed consideration by the elected Council, the Avalon [Beach] Place Plan has been endorsed and includes some exciting and much-needed improvements to Avalon Beach Village.

“Our priority is creating a place for people. Streets as shared spaces will create a safer and more people-centred experience for locals and visitors moving through Avalon Beach Village.

“Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on this issue. Together, we will create a place for people and a vibrant, safe and inclusive Avalon Beach Village,” said Mr Brownlee.

Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach

Northern Beaches Council said the changes, which should be implemented in time for summer, include:

  • 10 km/h Shared Zone at Old Barrenjoey Road north
  • Introducing one-way traffic flow in a section of Old Barrenjoey Road (southbound)
  • Removing nine on-street parking spaces to provide safer pedestrian access
  • Improving pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Old Barrenjoey Road and Avalon Parade
  • Widening footpaths to create more space for pedestrians
  • Additional seating and plants
  • Adjusting bus and taxi services
  • Relocating loading zones

Council says it will be working with resident’s associations and conducting traffic counts and pedestrian observation studies during the trial period.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Northern Beaches Council (plan)

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