A DECISION on opening Junction Court to limited road traffic will be deferred until a survey of CBD stakeholders is undertaken, according to Shoalhaven City councillor Jemma Tribe.
The ordinary meeting of council was last night expected to ratify a recommendation from Nowra CBD Action that any decision on opening Junction Court to eastbound one-way traffic be deferred and that a breakdown of costs involved be presented to the committee.
It was also recommended that councillors discuss the impacts of opening the pedestrian mall to traffic with affected shop owners.
“Cr [Patricia] White and I have been to Junction Court and been door to door to talk to shop owners. The view is split 50-50 as to whether it should be opened or not,” Cr Tribe said.
She said it was decided to broaden the survey and engage with people who use the space.
So from 9am to midday on Thursday, September 12, people in Junction Court will be asked for their thoughts on whether the space should be opened to traffic.
Cr Tribe said the mall had proved extremely popular since it was redesigned last year. However, she said ratepayers were still concerned about security issues and felt that the passive surveillance that would result from having it opened would make it easier to lease nearby properties.
“A good percentage have said, even those concerned about the security, that there have been fewer calls to police and a reduction in incidents since Junction Court was redesigned,” Cr Tribe said.
Another issue has been the cost of opening it to traffic, which Cr Tribe said would be about $300,000, with specialist edging and paving required because it was a shared space.
“If we are going to leave it let’s find more ways of activating it. I’ve been asked if we can have more buskers and even a big chess board to open it up more,” she said.
“My personal view is we have seen a dramatic change since the development. I was up there on Monday and every bench was full of people having lunch; people meet there when they go into town.
“On Thursdays, it’s a real hive activity with all sorts of market stalls. I’d love to see more of that rather than less.”