16 May 2023

Braddon on path to 'exciting milestone' as million-dollar makeover starts this month

| James Coleman
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artist's impression of Braddon redevelopment

The trees will stay, but there’ll be new garden beds and many other features as part of trendy Braddon’s streetscape upgrade. Image: ACT Government.

A makeover of Braddon’s streetscape will begin later this month, with the City Renewal Authority (CRA) hoping it will “encourage more people to enjoy the array of retail shops, cafes, bars and restaurants” in the hip inner suburb.

Local construction company Guideline ACT will set to work on the first of four stages of redevelopment at the Cooyong end of Lonsdale Street on Tuesday, 30 May.

Over the next year and a half, the intersections at either end of Lonsdale Street will be upgraded with landscaped pedestrian crossings, and all the footpaths in between widened and given new paving, improved lighting, more bike racks, bins, garden beds and urban art.

For motorists, there will be more “traffic-calming measures” but the speed limit will remain 40 km/h.

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CRA Acting CEO Craig Gillman describes it as an “exciting milestone”.

“From landscaping and street furniture to better pram and wheelchair access, the upgrades will encourage more people to enjoy Braddon’s array of retail shops, cafes, bars and restaurants,” he says.

“We have worked closely with the community to make sure the upgrades are in keeping with the suburb’s eclectic character Canberrans know and love.”

The project was first floated in the Braddon Place Plan, developed by the CRA and the local community over 2018 and 2019.

artist's impression of Braddon redevelopment

Pedestrians are king in the new designs for Braddon. Image: ACT Government.

This 76-page design brief set out “short, medium and long-term actions for government, businesses, landowners and the community to improve the experience of Braddon and further strengthen its popularity”.

In mid-2022, the trees along Lonsdale Street’s median strip were rigged with decorative lighting.

The current project, with a $4 million budget, will go on to add more informal gathering spaces and outdoor dining opportunities to the street, as well as upgrade the intersection of Mort and Elourera streets.

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Stage 1 includes new median works at the Cooyong end of Lonsdale Street, with completion pencilled in for late August 2023.

Stages 2 and 3 will feature mid-block pedestrian crossings south of the ”rainbow roundabout” and two new pedestrian crossings for the Girrawheen Street intersection, including one connecting Haig Park.

Stage 4 will then add another new mid-block pedestrian crossing north of the rainbow roundabout. There will also be improved connections with the City Centre, Haig Park and light rail.

The overall project – including consultation, design and construction of the Mort Street-Elouera Street intersection upgrade – is expected to be completed in 2024.

Check out the full designs on the YourSay Conversations website.

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This will kill Braddon.

I have to agree with D.C. Haas below!
Get rid of the cars and give us more shared zones!

Jamie Griffin10:03 pm 16 May 23

Canberrans love their cars. If they can’t park within a few minutes walking distance, then it’s “usually” a no-goer. If the public t.sport system/pedestrian upgrades were sufficient enough, combined with an ability to drive to a paid parking facility, in which my parking ticket gave me free travel to my destination. I’d be a bit more enthusiastic about the way Canberra is going 🙄 (and I don’t mean signing up for the park ‘n ride thing either, just an ability for one off)

I mean, there’s two large carparks directly across the street from Lonsdale Street.

This is perfect! It’s at least $1,000,000 more than the Tuggeranong improvement scheme. We’ve had great progress actually. The lawns got mowed recently so that’s a good thing.

Lonsdale street should be car free on weekends. It’s a foul traffic jam otherwise

TruthinMedia6:05 pm 16 May 23

Why does the speed limit have to remain as high as 40km/hr when you are trying to bring in lots of pedestrians, families etc – it’s only a couple of hundred metres from either end for those whose driveways are in Lonsdale St – 40 is actually quite fast in an ‘enclosed’ space – Road Safety NSW cites 27m (more than half an Olympic pool) as the safe stopping distance from 40 so with all the new planters etc, extra people obscuring the view alongside the footpath no chance of seeing a child step out before hitting them.

Jamie Griffin9:52 pm 16 May 23

I feel that. There’s many points where 40kph is an absolute drag, but there’s much more spots where 40 even seems too fast. The old Scullin Preschool road, with the Child Care centre next door, is a classic example. It’s just a thin, suburban two lane road. When everyone is there picking up kids in the afternoon/evening, even 20kph can seem too fast.

Jamie Griffin9:55 pm 16 May 23

And cars will park on both sides, resulting in a single lane. A lane which parents seem to still load their children in to……. 🙄 Rarely do I see them cross all the way, and load from the street side. They just walk straight out and get everyone in, whilst on the road. A straight line isn’t always the quickest, nor the safest.

At the loss of how many car parking spaces in an area where parking is already a challenge? The aspiration might be to make Braddon a pedestrian precinct but the reality is that Canberrans are drivers. Where are they going to park? Further, the reality is that those garden beds will never look as good as the artist’s impression.

Million dollar? Better make that $10m and change, going on this government’s relationship with money

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