Weston Creek has been undergoing a growth spurt as families rediscover its leafy and conveniently located suburbs, but it’s fair to say that while Cooleman Court has been updated, the surrounding streets of the group centre have not kept pace.
The ACT Government is following through on its $2 million election commitment to upgrade the centre’s ageing main strip, Brierly Street, by going to the community and asking what it would like to see happen.
Most agree the street needs revitalising and early feedback points to more trees, improved streetscape, more lighting, better traffic management and safer conditions for pedestrians.
Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel took to the pavement on Wednesday (30 June) to launch the consultation with local cafe owner Lincoln Fairleigh from Lava Expresso Bar and the interim chair of the Weston Creek Community Council, Bill Gemmell.
Mr Steel said the street was already a vibrant dining strip but there was an opportunity for more activity and to have even more people visiting.
He said there was potential to make the street more pedestrian friendly, widen the verges, and have more space for outdoor dining, something Mr Fairleigh highlighted saying that space was at a premium with COVID-19 restrictions.
While making the street a shared zone had been suggested, Mr Steel said this would have implications for bus and taxi services, people being able to drop in to shops and access to Cooleman Court and for those with mobility issues.
Mr Gemmell said the street had too many conflict points, particularly near McDonald’s, and this had caused a number of near misses and collisions. He said it needed to be calmed down, including more pedestrian crossings.
Mr Fairleigh said this would make it easier for people to cross from Coleman Court to Brierly Street to the dining areas.
Both agree there needed to be more spaces for families and children, pointing to the much criticised Trennery Square as needing improvement and potential for the park on the other side of Coleman to be upgraded with better seating and access.
Trennery Square has already had some new tables installed that has increased its use and some Indigenous inspired street art is on the way.
The consultation will include pop-up sessions at Trennery Square and an online survey, and closes on 6 August.
Mr Steel said the findings will go into the design stage and taken to the August budget for further funding.
To learn more go to the YourSay website.