Cairns Regional Council has formally withdrawn a proposal to alter line-marking on parts of Grafton and Lake Streets as a result of public feedback.
A proposal to reduce traffic lanes from two in each direction to one, to allow for the addition of bicycle lanes, larger centre parking buffer and increased kerbside parking was put to public consultation last month.
Deputy Mayor Terry James said much of the feedback received was against the proposed traffic changes.
“We went out to the community because we value their opinion and, in this case, the opinion was to leave things as they are – so that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
“We’d like to thank everyone who contributed their feedback and we hope they will continue to do so with other projects as they arise.”
In acknowledging this outcome, Councillors also resolved to defer any further major capital works within the defined CBD – being the area bounded by McLeod Street, Spence Street, the Esplanade and Aplin Street.
“Throughout the past five years, we’ve invested heavily in revitalising our city centre with a series of major projects that have shaped the CBD,” Cr James said.
“We are proud of what has been achieved but, at the same time, we recognise that these projects have caused disruptions that have been felt by businesses and by visitors to the CBD. We know there is a feeling in the CBD community that it’s time to pause.
“We’ll still do maintenance as needed and emergent works but the bigger projects will go on hold. This will allow us to focus attention on the areas surrounding our CBD, such as Florence Street, and we have $18 million worth of improvements on the table for these areas.
“We’ll also be able to put even more emphasis on works in the suburbs, where we can make improvements that further enhance the liveability of our region.”
With the City Centre and Esplanade Master Plan currently under review, Cr James said it was timely for Council to take a step back from major capital projects in CBD.
“The Master Plan will be out for public comment mid-year and that will be our opportunity to hear from the community on what future works they want to see in our city centre,” he said.
“We’ll be able to take this information and consider future CBD projects in a long-term and strategic fashion.
“In addition, a number of major commercial developments are now or soon-to-be under way. Our city is in an evolutionary phase and it’s appropriate that Council make this considered and deliberate decision to avoid any additional disruptive of prolonged works at this time.”
The resolution will not impact the planned upgrading of the Lake Street multi-storey carpark, for which the tender has recently been advertised.
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