Should Coogee Bay Road Stay One-Way?
Works on Coogee Bay Road are again on hold so that residents can enjoy one of the suburb’s busiest roads without disruption over summer. As of November 2019, all major civil works had been completed and the final stage of the project was tentatively scheduled to recommence in March 2020.
This last leg of the $5m streetscape upgrade will consist of switching the remaining power from overhead to underground lines and removing the power poles and wires. Local residents and retailers will be supplied with more information about this next phase prior to work commencing in March.
“I’m very pleased that we are able to reopen the road and cease all construction work in time for the busy summer period,” Randwick Mayor Danny Said told The Beast.
“This will give retailers and visitors some reprieve from the work over the peak summer period when thousands of visitors will descend upon beautiful Coogee Beach.”
Despite delays back in April 2019 following the tragic death of an Ausgrid employee (which pressed pause on a number of Ausgrid projects), the work is progressing reasonably well. For the time being, Coogee Bay Road will re-open to two-way traffic and all streetscape work will be ceased.
Although this break in construction is welcomed by locals, not all residents are keen for this busy road to return to its usual two-way traffic system. During the construction process, sections of this main road were temporarily made one-way and traffic was diverted along roads such as Dolphin Street and Carr Street, but some residents feel that, despite the initial adjustment, this new one-way system has actually improved things.
“I get asked probably six times a day if they are keeping it one way once construction is complete,” one local, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Beast.
“90 per cent want it to stay. Everyone is used to it now. Parking is easier, there is more room, and the traffic flows well. It will be super tight if it goes two-way and we will lose parking.”
Randwick Council explained that many layout options were explored prior to the commencement of construction. Some factors, such as allowing east and westbound bus lanes and accommodating parking for local businesses on both sides of the street, ruled out the idea of a one-way system. It’s also an issue that the State Transit Authority would need to weigh in on, due to its effect on bus routes. Randwick Council is, however, open to feedback from the community.
“To make it one-way permanently, Council would need to conduct a study to assess the viability of it remaining one-way, then, if feasible, undertake a community consultation to get an idea of whether or not residents would support it,” a spokesperson for Randwick Council said.
Of course, there are always two sides to these kinds of issues. While some residents and business owners on Coogee Bay Road itself might prefer the one-way system, the prospect of keeping it that way may not be universally supported. According to Randwick Council’s spokesperson, significant feedback has been received from residents on Brook Street, Carr Street and Dolphin Street who have experienced an increased amount of traffic as a result of the new system.
At this point, Randwick Council has no plans for a feasibility study, but are keen to hear from local residents regarding the issue. If you feel strongly either way about the matter, make sure your voice is heard by contacting your ward councillor or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.