Wollongong's Keira Street would be transformed into a cosmopolitan ‘‘High Street’’ under a development plan being considered by Wollongong City Council.
The council will vote at its meeting tonight on whether to adopt the draft Keira Street Precinct Plan, which would see the street furnished with wider and flatter footpaths between Crown and Smith streets on both the eastern and western sides, enabling more outdoor dining.
The plan is part of the council’s City Centre Revitalisation Project and would leverage off GPT’s Wollongong Central West Keira development.
The development would include high-quality paving, pedestrian lighting for night activities, artwork and high order street furniture with the aim of adding vibrancy to the area and providing economic, social and cultural benefits.
As Keira Street is a major traffic thoroughfare, with about 14,000 vehicles using it each day, the plan is reliant on council also adopting the Wollongong City Centre Access and Movement Strategy.
This would include the development of a city centre bypass that would draw away a significant proportion of the through traffic that currently uses Keira Street.
The draft Keira Street Precinct Plan has a strong focus on pedestrian safety and amenity but also includes improvements for vehicle access to the Wollongong Central West Keira parking station, and provides for bus and taxi zones.
The project would be delivered in two stages, from Crown to Market Street and from Market to Smith Street.
In the Crown to Market Street segment, existing 2.7-metre wide footpaths would be widened to three metres on the east side of the street and four metres on the west.
There would also be a 55-metre long ‘‘dining blister’’ in front of the Wollongong Central West Keira development that would be an additional 2.8-metres wide.
The blister would include a modified vehicle control barrier to provide space for protected alfresco dining.
Existing loading zones and parking on the east side would stay.
In the Market to Crown Street segment the 2.7-metre wide footpaths would be widened to four metres on the western side and three metres on the eastern side.
Existing loading zones and parking would be retained on both sides of the street.
Delivery of the Crown to Market Street segment is subject to negotiations between Wollongong City Council and GPT, while delivery of the Market to Smith Street segment is included on council’s Capital Works Program.