Mullumbimby Talking Street – less cars, more people

Mullumbimby’s Burringbar Street will be looking very different in the coming months with Byron Shire Council receiving a $250,000 grant from the NSW Government to make it more people friendly.

Byron Shire Council was one of 27 regional Councils (and 14 Greater Sydney Councils) to receive a hotly contested Streets as Shared Spaces grant which gives Councils a rare opportunity to test and pilot new ideas and ways to turn main streets and centres into safe, shared public spaces over a 12 month timeframe.

The results of the trial and the data collected can then assist Council in budgeting for and applying for grants to make successful changes a permanent feature.

The grant was successful largely because of the collaboration on the application with the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce, the Place Planning Collective and Creative Mullumbimby.

Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said the grant was a game changer for Mullumbimby with the aim being to make the busy town centre more pedestrian-friendly and reflective of the vibrant local community.

“Anybody who has been to Mullumbimby lately knows how hectic the traffic is and we are really excited to have some money to be able to trial some new ways to better manage traffic as well as tap into all the things that make Mullum such a special place,” Mayor Richardson said.

“We will be trialling a traffic diversion, reducing the speed for through traffic in Burringbar Street, as well as creating spaces for people to sit, relax, eat and socialise,” he said.

Key to the project will be the temporary reshaping of the intersection of Burringbar and Stuart Street.

“This Talking Street project was the number one priority of the Mullumbimby Masterplan which was developed with the community and endorsed by Council last year,” Mayor Richardson said.

“To receive this grant from the State Government for this project not only allows us to start turning the priorities of the masterplan into realities, but it’s also a great way for this amazing community to start rebuilding itself in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Council’s Place Activation team will now start liaising with community groups to ensure the Mullumbimby Talking Street project is a true collaboration between Council, businesses and residents.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Group Deputy Secretary of Place, Design and Public Spaces, Alex O’Mara, said the Department was overwhelmed by the range of proposals to activate streets and public spaces in inventive ways for local communities.

“We look forward to sharing the positive results and learning from Byron Shire Council’s Streets as Shared Spaces experience,” Ms O’Mara said.

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