Launceston’s St John Street will be closed to cars and instead opened to pedestrians, bikes, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards as part of an ‘Open Streets’ initiative this weekend.
As part of the Council’s Tomorrow Together community engagement program, St John Street and The Avenue will remain closed for an additional four hours after the Lions Launceston Christmas Parade this Saturday, December 7.
The ‘Open Streets’ event is being coordinated with the support of the Department of State Growth and the University of Tasmania. Metro buses in and out of the city will be free all day and St John Street and The Avenue will play host to children’s activities, a scooter stunt course, face painting, a jumping castle and entertainment once the Christmas Parade is complete.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Council would use the event to seek community feedback on a variety of transport and accessibility related topics as part of its community engagement program, and several stalls would provide information on road safety and new bus timetables for 2020. “It is really only a few times a year that we close a CBD street to traffic, and when that occurs it is usually for major community events like the Christmas Parade,” Mayor van Zetten said.
“But we thought it might be interesting to see how people utilise a street closure once an event has finished and the streetscape can be opened up to other options, whether that’s shopping, cycling, or activities and entertainment.
“So this year we will leave the St John Street and the Avenue road closures in place from after the Christmas Parade at noon until 4pm, and we’ll essentially open the street up to pedestrians, cyclists, shoppers, and anyone who wants to utilise it.
“We’ll have a scooter stunt course set up in the street for kids, with jumps and obstacles, and I think they’ll love that. “We’re hoping the event sparks some ideas from the community, and we’ll be there on the day to take on board any feedback from the public.”