Australia

Coogee's main street could oust traffic for entertainment

The main thoroughfare leading to one of Sydney's most popular beaches could be closed off to traffic for a pop-up entertainment precinct under a creative proposal.

Randwick City Council is considering scrapping part of Coogee Bay Rd of cars to allow bands, dining, drinking and family activities to occupy the space as part of a plan to kickstart the local economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coogee Bay Road could swap traffic for outdoor dining and entertainment under a creative proposal.

Coogee Bay Road could swap traffic for outdoor dining and entertainment under a creative proposal. Credit:Janie Barrett

Mayor Danny Said said the idea, which could also feature temporary lawns, street art and games, would enliven the suburb's commercial centre and support businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

“During recent weeks and months, I have heard from businesses of the pressure space restrictions are having on local cafes and I have heard our local hotels continue to experience high accommodation vacancies," Cr Said said.

"Businesses are feeling the pressure and council is looking at ways we can help to boost our local economy and create jobs."

The council is yet to make a decision on whether to proceed with the proposal, with a detailed plan still to be developed, but multiple businesses have backed it.

A children's play area could be part of a plan to block off Coogee Bay Rd for the Coogee community.

A children's play area could be part of a plan to block off Coogee Bay Rd for the Coogee community. Credit:Randwick City Council

Rory Duncan, the general manager of the Coogee Bay Hotel said: “At this time, a sense of community is more important than ever, so anything we can do to support local businesses and bring everyone together is only a positive thing.”

Brenton McHatton, the owner of bar and restaurant Little Jack Horner said the goal was to give people a reason to come back.

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