THE South Australian Government last week announced that Bank Street, which connects North Terrace and Hindley Street, will become the next link in Adelaide's emerging laneway network.
Planning Minister John Rau said the activation of Bank Street will bring the vision of laneways linking the Riverbank precinct with the city centre a step closer.
The Bank Street upgrade, which is part of a wider strategy to transform the laneways of Adelaide's to revitalise and regenerate the CBD, involves:
- Adding 'parklets' to create new outdoor dining areas;
- Widening pedestrian areas and including seating;
- Additional lighting and landscaping;
- Making the street more bicycle friendly; and
- Retaining loading zones.
Mr Rau said creating a more attractive and pedestrian friendly Bank Street will be a positive move for small businesses and create a new space in the city for people to enjoy.
The Minister said approximately 12,000 people walk down Bank Street every day as it connects the train and tram stations with the entertainment precinct of Hindley Street.
"We have all seen how Leigh Street has been transformed through simple changes to make it more pedestrian and patron friendly – it has been a great success story," Mr Rau said.
"The increased patronage and newfound vibrancy on Leigh Street has now spilled over onto nearby Peel Street, where new small venues are now opening."
Adelaide Lord Mayor, Stephen Yarwood, said the subtle but very effective changes being made in the city represent an exciting time for the city.
"We're pleased to see the State Government experimenting with activation in the city and we look forward to continuing the conversation about what the city's streets could look like in the future," Cr Yarwood said.
"In times to come I think we will look back on this period as integral to the development of Adelaide into one of the great small cities in the world."
Work is expected soon to start in Bank Street be complete by the end of February 2013.
Earlier in December, the State Government announced legislation that aims to encourage a small venue culture in Adelaide – much like Melbourne's laneway scene – through the introduction a new category of liquor licence for small venues.
More information is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure's 'Vibrant' website at <http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/vibrant>.