LISMORE Electorate residents are encouraged to come up with ideas to transform local streets into shared public spaces as part of a new program from the NSW Government to increase places for people to safely walk, cycle or exercise.
State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said a new $15-million Streets as Shared Spaces fund will help councils implement pilot measures to increase public space and allow for easier social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Simple changes like widening footpaths or closing a street to vehicles on weekends will make our community healthier, more walkable and easier to maintain social-distancing,” Ms Saffin said.
“I’d encourage everyone in the community to think creatively about what small changes we can make that will make a difference.”
Councils can apply for grants of up to $100,000 for short-term, quick response projects, such as widening footpaths and temporary cycle lanes, and up to $1 million for longer-term projects, such as changes to road alignments and widths and trialling lower speed limits.
Community input will be essential in helping councils choose projects that will benefit their communities. An online social pinpoint map allows users to click directly on a specific area and leave their comments and ideas.
NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the program will help councils deliver simple short-term projects to provide fast relief and longer-term strategic projects that will help communities transition out of the pandemic.
“These initiatives will make it easier to maintain social distancing, create jobs for the construction industry and encourage economic activity back into our streets,” Mr Stokes said.
“If the pilot projects gain widespread community support, we’ll look to make them permanent so more people can enjoy the outdoors once this pandemic is over.”
Lismore City, Kyogle, Tenterfield Shire and Tweed Shire councils can apply for Streets as Shared Spaces grants until June 30, 2020.
For more information visit: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/streets