Calls To Remove Parklets From Shoal Bay

Parklets were celebrated on their launch however now that the hype is over some businesses are suffering. Photo: Marian Sampson.

 

PARKLETS were launched in Shoal Bay with anticipation, with Council keen to see the streetscape activated.

Some business owners of Nelson Bay initially rejected the parklets citing potential business downturn and loss of jobs being directly related to loss of parking spaces.

Shoal Bay was Council’s plan B for the installation of parklets and the structures were installed on Shoal Bay Road in mid March and at the time were well received by food outlets in the shopping precinct.

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However, not all business operators are enjoying the parklets.

Lisa England of the Shoal Bay Newsagency told News Of The Area, “We have found that customers are complaining due to the reduced level of street parking.

“There is also a safety issue attached to the design of the parklets, one split second will be all that it will take if a child climbs on the rails, and there is also a trip hazard.”

The rails to stop pedestrians spilling into the street were an afterthought as the original design allowed people to spill directly into the oncoming traffic.

“The pathway has also been reduced in size as it is now one way for those on walkers.”

Staff are also crossing footpaths with hot food and drinks to serve customers on parklets.

Parklets were for public use but the cafes and restaurants have taken these as additional seating for their businesses, not allowing members of the public to sit down and have fish and chips from the local takeaway.

Lisa spoke at Council’s meeting this week and the outcome of this is that a report will be done and this will now go back onto the agenda for the next meeting.

“We have over 1,000 signatures from locals asking for the parklets to be removed.”

She would be happy if Council would relocate the Parklets even into the park on the opposite side of the street without sacrificing parking spaces which the community uses.

Leah Anderson of Business Port Stephens told News Of The Area, “The parklets are impacting business especially when combined with the loss of parking due to the works on the foreshore pathway.”

“The Parklets are causing so much angst and businesses are finding that their clients are now driving to Salamander because they can’t get a car park locally, this needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency” she said.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Kate Washington and Leah Anderson of Business Port Stephens met with business owners to discuss the issues that the parklets have created including loss of business.

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