It was once one of the busiest traffic arteries through the CBD, but in the coming months, George Street will be transformed into a pedestrian’s paradise, save for the odd light rail carriage passing through. Works to transform this roadway into a pleasant boulevard have been underway for months, and now the first phase of the George Street glow-up is finally complete, along the stretch of the city between Bathurst and Goulburn Streets, connecting with the already-pedestrianised north of George Street reaching as far as Hunter Street.
Phase two of the works will see the section of George Street from Bathurst Street to Rawson Place turned into a car-free alfresco dining precinct, which will encourage local eateries to expand their outdoor dining areas and entice new restaurateurs to set up shop in the area. Following the light rail line towards Surry Hills, a cute stretch of Devonshire Street from Railway Square up to the corner of Elisabeth and Devonshire Streets will also be formally pedestrianised, although car traffic has already been redirected.
By the time the $43.5 million project is complete, Sydney will have more than 9000 square meters of public walkways connecting Surry Hills all the way to Circular Quay. Hand in hand with the pedestrianisation efforts is the ongoing Greening the City initiative, which will be planting trees throughout the area to make the heart of the city a lovely, leafy place to be.