LIKE most people, I want to see a revitalised Newcastle CBD. Many people suggest that improving car access to the CBD provides the answer. This is the wrong way to go. Think of the more successful developments in greater Newcastle; Charlestown Square is one such development. Sure, people drive up to the outside parking, but they then do their shopping on foot. Charlestown Square is one big mall that you move around in by foot. No sane person would suggest that driving be allowed in the shopping centre itself.
In Newcastle, the Foreshore area near the Crown Plaza is successful because people can walk there without being run over. We should be thinking outside the square. We should be converting on-street parking to off-street parking, so we can eliminate car-door death lanes for cyclists and promote bicycle taxis and trams.
We could also provide high-density, car-free affordable housing in the CBD so those who lived there could do their business locally, use the train, and not contribute to traffic congestion.
Roads promote the idea of driving through the CBD. Walking space creates a reason to go there.
James Davies, Georgetown