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Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Big plans for Mullumbimby’s CBD

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Council’s Place Liaison officer Andrew FitzGibbon, Madeleine Faught from Rainforest Rescue, and architect David Brown. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Paul Bibby

Imagine the main street of Mullumbimby with half the traffic, shady spaces for conversation, and colourful, locally-made public art welcoming people to town.

That’s the vision Byron Council will attempt to actualise, after securing a $250,000 grant from the state government under the Streets as Shared Spaces program.

Council is planning to use the money to transform Burringbar Street, at least temporarily, into a pedestrian-friendly ‘Talking Street’ featuring ‘parklets’ to encourage people to stop, chat and create.

The vision was developed by a ‘Place Planning Collective’ made up of community members and Council staff.

The centrepiece of the plan, according to documents contained in the agenda to the September 17 planning meeting, will be the intersection of Burringbar and Stuart Streets, which is set to feature a large colourful mural painted onto the road surface.

Council is also planning to install temporary pedestrian crossings at the two remaining sides where crossings are not already in place.

There will also be quadrant-shaped seating platforms in each corner of the intersection that can be used for seating, performance or public art.

Reduce traffic

In an attempt to reduce the growing tide of traffic clogging the street, Council intends to create new traffic flow measures diverting through traffic onto Station Street.

‘This is a pragmatic measure that would have a profound impact on pedestrian safety and amenity on the whole main street,’ the author of the Council report says.

There will also be traffic-calming measures, carriageway narrowing and visual cues in a bid to reduce speeds on Burringbar St to under 20km/hr.

Local artists will also be engaged to create brightly painted markers to ‘communicate to drivers they are entering, and are in, a place of community importance’.

The measures, which must be installed within 12 months as part of the grant funding, and are semi-permanent only, with Council promising to discard anything that doesn’t work.

They will also be subject to further community input, prior to installation, through the involvement of a community working group.

Funding agreement

It will also involve the creation of a funding agreement between Council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

‘This is a way of trialling a whole bunch of ways that the street can be reconfigured’, Creative Mullumbimby president, Malcolm Price, said. 

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  1. Insane.
    When there are real models for new communities that don’t need existing power or supply, that convert 1 ton of carbon a day and the bi product is enough electricity to run 100 houses. With more high quality food produced than can be eaten by the community. Why is the council not looking at rest solutions. All we need to do is take back the land that where sugar grows, a known proven poison, and create new communities. Following the models that have been proven to work.

  2. Parklets??? There already is a shortage of parking in Mullum.
    Try shopping at Santos if you have a disability & can’t walk 2 blocks to get there. Timed parking of shorter durations, more disabled parking, some of us old hippies need em.. Don’t exclude the elderly & disabled trying to stay as mobile & independent as possible…

  3. Why is there no public seating on the way to town for old and other people to rest while walking to town.
    The tourists have seating along the beach walks.
    Does everything have to revolve around making money.
    Look after the people you’ve got instead of trying to turn the town into a circus.

  4. Please not another jarring & horrible ,( & ridiculously expensive as I recall) ‘road mural’ like the one in Byron’s CBD lane way off Johnson street !!!!

  5. 3 roundabouts would solve speed, flow and pedestrian safety. One each at the post office, Santos and the servo. A fourth at Stuart Street if you’re feeling really wacky.

  6. “Traffic calming measures? Yes, they are desperately needed. I suggest BSC hands out big leafy joints to each and every motorist embarking on travelling through the Shire, at the point of entry to each and every village within the confines of Byron Shire. Calmness must be the new order and a motorist travelling at 10kmh who believes they’re actually driving at twice that speed is what is needed in the new code for Byron Shire traffic.

  7. I am delighted at the concept of encouraging the City area to be more communal and relaxed. Very positive. Mullumbimby is becoming another shopping strip and as snr hippie ( well some friends call me that) who loves to think outside the dots, shopping can become a very expensive, insular and quick fix hobby. Please incorpirate bike lanes. I am surprised there is not more cycling in Mullum – it needs to be encouraged and hopefully lanes alleviates the fear associated with cycling. I do admire your courage in trying alternative ideas and initiatives. Good luck

  8. Retching. Blaaargh. The vision you have is of Mullum before woolworths and phone towers. Peace, community, nature, art, music. Real people. You don’t have a time machine, and this contrived theme park couldn’t be more kitcsh or grotesque, especially if “government” “funding” is involved.

  9. What about giving people safe foot and bike paths, either some metres away from but alongside the roads, or using the existing rail routes? That would actually allow people freedom of movement within this beautiful natural environment, give locals and tourists alike, the option of healthy and non-destructive outdoor lifestyle choices, enable maintenance of nature corridors and community engagement, and keep our non-car-owning youth and others safe from winding potholed roads which have always been dangerous to pedestrians and more so now with ridiculously increased trucks and traffic usage.

  10. The traffic calming and routing off Burringbah St is welcomed . The so called aesthetic improvements
    are really underwhelming and yes kitsch . From the last attempt – watch the plantings – the palms have been contentious .
    I would like to see the formalisation of a daily farmers market in Stuart St. at the middle pub , opening from 6 am to 10 am to enhance the weekly farmers market . This space could be used at other times – festivals etc
    The street space mirrored on the other side of burrinbar st. could also work in a similar fashion .
    I am also supportive of Stan Robinson Park being redesigned to suit the ” Gathering ” Space concept
    including more covered space and street furniture , lighting , sound stage , concert speakers
    a day and night venue – public toilets also required .


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