The temporary closure of Byng Street to traffic for the Friday 25 October night markets, held as part of the Orange Wine Festival, has been welcomed.
The idea is one of many being floated as part of Orange’s Future City CBD upgrade.
The night market event attracted thousands of people to Robertson Park to sample Orange’s wine and food from 54 stalls.
Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd was impressed by how the new larger space worked for the event.
“I’m delighted by the success of Friday’s night’s trial of closing that block of Byng Street to traffic,” Cr Regh Kidd said. “I talked to many people on the night who were impressed and excited by the extra space that change delivered. Simply having more space for tables and chairs was a bonus.”
“Our urban design consultants have found what locals have always known. We have two fantastic open spaces, Robertson Park and an open square surrounded by the gallery, library, museum and theatre. But we have a busy street between them.
“The design team will be looking at the practicalities of this idea in more detail, with the experience of Friday night in mind. Any changes are still a long away, but if it gets the nod, we’ll be looking at ways to more conveniently close the street for special events.
“That block of Byng Street is a busy road for cars, but there would be steps that could be taken which might make it a better space when there was only pedestrians.
“We might be looking at pop-up bollards to close the street. There might be a kind of paving or a road surface that was better suited for people on foot as well as cars. There would be ways of putting the entire area on one level by designing median strips and gutters in a different way.
“There are ways of making it clear it can be a shared spaced arranged with both cars and pedestrians in mind.”