Fabulous Freo !
Encouraged by the success of the recent Street Arts Festival in March, when a section of South Terrace was closed to traffic, the City of Fremantle in Western Australia decided to trial closing the café and retail strip to cars on several Sundays during April.
Yep car-free days in an Australian city - what a time to be alive !
Sundays are a busy pedestrian day in Fremantle, and the feedback from people during the festival was that they loved being able to get around without worrying about traffic.
Yeah, no kidding ! Sections of George Street in Sydney are currently closed due to construction of the light rail network, and everyone is loving the easy-going pedestrian mall feeling; I want to run up and grab them and say “See? You like this don’t you ? Now do you see why cars are bad ?”
Freo’s local shopkeepers have embraced the move, which Mayor Brad Pettit says is a big change.
"There has always been a bit of resistance, people thinking it's not going to be good for business, but I think they are starting to see now that it's so busy now in Fremantle on the weekends that we almost need more space, especially down the cappuccino strip. So restaurants will actually be able to open out on to the road with extra tables and chairs and activities, there will be music and face-painting, fairies, all those fun Freo kind of activities."
It the trial went well it could become tradition, most likely during summer. "Summer Sundays, to me, makes a lot of sense," Mr Pettit said. "Sunday is Freo's busiest day, it's not a core day for normal commercial trading and we'll take it from there.”
Vive le Revolution !