O’con­nell Street busi­ness own­ers want cars off their street for good.

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A bunch of busi­ness own­ers on O’con­nell Street in the cen­tral city are pe­ti­tion­ing to close off the one-way shared street per­ma­nently to cars. It had been shut to cars for most of the year while Frey­berg Place was be­ing up­graded but it has since opened again. All the busi­ness own­ers who have frontage on the street have signed a pe­ti­tion that will go to the City Cen­tre Ad­vi­sory Board soon. Maud Cahill, of Ja­son Books, says af­ter al­most a year of hav­ing no cars on the street, the ma­jor­ity of busi­ness own­ers would like the street to be pedes­tri­anised. “It was so nice when we had it, es­pe­cially the junc­tion with the new Frey­berg Place. It seems like a re­ally per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the coun­cil to make this whole bit pedes­tri­anised – Vul­can Lane, O’ Con­nell and Frey­berg Place. You’d just have the most amaz­ing precinct.” She says when the street was car-free, more peo­ple were at­tracted to the area. “The ar­gu­ment for [cars] is that there’s not that many cars any­way but that works both ways – if there aren’t many cars, then why do you need it?”

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