As of Monday 7th December, Hibberson St reopened to all traffic, with ACTION bus services, including school services, resuming regular running through and around the Gungahlin town centre.
Platforms 1 and 2, which were temporarily relocated to Gozzard Street, have reopened on Hibberson Street, and the weekday Route 54 and 56 and the weekend Route 956 have resumed servicing stops at Hibberson Street after Hinder Street.
Hibberson St was closed from 13th October for eight weeks to allow for construction of an underground tunnel linking the existing Big W basement car park to the new 2-level, 505 space undercover carpark currently being built.
While the street closure was temporary, a survey
was conducted by Labor backbencher Meegan Fitzharris to determine the community’s stance on permanently closing Hibberson St to traffic. With a new ACT government office block, expanded retail, apartments and education offerings plus more traffic around the town centre, Ms Fitzharris feels there is an increased risk to pedestrians and cyclists. As one of the busiest streets in the area, Ms Fitzharris says her aim is to put the safety of people first, rather than cars and buses.
Over 720 people were surveyed, with the majority saying they would like to see Hibberson St become car-free or more pedestrian-friendly. Forty nine per cent said the best solution was for the street to be permanently closed to cars and motorcycles, while 18 per cent suggested it be turned into a shareway like Civic's Bunda Street. More than half of those surveyed said they would be more likely to go into the town centre if it was closed to traffic, and 73 per cent also believed closing the road to cars would not have a negative impact on local business.
With community support for the road’s permanent closure so strong, Ms Fitzharris is keen to move forward with the initiative, with next steps including getting feedback from local businesses and the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentlemen.