Cut off a decade ago during a road beautification project, the loss of the Grote Street right-hand turn to the Central Market car park has seen millions of dollars from disenfranchised shoppers from Adelaide’s western suburbs drive by, management says.
Now a plan has been accelerated to lure back western shoppers by eliminating the labyrinth of turns east-bound motorists have to take to access the car park, created by the installation of a concrete median strip blocking access on Grote Street.
Market general manager Aaron Brumby, pictured above, told InDaily new plans to reinstate the popular right-hand turn were submitted to Adelaide City Council at the start of March.
“Up to 10,000 vehicles travel from the western suburbs but have no ability to come into the car park (from Grote St),” Brumby said.
“It’s a really important part of infrastructure which puts more customers into the market.
“It will definitely create many millions of dollars of revenue for the traders of the market but it’s very critical because it’s not just for the market traders, it’s for the arcade, the plaza and Chinatown.”
The proposal seeks $250,000 from the council’s next round of budget allocation and, if approved, work could begin as early as July this year.
The new traffic island and access will have a dedicated lane to guide motorists and is expected to take three months to construct.
Brumby said the turn was part of centre management’s key steps to improve the market’s appeal and performance.
“The first [step] is around access,” Brumby said.
“Seventy-five per cent of the decision about where someone shops is about accessibility around that particular site.
“For us that’s a right-hand turn off Grote Street.
“It really disenfranchises shoppers from the western suburbs.
“It’s a very large catchment. It’s about a quarter of our customers.”
The Central Market is flanked by two of the CBD’s busiest roads – Grote and Grouger streets.
Recent modelling shows an average 19,900 vehicles per day travel down Grote Street east and west in front of the market.
Gouger Street averages 12,700 vehicles per day past the market from both directions.
“Even if we can alleviate traffic it makes it more attractive,” Brumby said.
The market is one of the most popular attractions in the state with about 8.5 million people visiting every year.
Brumby said the proposal had garnered a “high level of support” from its 75 market traders.
He said the introduction of the first hour free to the 1000-space car park last month had increased vehicle numbers by 11 per cent.
“We only fill the car park two days a week for about an hour-and-a-half so there’s still plenty of space.”
Council’s acting general manager, city planning and design, Adrian Stokes, said a signalled right-hand turn from Grote Street into the market car park was identified in a report, Our Market District – the right ingredients for the future.
“This was a report endorsed by council in September 2015 that resulted from district planning of the area,” Stokes said.
“A reference group comprising of ACMA, the precinct groups, the arcade traders group, Chinatown, Market Plaza, the Hilton, Uniting Communities and Global Intertrade were involved in helping to formulate the proposals in the report.
“Please note that, at this stage, this is just a proposal that would need to be formally considered through the integrated business plan.”
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