Automated traffic signals have been activated in the Sydney CBD as a measure against the spread of COVID-19, allowing pedestrians to cross the road without having to touch a button.
A progressive rollout began on Monday. The automated pedestrian crossings will be active 24 hours a day.
“Public safety is the top priority for Transport for NSW during the coronavirus outbreak,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson told Government News.
The move was introduced so pedestrians could cross the road with minimal contact, he said.
“This means pedestrians will not have to push the button at signalised crossings to safely cross the road in the CBD,” the spokesperson said.
Automated pedestrian crossings were already in operation in the CBD but were active only between 7 am and 7 pm.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore stressed that there was no longer any need for pedestrians to push a button.
“For the foreseeable future, you won’t need to push pedestrian buttons in the CBD,” she said on Facebook.
“The State Government has set all lights in our CBD to cycle between traffic and pedestrian access automatically.
“If you need to be in the CBD, don’t push the button – just wait for the green signal then cross.”
$25 million business support package
City of Sydney says it has been working with NSW Health to ensure the city is prepared for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak as well introducing measures to support businesses with a $25 million lifeline.
The measures include rent relief for tenants, refunds of venue and advertising fees for cancelled events and two weeks of staff and operational costs for aquatic centres.
Council rangers have also been directed to use discretion with regard to parking fines and other penalties.
Supermarkets and other stores will also be able to operate loading docks 24 hours a day to enable them the delivery of essential goods.
Council is working on a second support package targeting the creative arts and entertainment industries.
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