I live on George Street. The entrance of my apartment faces World Square but my windows open to a gorgeous view of Darling Harbour. Every Saturday, I get to see the short burst of firework display.
As I do not drive, the convenience of walking to places is perfect. Many times, I can just walk to meet clients. The church I attend is just two blocks away. Chinatown, Thai Town and Korean Town are within a kilometre radius; and this keeps a Singaporean happy with such easy access to authentic Asian food.
As the date for the closure of George Street creeps up, I started to wonder more what will become of Sydney city. Till the light rail is functional, the only way to commute up and down this road which starts at Railway Square and ends at The Rocks is by foot. I will no longer have the option to hop on a bus and ride for a few stops to Circular Quay.
The health enthusiasts will echo the benefits of walking. While it is possible to walk and I have done that, but is it healthy to walk that much and all the time? The environmentalists will praise the reduced carbon emission till they checked out the overcrowding on Elizabeth Street where a big part of the traffic are started to be diverted to.
To be fair, Sydney climate is generally suitable for walking. I tried walking 100 metres in Singapore in the open; I had to dodge into the nearest building to cool down and avoided a heat stroke. I exaggerated. I would not need to walk in the open for more than 50 metres in Singapore. At the least, the foliage of the trees planted on every walkway helps block out direct sunlight. There are many underground malls that link one area to another. Perhaps, if Sydney city has a proper and sheltered walkway or even better – a 2.7 kilometre of underground shops beneath George Street – Sydneysiders will be happy walkers.