You know those vampire movies, where everyone rushes to take cover in the safety of their homes before the sun goes down? And then the streets suddenly become completely abandoned and eerily silent, but still tense with the sheer terror that stems from the community’s collective sense of their own mortality?
That’s kind of what it feels like to go out in Sydney nowadays.
Socially active Sydneysiders already know that the once vibrant emerald city has increasingly felt like a ghost town since Barry “Penfolds Grange” O’Farrell’s lockout laws came into effect, and now (yet another) new report has confirmed that theory.
According to the study by the City Of Sydney, since 2012, Kings Cross foot traffic at 11pm on a Friday night has plunged by almost SIXTY PER CENT.
And while incidents of antisocial behaviour – considered “serious” (physical and verbal fights, shouting), “less serious” (stumbling, vomiting and street drinking) and “non-serious” (“incidents of playing or singing” – sorry but HTF is that even classified as “antisocial”??!? That just sounds like a good time) – anyway, while these incidents of “antisocial behaviour” have declined in the area by 50%, that’s actually an increase per capita when you compare it to the above foot traffic figures.
As SMH points out, the study paints a picture of how the 1.30am lockout and 3am “last drinks” laws are changing (i.e. killing) the city’s nightlife, with the authors conceding that the changes “may be linked” with the lockout measures (DER).
Empty streets of Sydney CBD pic.twitter.com/GWupU80am7
— Julia Fogelberg (@juliaflora) December 15, 2014
The report further shows that the majority of antisocial incidents in the CBD on Saturday nights occurred at 3am, which also happens to coincide with last drinks orders and closing times for many venues, i.e. when intoxicated punters are simultaneously turfed en masse out on to the streets.
On average, foot traffic was lower across almost all precincts included in the study, bar Newtown and the southern CBD.
While the latter has seen a big boom in pedestrian activity in the early evenings, those figures have also dropped beneath 2012 levels in the later evenings.
Newtown alone, which does not come under the lockout, was the only area that’s seen a rise in foot traffic on both Friday and Saturday nights until 4am. Pedestrian numbers were up by more than 200 per cent at their peak, with 1740 more people counted at midnight on a Saturday, according to the report.
Unsurprisingly, another recent report showed that violent incidents in Newtown were on the rise, concluding that the lockout laws had pushed violence into the city’s neighbouring suburbs.
That’s not to mention simultaneously wiping out countless venues, businesses and jobs, causing a rise in pedestrian accidents in the CBD and basically destroying Sydney’s entire cultural soul.
But at least we’re all safe from vampires though, right?
Watch: Saving Sydney by Murat Kilic