Car window washers have been banned from five major intersections on Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway with the start of light rail on Saturday, ending an era marked by controversy and some human drama.
The government cites safety worries at the high risk intersections, "due to the longer effective stopping distance required by light rail vehicles, the different traffic light sequencing due to priority being given to light rail vehicles at intersections, and increased pedestrian traffic around light rail stops".
Simon, who has been washing car windows "on and off" twice a day at the corner of Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive for about 10 years, said he was aware of the upcoming ban on his intersection.
He described the government's decision as "putrid".
"I like this spot and I've been here a long time but I'll just have to find somewhere else," Simon said.
Simon is homeless. He's living in a tent in a nearby park while he waits in the queue for public housing.
He says he collects unemployment benefits but washes windows to keep himself busy and active.
In his Brumbies training academy T-shirt, he's light on his feet, quick at catching customer cues for attention, and claims that in all his years in the thick of the traffic flow - he's now 41 years old - he hasn't even had a near miss.
"It's all about keeping your wits about you and knowing what the traffic's doing; drivers are pretty good at watching out for you," he said.
And he doesn't take offence if people don't tip him for his services.
"Some people call you all the way up the row and then give you 20 cents but most people are pretty good.
"I just enjoy getting out and doing something. I'd much rather do this than just bludge around."
He says that he has an ABN number, a business name -"Simon's Windows" - and pays tax on what he earns from window washing.
"It's hard finding a real job when you live in a tent; you can't have a shower after you get up, or wash your clothes and get yourself tidied up and looking good," Simon said.
"Hopefully when I get a place, that will change."
The intersections are where Northbourne Avenue meets Barry Drive and Cooyong Street, Macarthur and Wakefield avenues, and Mouat and Antill streets. The Federal Highway intersections are at the Barton Highway, and Flemington Road.
Also banned within 50 metres of the intersections are displaying ads, selling or offering items for sale, hitch-hiking or seeking contributions or employment from someone in a vehicle. The ban extends to any median strip, traffic island or road shoulder in the 50-metre no-go zone.
The ban is to be enforced by police, and people who ignore it could be asked to move on, or issued infringement notices of $75, or face fines of up to $1600, a government spokesman said.
The changes came into effect in October 2018, but signs have now been installed at the intersections telling window washers they are not allowed.
Window washing used to be banned across Canberra but the ban was lifted in 2004.
The practice has long been a feature along Northbourne Avenue, to the ire of some motorists.
But Canberrans showed a more sympathetic side with the deaths of two well-known window washers in 2013 and 2016.
The ban also hits charities including for not-for-profit UR Community, which provides food for people.
"Officials came to us in Braddon four weeks ago telling us the legislation had been changed," founder Peter Malliaros said.
The charity collectors have been at intersections near Fyshwick and Gungahlin.
Mr Malliaros said while the other Canberra locations worked well, Northbourne Avenue was more central.
"We did lose a good spot which was easy for our employees to get to," he said.
The government spokesman said the ACT was the only jurisdiction that allowed people to wash windscreens without a permit.
"The ACT continues to grow and evolve as a city and the government will continue to adapt to how its citizens engage with the road environment and other road users," he said.