Make Wonthaggi streets people friendly

BASS Coast Shire Council’s Cr Les Larke is pushing for greater pedestrian safety in Wonthaggi.

For the moment, his sights are set on upgrading the intersection connecting Murray Street, Billson Street and Biggs Drive. However, a long term goal is to see Wonthaggi’s main streets – Graham Street and McBride Avenue – transformed into a pedestrian friendly complex.

This plan is not unlikely South Gippsland Shire Council’s plans to reinvigorate Leongatha’s Bair Street, which will be designed to allow people to sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee under new vegetation.

While Cr Larke’s idea has not officially been discussed in council, he believes it would attract more business in the town if pedestrians could park their cars, and safely walk down streets and cross the road.

“I think reinvigorating the main streets would give Wonthaggi a sense of place,” he said.

“It would be great to be able to leave your car and wander the streets; maybe walk through Apex Park, which could also be beautified. I think there is so much potential and people wouldn’t have to be in and out of their cars all the time.”

For now, crossing the road is a particular hassle at the Murray Street intersection.

Cr Larke met with The Star at the intersection and asked people what they thought about the intersection recently. Passersby were unanimous that crossing the road was a nightmare and often put pedestrians at risk.

With amenities like the supermarket, the Wonthaggi Medical Group and the senior citizens centre on the intersection, people are forced to try and cross the road. This is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people with low mobility.

Cr Larke tried to move the intersection up council’s priority list, but was knocked back at last month’s meeting with other councillors stating it wasn’t right to jump the queue when roads already on the list needed attention.

“I am happy to follow policy, but I do feel as if there is a greater consideration for motorists on this list rather than pedestrians,” Cr Larke said.

“I don’t want to buck the system, but I do think the list needs to be reviewed and given sufficient consideration.”

Cr Larke said he had spoken to mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield about revisiting the priority list, and he would continue to push for a more people friendly Wonthaggi.

Dangerous: from left, Wonthaggi resident John McCulley and Cr Les Larke discussed issues about one of Wonthaggi’s main intersections recently.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21996

Posted by on Jul 25 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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