COUNCILLOR Russell Turner’s dream of turning the Anson Street car park and pedestrian crossing near Woolworths into a shared zone may have hit a snag, but he believes one day Orange City Council will make the “brave” decision to turn a section of the block into a mall.
Cr Turner suggested the speed limit in the area be dropped from 25 km/h to 10 km/h and pedestrians given the right of way, last year, as a way of making the area safer.
But fellow members of the traffic committee have rejected the idea, saying shared zones can only be established on private property.
Instead, the committee recommends the council spend $35,000 from the 2014/15 budget on four speed humps, pedestrian signage, and repainting pedestrian paths in the car park.
Cr Turner said he was disappointed with the outcome, especially as the work won’t occur until at least July.
“Unfortunately we have to wait for the work to be put into next year’s budget, I’d prefer it to be done straight away,” he said.
“I believe we should have closed [the block of Anson Street] off a long time ago.
“It’s a grand opportunity to have cafes in the area.”
He said ideally a portion of the street would be made into a mall and the Kite Street end left open to taxi traffic only, while acknowledging there were concerns about the impact on retail businesses and increased traffic in Sale Street and Lords Place.
But he believes the mall idea won’t be raised again until the Anson Street car park is redeveloped into a multistorey car park.
In the meantime the proposed upgrades will go some way to making the car park less confusing, he said.
“At the moment there’s virtually a lack of signage there and no one knows the speed limit,” he said.