WHEN councillor Reg Kidd first renewed the push to enforce smoking restrictions in Orange’s central business district with a blanket ban in July, antisocial behaviour in Post Office Lane was his prime target.
After almost two months of discussions and consultation, Orange councillors have come up with additional measures to open up the precinct.
On paper, the measures seem positive - moving seating away from the lane’s centre will make it look wider and increase visibility for pedestrians, plus ridding it of the tree-guards will remove the caged look.
But whether they will be effective in eliminating antisocial behaviour remains to be seen, especially since past measures, including a fake CCTV camera which was later stolen, have not made a dent in the public perception.
It is undisputed that something needs to be done to revitalise the precinct and put pedestrians’ minds at ease when they walk from Summer Street to the car park, and the key will be the outcome of councillor Russell Turner’s push for commercial options.
With discussions including potentially adding a roof to allow usage of the space regardless of the weather, the decision makers need to keep an open mind and opinions from business owners and our street survey have already raised diverse possibilities.
Artists and musicians always bring colour and life to an area, and provisions for chess games also encourage social behaviour, but there are also significant opportunities to showcase food.
Aside from the monthly farmers’ market and certain specialty shops selling produce, options are limited to conveniently and regularly access Orange’s home-grown wares.
With farming changing to favour smaller growers selling directly to the consumer and positive responses to past night markets and Slow Summer events in the laneway, there could be no better exposure for producers than the centre of Orange.