Work to transform key CBD streets under the Future City program is set to start after Orange City Council approved the project on Tuesday night.
McNamara and Byng streets and Lords Place will undergo major changes over three-month construction periods.
McNamara Street works will begin this month and work on streets around Robertson Park will start in May after a tender process.
[Trees] will be semi-advanced to advanced. They could be 8-12 feet tallCr Reg Kidd, Orange mayor
The pedestrian-friendly changes will see a wide median strip complete with trees installed on Lords Place, the reduction from two traffic lanes to one lane at the Lords Place-Byng Street roundabout, zebra crossings on Lords Place and Byng Street near the Orange Civic Theatre, improved lighting and road surfaces and the possible shifting of the taxi rank from Lords Place to Summer Street.
Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd said a "scramble lights" sequence system, where traffic is stopped to allow pedestrians to cross from all sides at once, would be installed at the intersection of Summer Street and Lords Place.
The council and hotel car park on McNamara Street will gain overhead festoon lighting and pop-up shops in converted shipping containers. Outside of peak parking times it will be available for events and markets.
The works will involve the removal of six trees however Cr Kidd said about 30 new trees will be planted.
"They will be semi-advanced to advanced. They could be 8-12 feet tall [when planted]," he said.
Cr Kidd said talks between council and Orange taxi drivers were ongoing after opposition was raised about moving the cab rank. A report to council said initial support had decreased.
"The Orange Taxi board Co-op was originally in support of the proposal following a meeting with council staff in late 2020," it said.
"That view changed to a status of apprehensive support due to concerns around not having enough space at the proposed new site," the report said.
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"The Co-op have now expressed to council staff that they wish to remain where they are but are aware that the design of the rank may change to allow for the planned pedestrian crossing."
Cr Kidd said council was also looking at allowing cabs to park in other areas, including spots on the corner of Peisley and Summer streets.
The report said there had been "mixed views" from businesses on Summer Street about having the cab rank in front of their premises.
McNamara Street will also see a range of murals and public art installed after the initial work is done.
"The artists have been shortlisted and the concepts are being developed which will again include engagement with the owners."
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