NORANDA residents are set to have easier access around the congested town centre as part of a proposed shared pedestrian and vehicle zone.
The City of Bayswater are seeking the public’s feedback on the proposal, where parts of McGilvray Avenue and Benara Road alongside the Hawaiian’s Noranda will become a shared zone with new footpaths, crosswalks and street trees.
Deputy Mayor Filomena Piffaretti said the upgrade would connect Robert Thompson Reserve with the “growing” retail and café precinct.
“Children, people with prams and older adults will be able to cross both Benara Road and McGilvray Avenue with more confidence and enjoy everything the town centre has to offer,” she said.
Noranda Vibes chair Robert McCormack said the group wanted upgrades to vehicular access to the centre’s carparks and residential streets along McGilvary Avenue, pedestrian paths and crossovers, cycle acess and landscaping.
“We welcome the investment in our town centre and the consultative approach being used by the City of Bayswater in refining the proposed upgrades,” he said.
“Consultations suggest that while the proposal will certainly help address many of the issues experienced by local residents, refinements to the proposals including further upgrades to McGilvray Avenue would likely lead to better outcomes.
“The speed that cars travel along Benara Road and McGilvray Avenue and the lack of median strips make it challenging for pedestrians to cross these thoroughfares.
“Local residents with mobility issues report particular challenges in finding gaps in traffic with many reporting they feel unsafe at times when they are trying to cross these roads.”
In a joint statement, Noranda residents Ingrid and Philip Schubert said they were pleased with the proposed changes as it was long overdue and had been a great concern for Bellew Way residents and customers.
“It is a start in the right direction, but a long term plan needs to be considered and any improvements should be consistent with this,” they said.
“A full review of the precinct is necessary especially a traffic and pedestrian movement study conducted.”
They suggested changes including the reduction of speed limits to 50km/h or 40km/h on McGilvary Avenue, having one side entrance to the back carpark for trucks on the southern side of the centre, closing the entrance to Wylde Road, preservation of the Moreton Bay Fig trees on McGilvary Avenue and planting small yellow Robusta Gleditisia trees in the medium strip.
“We have lived in Bellew Way for 32 years and we find it extremely difficult to exit and enter Bellew Way either by car, on foot or by bicycle because of the complexity of the traffic six different directions and at different speeds all heading towards you,” they said.
Fellow resident Doug McLennan said he supported the council’s direction for upgrades because it would make pedestrian crossings to and from Robert Thompson Reserve safer.
He said there were several changes to the proposal that were needed including extending the path from Wonga Road to McGilvary Avenue, major safety improvements to centre entrances and the boundary of the upgrades extending to south of Wylde Road.
Residents can complete a survey on the Engage Bayswater website before December 12.