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Making our inner city more walkable

By August 31, 2020November 4th, 2020Future City, Uncategorized

One of the main objectives of Future City is to make Orange’s CBD more walkable. But why?

There is a direct link between a thriving economy and making our CBD easier and safer to get around.

It’s generally agreed that walking is better for people’s health than driving. It’s also true that more people on the street is better for retail businesses and pollution reduction.

This doesn’t mean fewer car parking spaces in the Orange CBD. The switch to nose-in parking is tipped to increase the number parking spaces. The Future City recommendations explore the benefits of expanding car parks on the outskirts of the CBD.

Many people are used to the convenience of pulling up in their car, out the front of the shop they’d like to visit, buying the item they came for and then jumping straight back into their vehicle and leaving the area.

But what if that person had to park one, or two, or even three blocks away?

On their way walking to their shop, what if that person passed a boutique clothes store, that was having a sale and stopped in for a look? That person may pass a bakery and decide to grab a cake for afternoon tea, or pass a florist and grab a bunch of flowers to put on the dining table.

Increasing pedestrian traffic is key to boosting retail businesses in Orange.

Future City is about creating spaces where people on foot are encouraged to gather, encouraged to ramble through on their way home, and encouraged to browse shops as they duck in for the groceries.

It’s also about creating spaces for a thriving evening or night-time economy. Spaces for markets, venues for live music, outdoor dining and art exhibitions.

To have your say on proposed changes to the CBD to make it more pedestrian friendly, click this link and complete our survey on our YourSay Orange website. Make sure you get your submissions in before December 2, 2020.

Safer and more people-friendly spaces

Council employed urban designers, SJB, to create ideas for Future City. They found the Orange CBD isn’t as user friendly for pedestrians as it could be.

The architects found safety was a concern for people as they moved around the inner city. They were worried particularly when trying to cross the road near roundabouts, by the speed of cars and driver behaviour.

That’s why part of the design is about slowing-down cars in the CBD, making it safer for pedestrians. The quality of footpath lighting is already being improved.

A proposal is being explored to replace four lanes of traffic in Summer Street to two lanes.

It’s about creating more areas in sections of Lords Place and Byng Street which are shared between drivers and people on foot.

A much wider median strip down the centre of the road, and nose-in parking on either side, will mean a single-lane in each direction for traffic. This is turn will mean slower traffic speeds, perhaps with a 40km/hr speed limit in the inner city area.

7 Comments

  • Rohan Williams says:

    I understand that there are retail advantages to increasing pedestrian activity in our city. However, are we forgetting that we are a regional city servicing an agricultural area? Many of our region’s residents drive into the city at regular intervals and rely heavily on convenient parking, trafficable thoroughfares, and logistically seamless traffic planning as opposed to the city’s “walkability”.

    Before we commit ourselves to nose-in parking in Summer St, please take a look at the main street of Griffith in order to see the painfully awkward situation that has been created by the nose-in parking in that city’s main street. Traffic is reduced to snail pace and the frequency of minor accidents is very high. Reverse angle parking might be a far more fluid and accident-free alternative.

  • Jeff says:

    As a town planner I have no issues with the proposed new parking proposal, however after 40 years of urban and transport planning i would strongly encourage council not to create a solution to a ‘perceived problem’ only to create a range of ‘unforeseen problems’ for future planners. Jeff M-A

  • Michelle says:

    The main street of Orange is already a congested area due to the high volume of cars, caravans and larger vehicles and locals. Reducing the lanes in the main street will just increase already congested traffic and parking in the surrounding streets, Lords Place, Anson, Peisley, Byng and Kite Streets. When driving through the streets surrounding Summer St we are presently in bumper to bumper traffic from roundabout to roundabout. Look at Bathurst, one lane and slow traffic, no parking and constantly waiting for pedestrians to cross which is frustrating. Why and whatever happened to the idea of closing a block in Anson Street and having a pedestrian mall with eateries and sitting and walking area without cars as this area of town could be utilised better. Also closing the block in Lords Place for eateries as there are currently restaurants and cafes which could utilise the area day and night when closed to cars and converted to a pedestrian mall and outdoor eateries. The access to these areas would be more walkable than diverting traffic from Summer Street and congesting surrounding streets. Having a walkable area is great to create laneways like Melbourne would be funky and we have side streets filled with cafes and restaurants where this is currently possible.

  • Cathy says:

    After travelling around different Regional Centre’s and experiencing the one lane, nose in parking first hand, I really do hope that out council reconsiders undertaking such changes. Orange CBD already suffers traffic congestion with 4 lanes of traffic. Nose in parking creates another concern with cars having to line up whilst a vehicle leaves a car park, creating further congestion. Elderly do not want to find that the nearest parking is 3 blocks away and most certainly not want to walk to their supermarket or chemist then walk 3 blocks back again. Lovely idea that we can wander throughout the CBD, purchase coffee and flowers on our way to doing our shopping, but carrying back that said shopping is going to be agony, our supermarket car parking is already at full capacity. We are a growing regional centre and we need our council to look at what is really important in regards to infrastructure.

  • Raymond Noel Wilson says:

    It seems to me that every time there is a “changing of the guard”, ie town planners, the new brigade are fresh out of university with the required degrees to satisfy council management and satisfy the up and coming generation by providing the new ideas of more walking/ exercise whilst doing the weekly chore of shopping for necessities BUT while that may be good for the young the more aged will find it more difficult to traverse the walkways back to their parked vehicles where ever they may be 2 or 3 blocks away.
    What was old is new again ….. we go back to angle parking and one lane of traffic each direction, do we widen the footpaths back to where they once were? perhaps the “OLD” town planners were right in the first place, nice wide footpaths for the pedestrian traffic. One lane traffic will automatically slow vehicles and those that are in more of hurry to get somewhere will use other streets.
    Parking has and always will be a problem and I could never understand a decision by council many years ago to not accept when it was offered by a local business man to make the Woolworths car park a multi story facility, my, how that would now be bonus but a mammoth job to try and put in place today without disrupting the entire precinct.
    I welcome any improvements to the aesthetics of our great city as long as we put infrastructure in place to make the environment a safe one as well eg improved lighting, security cameras etc.

  • Inge Vander Wal says:

    Inge

    I would like to see a walking area in the CBD and no cars parked. There should not be any empty shops either. Council needs to put their
    Rates down to make that happen.
    The walking area should be between Lords Place and Sale Street. Shops can be accessed from the car park at the back of the shopping center.
    It is not necessary to drive down Summer Street, there are other ways

  • Sarah says:

    Please don’t remove mature trees as part of this plan! We need to be able to work around them. Our trees are one of the key things that makes Orange so great!

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