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Future City plans for Lords Place/Byng Street unveiled

Plans to upgrade sections of two key inner city streets of Orange are now on display for community comment.

The proposed design to transform Lords Place (between Summer and Byng Street) and Byng Street (between Lords Place and Peisley Street) are two of the latest elements of Orange City Council’s Future City CBD upgrade plans.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the new designs show how the Future City plans are aimed at making the CBD more attractive, and more pedestrian friendly.

“Our expert urban designers made it clear we had to look for ways to make it easier and more attractive to get around our CBD on foot,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “There’ll be fresh new footpaths and road surfaces in both blocks.”

“We’re blessed with beautifully wide streets in our inner city, but for an older person or someone with children, it’s a tough ask to make your way across four lanes of traffic to cross either of these streets.”

“A key element of the plans for these areas is the change from two lanes of traffic in either direction in some sections of the road, to one lane of traffic each way. This lets someone on foot cross the road safely, and lets the passing traffic flow.

“The current narrow medians will be replaced with strips in the centres of the roadway that are two and half metres wide. In Lords Place the strip will be planted with fourteen advanced new trees.

Similarly to the plans for McNamara Street, we’re also going to be using underground cell structures which let the trees grow but are designed to stop the trees’ roots damaging the roads and footpaths.”

“In Byng Street the proposal is to plant a lower height garden bed in the centre median.

“We must be clear that there will be changes to some trees in that block of Lords Place, but long term, the change will definitely be for the better.”

“Robertson Park sets the tone, and is the back drop for the trees in this block. This design doesn’t change any trees in the park. However, we’ve had a close look at the trees growing in the roadway, and two of those which are either struggling or mis-shapen are proposed to be removed. One tree at the southern end of the taxi rank is unbalanced because of nearby trees. An elm in the roadway at the northern end of the block is also showing signs of stress and is proposed to be removed.

“If anything, these two changes will be good for the canopy of trees in the park, which will continue to extend over the roadway.

“On the western side of the road there are five trees which are of different species and different heights that have been added at different times over the years. There’s a lack of consistency as you look along these trees which don’t actually make a row. The proposal is to remove them. I’d encourage residents to look at the artist’s impression and see the difference these changes will make.”

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Other elements of the Lords Place design are:

  • Re-location of the taxi rank from Lords Place to Summer Street
  • Installation of a new pedestrian crossing part-way along the block
  • Changing the roundabout at the Lords Place/Byng St intersection from two lanes to one lane of traffic
  • Extra disabled car parking spaces

Business operators in Lords Place have welcomed the proposals.

The owner of the Overlander Indian restaurant and Motel, Vijay Bohra was impressed to be asked for input by Council staff.

“Council has been very approachable throughout this whole process,” Mr Bohra said. “The staff have been very accommodating and have ensured that discussions about how the plans could be altered to be more suitable to businesses were had.

“They have been very considerate of thoughts from the businesses. This opportunity looks like it will be really good for the street and from a development point of view it’s great to see Orange is moving forward, in the right direction. “

Jacinta Milne from Dr Ben Milne’s Orthopaedic Practice was pleased to be contacted by Council staff about the proposed design.

“We really appreciate the time and effort Orange City Council staff have put into listening to our concerns,” Ms Milne said. “They have been genuinely consultative and taken on board some of our suggestions. It has been a really positive experience.”

“We are excited these new plans provide for the inclusion of some disabled parking spaces which is essential for our mobility impaired patients. This plan will significantly improve the safety of pedestrians crossing Lords Place to access the businesses in this area.”

To see the detailed plans and have share your ideas go to YourSay Orange  The deadline for comment is Wednesday 24 February.

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