Parking lost and gained
Eight car parking spaces will be lost once current streetscape works in Smith St are completed, but Baw Baw Shire mayor Joe Gauci said new car parking spaces would be created as works progress in other central business district areas.
The Smith St works between Albert and Palmertson Sts are currently underway and include two pedestrian crossings with raised pavements to slow traffic and flashing lights.
Landscaped central median garden beds also have been established along the section of road.
Community assets director Phil Cantillon said the original plans for Smith St resulted in a loss of six car parking spaces to allow for the provision of four accessible parking spaces and the upgraded pedestrian crossing to the contemporary design standards.
However, he said following community consultation, the design plans were modified to provide one additional accessible parking bay (from four to five).
“In addition, the general car parking spaces were made wider than the existing spaces for improved entry and egress. These changes have increased the loss of car spaces along Smith St from six to eight,” he said.
Mr Cantillon said council officers also recently completed an expression of interest process for a multi-level car parking facility within the Warragul town centre, which will be considered in due course.
Cr Gauci said councillors and officers had worked closely with the project reference group to consult about the streetscape works.
“One of the things that came up in discussions was the car parks were too tight.
“So we changed the angle and slightly increased the width but by the time you do that all the way along, you do lose spaces.
“In the whole CBD construction works over the next two to three years, we will lose some and gain some. We are consulting in each area as it goes out to tender,” he said.
Cr Gauci said the Mason-Albert St roundabout works were an example of changing the project in response to concerns.
He said residents raised concerns about the close proximity of the roundabout to their front gate.
As a result, he said the location had changed slightly and a car parking space would be lost.
Cr Gauci said the three central ward councillors including himself, Danny Goss and Mikaela Power all indicated they had received no negative feedback.
He said he had spoken to many traders in the areas and they had been positive about the works.
“I’ve been to all those shops when we did the consultation. But I think they are waiting to see the final product.
“The centre median strip will be planted out so it looks a bit bland at the moment,” he said.
Cr Gauci said they were waiting for SP Ausnet connection for the new raised pavement pedestrian crossings.
He said the works in Smith St were all about pedestrian safety and slowing traffic.
“We will gain car parks in other areas. If we can get the multi-level car park going that will be great,” he said.
Facebook Forum – community responds to new streetscape, p18.
Streetscape works currently underway in Smith St, Warragul aim to create a safer environment for pedestrians.