A major upgrade of one of the main corridors of Orange’s CBD is set to transform a section of the existing roadway of Anson Street into a new pedestrian mall space, part of Council’s Future City plan.
Anson Street will see a 40m section of the current road, paved to create a raised pedestrian platform with bollards at each end of the platform to separate pedestrians and traffic.
Orange City Council engineers have begun work on design plans to incorporate a cul-de-sac on the Kite Street side of Anson St, and a new traffic layout towards the Summer St side of the corridor.
The estimated $1.5 million project will see outdoor dining options, innovative planting and street furniture design, self-sustaining rain gardens and storm water reuse options.
Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said he believes this particular project was the perfect example of how Council was planning well into the Future for the residents of Orange.
“A number of projects within Council’s ‘Future City’ implementation plan have been in the pipeline for some time, but now is the time to start moving forward and turning the plans into a reality,” Cr Kidd said.
“This particular project to upgrade Anson Street will mean that local residents and those visiting our city have a large open space to, not only cross between both shopping precincts safely, but a space to enjoy and spend time in along the way.
“In a complex location like this, with so many businesses who’ll need to keep operating, the design phase of the project will take more time than usual. That gives us more time to listen to community feed-back. We’ve had a staff member knocking on doors and talking with businesses face to face.”
Orange City Council Employment and Economic Committee chair Cr Tony Mileto said this project would create a hive of activity along Anson Street.
“Local businesses along Anson Street will reap the benefits of the new pedestrian mall once the project comes to life,” Cr Mileto said.
“The paved area will become a space for those within the CBD to enjoy. Whether it be for people to sit and eat lunch in their breaks, for children and families to catch a break while shopping or for people to safely cross the road from Anson St into Woolworths.
“The key difference is a design that makes our CBD more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
“We’re still only in the initial planning and investigation stages, so we’ll continue to work closely with businesses along Anson St to ensure we achieve the best outcome for all involved.
“Although some may assume this plan means we lose some parking spots, that isn’t the case. The new design and layout will see an increase in parking compared to the current number of spots along Anson Street.”
Orange City Council’s Infrastructure Committee chair Cr Jeff Whitton said businesses will reap the benefits of the Anson Street upgrade.
“Businesses along Anson Street will benefit from the Anson Street upgrade as the new layout will make it easier for people to move freely along the corridor and out into Summer Street,” Cr Whitton said.
“The renewal of Anson Street will also see the relocation of the taxi rank to the top of the planned cul-de-sac, a change Council has been working closely with the Tai board on.”
President of the Taxi Cabs of Orange board Ged Denning said all of the taxi board members are in support of the change and he looks forward to working with Council as the plans for Anson Street come to fruition.
“We had a board meeting at Council where we were shown what was in the works,” Mr Denning said.
“The board was very supportive about the whole idea and we look forward to working with Council.
“We’re excited about prospects of improving safety and flow for our customers as that is paramount to us all.”