LONG-standing development talks for Ballarat’s Sturt and Mair streets are set to continue, with the City of Ballarat and VicRoads turning to the public for ideas on how to improve the thoroughfares.
A survey has been opened to the Ballarat community to help identify problems and potential solutions for the heavily used streets.
Congestion and parking has long been an issue for Mair Street.
In an interview with The Courier in 2012, then VicRoads acting regional director David O’Sullivan said a plan has been drawn up to upgrade Mair Street to two lanes in both directions, plus turning lanes and intersection upgrades.
However, the development would require the removal of most of the existing on-street parking.
At the time, Mr O’Sullivan said that “offsetting the removal of these carparks is addressed in Ballarat City Council’s recent CBD parking strategy, which provides off-street parking options.
“Until the issue of parking is resolved, VicRoads will not submit a proposal for funding consideration,” he said.
Current VicRoads regional director Ewen Nevett said safety is also an important factor.
Intersections along Sturt Street account for 10 of the 20 crash hot spots in Western Victoria; and Mair Street is difficult for drivers to travel through and across,” he said.
“Traffic does not flow smoothly, and parking dominates both streets. As Ballarat grows, we need to make sure these vital streets work for everyone."
Feedback will help produce a long-term plan, which in time, could assist with lobbying for funding.
City of Ballarat mayor Des Hudson said it’s difficult to address both congestion and parking in planning.
“We’ve got to make sure that people can move through our city (and) part of that could be moving parking,” he said.
“Absolutely (another multi-story is a consideration).
“And not just necessarily being council run. It could be an opportunity for private investment.”
To complete the survey visit the mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au website.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.