LORETO students already say it feels much easier to cross Sturt Street in getting to school, now a dangerous drop-off area had new traffic lights near Victoria Park switched on.
A new set of traffic lights at the intersection of Sturt, Russell and Morrison streets were tested across the weekend, officially coming into play for the Monday morning school run.
Works are part of a $4.8 million project to improve Sturt Street's western end, which is a high traffic area and high-growth area for a number of primary and secondary schools.
This comes as works are set to begin this week on one of the city's worst traffic hotspots, the intersection of La Trobe Street and Wiltshire Lane, with traffic lights to replace a roundabout.
The upgraded intersection near Loreto has been clocked for 20,000 vehicles passing through every day, with particularly high passing rates in school drop-off and pick-up times.
Loreto year seven students Freyja, Ailish and Johanna, who usually catch the bus to school, said the lights helped make it easier to cross Sturt Street from wherever parents could get a park, often in service lanes or in Victoria Park.
"It's a lot safer to cross now and we do have the supervisors to help us with the lights too," Johanna said. "It's really convenient to cross and to walk across and you can get in to school any way without having to worry about safety."
Upgrades will remove the existing school crossing near Loreto with crossing supervisors to take up their post at the new pedestrian crossings at the lights. An east-bound right turning lane from Sturt Street into Russell Street and and left-turn land from Russell Street into Sturt Street were also extended in the project.
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said this was a much-needed investment to help address population growth, congestion and safety in the city's west. Ms Addison said there had been 76 crashes, including one death, at this intersection, between 2013 and 2018.
"We know the data is in, this is a dangerous intersection in Ballarat," Ms Addison said. "We've invested to not only make it safer but for our Loreto students....but people who want to go between the lake and Victoria Park and the whole of the community.
"The crossing supervisors said everything went incredibly smoothly this morning and it was great to have the traffic lights. The students will continued to be supported by the crossing supervisors."
IN OTHER NEWS
The $4.8 million Sturt Street upgrades will include works on Vale and Longley streets in the Ballarat High School precint, Elliot Street across from Ballarat Clarendon College and new entry and exit points to service roads near Wanliss Street, which runs between St Patrick's College and Ballarat Clarendon College.
New turning lanes at the Arch of Victory and better access to Sturt Street from adjoining service roads are also set for upgrades.
The state government's $60m Keeping Ballarat Moving project is also targeting six troublespots in Delacombe, Sebastopol, and Wendouree, starting at Wiltshire Lane and Latrobe Street. Works at this first intersection are expected to take 10 months with likely full road closures during the summer holiday period.
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