The transformation of Ringwood into a vibrant suburb filled with opportunities for people of all abilities, will only succeed if the centre becomes pedestrian friendly. The Maroondah Journal has reported on Maroondah’s efforts to return Ringwood back to the community.
Cr Alex Makin confirmed the council was looking at ways to move cars from key roads in Maroondah.
Discussions are continuing with VicRoads to ensure that traffic lanes and speed limits can be reduced along Maroondah Highway, making it easier for people to cross this road and to connect the key transport interchange of Ringwood station to the residents and commercial businesses on the other side of the Highway.
“It’s our plan to look at Maroondah Highway – to reduce the road to four lanes with parking on both sides and reduce speed limits.”
The Ringwood Mobility and Wayfinding Strategy found that streets in Ringwood were largely pedestrian unfirendly and in excess of 500 people a day use the Maroondah Highway pedestrian crossing. This reports called for traffic calming along Maroondah Highway, including a reduction of lanes and speed limits, to return the street to the local community and to ensure a more vibrant shopping district.
“Maroondah streets should no longer be a thoroughfare for drivers, but instead we should return the centre of Ringwood back to the people. If you are not going to stop and shop and contribute to the community, then use the bypass.”
The toll-free Ringwood bypass will provide six lanes of traffic for people that wish to drive through Ringwood. A localised Maroondah Highway, with ample on-street parking, will allow for a more vibrant centre and boost local commerce.
He said the plan would enable shoppers to use the precinct safely. “I have difficulty crossing the highway on the pedestrian strip, but what about the people who use a mobility aid or walk a little slower?”
Reducing traffic along Maroondah Highway, through encouraging the use of the bypass, will make it easier for people with disabilities and mobility aids to shop within the centre of Ringwood.
“A vibrant suburban centre can only be achieved if we can provide a friendly, safe area for pedestrians.”
Pedestrians form the lifeblood of any vibrant district and it is imperative that changes are made to Maroondah Highway so that our streets can enhance the sense of community within Ringwood. VicRoads and the State Government must support and enact measures that reduce speed limits and the amount of traffic lanes along Maroondah Highway.