TORQUAY’S Bell Street and The Esplanade are safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists thanks to a joint efforts from the Surf Coast Shire Council and the Traffic and Accident Commission (TAC).
Traffic changes to the tourist hotspot have been implemented in preparation for the region’s peak season.
Six new zebra crossings, including additional lighting for some, have been installed in addition to a big 20km per hour speed limit shift, which has dropped from 60km per hour down to 40km per hour.
The area is popular for cyclists and the council acknowledged this by widening the cycling lanes.
The bike lanes running through intersections have been coloured green highlight to remind road uses of the increased danger level.
John Bertoldi, the acting general manager of governance and infrastructure said the response from the community so far had been positive.
“Feedback from community members including business operators has been very positive, with people appreciating the safer road zones, heightening driver awareness of cyclists and pedestrians,” he said.
“People have also appreciated the aesthetics of the work.”
He said the changes were made to elevate the awareness of pedestrians in that very popular area as the population of Torquay doubles in size during the summer months.
“The changes were designed to create a safer precinct for all road users, and to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, rather than vehicles.
The TAC provided a grant of $99,000 for the project through its Local Government Grant Program. The project was $198,000 in total, requiring the Council to match the grant to complete the project.