AN AMBITIOUS project to revitalise tired Bair Street in Leongatha was put out for public comment on Wednesday.
The Bair Street Revitalisation Project Master Plan identifies two options to pursue with grant funding (if forthcoming) when the Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Alternate Route is finalised.
The two options were planned out by consultants in response to comments received from the community during consultations in November and December.
The Bair Street plans will also form part of Leongatha Revitalisation Project.
The town’s Revitalisation Project includes two other key projects:
• Anderson Street town entry upgrade
• Railway site transformation
Planning manager Paul Stampton said the two options took on the community’s feedback, which predominantly called for more greenery and connectivity.
“Both of the options are in line with the principles of the Leongatha Streetscape Master Plan; to guide road and footpath improvements, new landscaping, street furniture and other upgrades to revitalise Bair Street,” Mr Stampton said.
“This project takes advantage of the Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Alternate Route which will divert most heavy vehicle traffic away from Bair Street.”
The two different revitalisation options include:

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Option A
• Provide significant planting along both sides of the street
• Provide planting along a widened (from 1.5m to 4m) central median
• Provide regular crossing points (at 100m maximum intervals) and seating
• Widen footpath (from 4m to 6m) on both sides of Bair Street with picnic tables at the north eastern corner
• Provide angle parking on the western side of Bair Street south of Church Street
• Provide angle parking on the eastern side of Bair Street at the northern end
• Retain parallel parking along the rest of Bair Street
• Provide additional gathering spaces at crossing points and intersections
• Improve safety by creating a T-intersection at Young Street and a large gathering space linking to the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail

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Option B
• Provide significant planting along both sides of the street
• Only retain central median for a short distance at northern end of Bair Street.
• Provide raised pedestrian crossings at regular crossing points (at 100m maximum interval) and seating
• Widen footpath (6-7m) on both sides of Bair Street with picnic tables at the north eastern corner
• Provide angle parking on the western side of Bair Street south of Church Street
• Provide alternating angle and parallel parking along the rest of Bair Street
• Provide additional gathering spaces at crossing points and intersections
• Improve safety by creating a T-intersection at Young Street and a large gathering space linking to the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail
• Modify the taxi rank to provide additional footpath and parking space The draft Master Plan also proposes to:
Along Lyon Street:
• Resurface to provide a flush pavement (flat continuous surface like in Gollers Lane)
• Install in-ground planting along the street
• Reorganise the parking to parallel parking
Along Gollers Lane:
• Resurface the laneway (though not with road bitumen)
• Install tall thin trees and narrow garden beds (e.g. to provide climbing plants) with enough space for delivery trucks to access the lane and pedestrians to get around them
At Horticultural Park:
• Provide a clearer connection between Bair Street and the rail trail – drawing rail trail users into the town centre
• Extend the park by relocating the angle parking slightly to the west
• Provide an upgraded gathering space
• New enlarged play area next to the steps down from Bair Street
The draft Master Plan proposes to create a small park space with additional seating and greenery at Lardner Place and proposes tree planting along Hyland Place in kerb outstands.
The two options are open for two weeks in May.
“… The feedback [will] directly influence the Draft Leongatha Streetscape Master Plan,” Mr Stampton said.
“The community’s input has been instrumental in getting this project to this point; we are confident the two different options provide a positive future for the revitalisation of Leongatha and we look forward to achieving a successful outcome.”