Lavington's boulevard of broken dreams

LAVINGTON traders and business people are still waiting for a pedestrian-friendly boulevard to be created on Wagga Road — seven years after the Albury Council promised it.

No one expected work to start immediately after the Hume Highway “moved” to the freeway in March, 2007, but the traders did think the plans the council showed them would be a reality.

Several people with businesses on Wagga Road between the fiveways and McDonald Road protested yesterday that the council had let them down.

Northside Chamber of Commerce last month voted to ask the council to switch $300,000 allocated to a third upgrade of Griffith Road this year to Wagga Road instead.

Deborah Palmer, who owns the Kava coffee bar in the Doctors at Lavington complex, agrees.

She said several businesses like hers had set up in Wagga Road after being told of the council’s boulevard plan.

“Council officers actually sat down and showed the plan for trees and angle parking.

“It was also on the council’s website until recently, but now it isn’t even in their four-year plan.”

That means it could be 2017 before anything substantial happened, 10 years after the freeway took most of the heavy traffic away from Wagga Road and Mate Street, North Albury.

While Mate Street was upgraded last year, little has been done on Wagga Road except for some central medians bereft of any landscaping.

Siesta motel owner Stephen Jones was disappointed the council had failed to fund any upgrade of Wagga Road.

“There are a lot of good sites that could be developed along Wagga Road but it needs a lift to attract investment,” Mr Jones said.

“The McDonald Road intersection also needs attention — it is a death trap.”

Alex Falconer, who established the Face Clinic at Lavington two years ago, said angle parking would help ease the parking difficulties experienced by clients visiting businesses.

Doctors at Lavington’s practice manager Jodie Dennis and colleague Dr Navindra Madawala agreed that parking was an issue.

“The road also needs to be made safer for people crossing from the UPA village,” Dr Madawala said.

Sommers Flooring Xtra’s Michell Washington said angle parking would make a big difference in supporting businesses and would slow down traffic.

“There have been lots of promises but nothing happens,” she said.

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