A new transport plan for Albury-Wodonga pushes for pedestrians to be given top priority with off-street car parking to be encouraged.
The Albury Wodonga Integrated Transport Strategy has been compiled as part of the Two Cities, One Community partnership between the Twin Cities council.
It will be presented to Albury Council's meeting on Monday, September 11, for approval in draft form before public exhibition, pending endorsement from Wodonga Council.
The plan has been compiled after wide feedback that included 13 workshops with stakeholders, an online survey that drew 318 responses and an interactive map that had 657 contributions.
A key theme of the report is making the cities more appealing and safer for pedestrians.
As part of that, it is flagged that "all transport projects" in Albury-Wodonga be subject to a hierarchy that puts pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, public transport, trucks and then cars.
That will be accompanied by a people-centred approach to car parking on thoroughfares.
"To improve vibrancy and vitality in our cities we will encourage off-street parking to allow for street space to be used for other purposes such as outdoor dining," the plan declares.
The report noted Albury Council's 2020-2025 parking strategy found "there is almost one car park for every worker" in the city's central business district and Wodonga's city heart has "a significant oversupply of all-day parking" in some sections, according to a 2018 municipal plan.
The dependency of Twin Cities residents on their cars for travel to work is highlighted in the plan with data showing private vehicle use has increased while public transport, cycling and walking has decreased from 2016 to 2021.
The plan predicts that 94.7 per cent of commuters will drive to work in 2033, with 2.7 per cent walking, 1.0 on public transport and 0.6 cycling.
It has set a target for 2033 of 86.2 driving, 6.0 walking, 4.0 cycling and 3.9 on public transport.
It notes there needs to be major improvements to the Albury-Wodonga bus system in achieving those marks.
Short term priorities in the plan include investigating the creation of a cross-border transport authority which could harmonise public transport services and address fares, routes and scheduling as well as advocating for a review of bus services within the Twin Cities and to satellite towns.
Also in that timeframe is a push for buses to Wodonga railway station and services that align with train services arriving in the Twin Cities.
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