Business and residents have welcomed a Labor pledge to build new footpaths and parking areas in Pialligo, and investigate traffic-calming measures in the rural enclave if the Barr Government is returned on 17 October.
The government says it will upgrade infrastructure in the popular garden and nursery precinct near the airport as part of its economic recovery plan for the ACT, and has been working with the community to design infrastructure that will meet the needs of local businesses and visitors.
The plan includes new footpaths along Beltana Road, landscaping to align with the rural nature of the area as well as acknowledging the nature of local businesses, including garden centres, and formalised parking.
Also planned is a new left in/left out intersection with Pialligo Avenue at the corner of Beltana and Kallaroo Roads, and an investigation into traffic-calming measures on Beltana Road.
Bliss Garden and Giftware owner Iain Eaton was pleased that Pialligo would be getting some attention as it was a destination not just for locals but visitors from NSW as well.
”I know we’ve got our national institutions which are tourist attractions, but I know that people come to Pialligo from Sydney and country NSW,” he said.
”It’s such a unique type of street with all the orchards and cafes and nurseries, people will literally do a day here and they’ll come from far and wide.”
He said visitors usually walk along Beltana Road from business to business so new footpaths would be a good thing.
Parking could be a bit ramshackle so formalising the situation was also welcome, although he would prefer 90-degree parking rather than parallel parking so more customers could fit in, “but if they do up the road nicely and it becomes easier to park that’s definitely a positive”, Mr Eaton said.
He is also pleased that traffic-calming measures such as narrowing the road were on the agenda, mainly because of the danger caused by trucks travelling too fast.
Mr Eaton has already lobbied successfully for a speed bump on Beltana Road near his business.
Pialligo Residents Association president Bob Ross said that as Pialligo had grown the increase in traffic and trucks was making life difficult for pedestrians and creating safety issues.
He said it was a really good concept to change the way the road looks and functions while retaining the rural character of the suburb, as required by the Pialligo Master Plan.
”If we don’t have the road functioning so it’s supportive for pedestrians and traffic then we’ve got a problem.”
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr said the planned work would support an area of the ACT that was becoming increasingly popular with visitors.
“We all know that Pialligo is a popular destination for locals and residents in the Canberra region, but it’s also somewhere Canberrans bring friends and family from around the country,” Mr Barr said.
“Our local tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a re-elected Labor Government will continue to support the sector as part of our Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan.”
The Pialligo Master Plan was released in 2013.