Taking additional strides towards a more walkable City

Published on 05 June 2023

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Increased urban greening, more public toilets, water fountains, seating, wayfinding, and better upkeep of footpaths are among proposed actions to get more people walking more often in the City of Maribyrnong.

They support five key objectives outlined in a new Draft Walking Strategy, which aims to improve pedestrian access and accessibility to locations and facilities in Maribyrnong.

The document has been informed, in part, by comments from over 800 residents during an initial conversation earlier this year to discover when, where and why people are walking, how often, and the barriers that stop them walking or walking more often.

The vast majority (more than 70% of respondents) told us they walk daily, either for recreation or to get places – but a lack of canopy cover and poor infrastructure, along with safety concerns in relation to proximity to traffic and particularly trucks, were also cited as reasons some people don’t walk, or don’t walk more often.

Improving canopy cover, pedestrian infrastructure and safety, particularly on routes that bring walkers into close contact with high volumes of traffic, were among the key things respondents felt Council could do to make walking more enjoyable.

Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, said Council recognises as our population continues to grow, the need for safe, accessible, pedestrian links, is becoming even more critical for both our community and environment health and well-being.

“Walking not only provides low cost access to jobs, services, education and local businesses, it also has the potential to significantly improve the physical and mental health of our residents. Encouraging our community to ‘get their steps up’ will also reduce our dependency on cars as a primary means of transport, supporting our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040,” Mayor Carter said.

“Providing the best possible pedestrian infrastructure also means ensuring our network is both safe and accessible,” Mayor Carter added.

The Draft Walking Strategy also details a range of partnership and advocacy opportunities for Council to pursue to improve linkages to public transport and pedestrian infrastructure near state-owned roads.

It is complemented by existing actions outlined in other plans and strategies including the Council Plan, Disability Action Plan, Road Safety Plan, and Festivals and Activation Framework.

To read the Draft Walking Strategy and share your thoughts online, or find details of ‘walk and talk’ events to discuss the proposed actions with us in-person, visit yourcityyourvoice.com.au/walking

Feedback closes midnight, Sunday 2 July 2023.

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