Published on 04 November 2020
Mornington Peninsula Shire is ready to open up part of Main Street, Mornington to pedestrians and close it to cars, pending final State Government approval.
The move is part of the Shire’s plan to help Peninsula businesses bounce back from lockdown.
Key commercial areas in other townships will also undergo changes to enable more open-air trading, with traffic speeds slowed and some on-street parking repurposed for outdoor dining.
The Shire has worked closely with local business and community groups to develop the plan, which will help local shops, cafes and restaurants stay viable and the public stay safe under the State Government’s COVID-safe regulations.
Mornington’s Main Street between Barkly Street and the Esplanade will be opened up to pedestrians and bike riders and closed to cars from as early as this week. Traffic will be diverted around the ring roads to the car parks either side of Main Street, with disabled parking and bus stops relocated to the closest suitable locations.
Traffic management measures are also now in place around Mount Eliza and Sorrento. Other towns are to follow in the coming weeks. This includes lowered speed limits, crucial to ensuring the safety of shoppers and diners.
To accommodate extended outdoor dining, a small amount of street furniture such as benches and bins have been removed from some townships.
Shire CEO John Baker said: “Our number one priority right now is supporting our local businesses to ensure our economy stays vibrant and strong.”
“Opening up some of our key shopping streets to open-air retail and dining will inevitably mean slightly fewer parking spaces. But it’s vital we do this to support our local businesses.
“This will create more space to allow people to move around and keep at a safe social distance, building confidence for visitors and locals to return to our shopping strips.
“You might have to drive a little slower and park a little further away to enjoy your favourite shops, cafes and restaurants this summer but it’s a small price to pay to keep our village centres alive. And people who need to access disabled parking will still be able to do so.
“I urge everyone in our community to slow down, walk a bit more or hop on your bike, dine alfresco, support local and re-connect over summer.”
For more information visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/outdoordining