Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Govt rail crossing safety on wrong track for Kingston

Kingston Council says it is encouraged by the State Government’s latest plans for the Parkdale/Mentone Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP), but insists more work needs to be done.

“Council has listened to community feedback regarding the elevated rail solution, however with the Government pushing ahead with this option, it is positive that the new plans include some of the key features of our adopted Urban Design Framework,” the Council said in a statement today.

It says most notable among the design proposals, is the commitment to retain and repurpose the original historic Parkdale Station building, the adoption of the ‘village green concept’, the inclusion of two station entrances (north and south), the extent of landscaping and plantings, and the inclusion of multiple gathering spaces and recreation facilities.

Kingston Mayor, Steve Staikos said Council partnered with the community in developing the Urban Design Framework, with the work at least partly reflected in the latest plans.

“We have had some key wins, but we remain particularly concerned that there are still no plans for a safe pedestrian and cycling crossing over the Nepean Highway to Mordialloc and streetscape upgrades on Como Parade West,” Mayor Staikos said.

“With the very recent announcements by the Government regarding a level-crossing “free” Frankston line, it is critical that the works in Parkdale/Mentone set a new benchmark for elevated rail design solutions in this sensitive village context. The communities of Highett, Mordialloc and Aspendale will be looking very closely at the design solutions the LXRP introduce at Parkdale.”

“The community has been very clear they don’t want to see Parkdale become a commuter station, so the new commuter parking areas within the rail corridor need to be kept at a minimum, and public open space must be the top priority,” Melaleuca Ward Councillor Tim Cochrane said.

“It is good to see the LXRP are listening and undertaking further community consultation, but this project will have a generational bearing on Parkdale and Mentone, so I am strongly encouraging our community to continue to contribute to the process,” Como Ward Councillor Chris Hill said.

Council’s advocacy surrounding this project is based around eight key objectives:
• Sustainability: Create the greenest, most sustainable level crossing removal corridor in
Australia;
• Character: Preserve and enhance Parkdale’s village character;
• Public Realm: Upgrade the surrounding streetscapes;
• The New Station: Optimise the station entrance and platform location;
• Traffic integration: Create integrated intersections and crossings that are attractive and
accessible;

• Car Parking: Optimise carparking provision;
• Heritage: Retain and repurpose heritage structures;
• Active Transport: Create new active transport connections to Mentone, Mordialloc and
beyond.

To coincide with the release of the plans, LXRP have commenced a period of public consultation on Parkdale/Mentone with a design feedback survey open on the Engage Victoria website until 30 October. LXRP will also be running an online information session on Thursday 13 October from 6pm – 7.30pm and nine in person sessions at the Mentone RSL on 18, 19 and 22 October.

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