26 October 2017

Devlin Spender on his BMX

New pedestrian crossings will be installed at a busy intersection next year to provide quicker and safer access between the Ross Reserve skate park, Noble Park train station, and the Ian Street shops.

Plans to signalise the intersection of Heatherton Road, Memorial Drive and Mons Parade have been confirmed by the Level Crossing Removal Authority, with lights and signals to be installed next year.

Project Director Brett Summers said the upgrade would also make it easier for motorists to move in and out of Mons Parade, and were part of a raft of measures to improve Noble Park’s liveability and amenity.

“At the moment the suburb can seem pretty disjointed in terms of walking or driving routes,” he said.

All three level crossings in Noble Park are being removed, with a new rail bridge set to take trains over Heatherton, Chandler and Corrigan Roads.

With existing ground level train line cutting the shopping precinct in two, raising the line will immediately connect the Ian Street and Douglas Street shopping strips, while making way for new parkland and pathways.

With the Noble Park Skate Park expected to grow in popularity in line with the area’s growth, better pedestrian links across Mons Parade will help improve safety for locals – especially kids and teens.

“The bigger picture is that at the end of this project there will be a new 17-kilometre walking and cycling trail stretching all the way from Yarraman to Caulfield,” Mr Summers said.

“With that in mind we want to make it as easy as possible for people to head off that trail and have safe, direct access to the skate park and nearby residential areas.”

The inclusion of dedicated bike signals at the traffic lights means cyclists will be able to travel up the trail and across the intersection without dismounting.

Devlin Spender lives in Berwick and regularly travels up to the Noble Park skate park.

He says it’s “awesome” that crossing through to the skate park will be made easier with the added bonus of a new bike trail where train tracks are now.

“Noble Park is one of the best built up skate parks around,” he said.

“There’s always a problem crossing the main road, either way you come it is a hassle to cross.”

Over 2000 vehicles now pass through the intersection in each one-hour morning peak, and more traffic modelling will be completed after the level crossing is removed.

An existing pedestrian crossing further east across Heatherton Road will be removed in favour of a more direct route directly across the intersection.

Meanwhile Devlin says anything that reduce the temptation to cross illegally was a good thing. “The safer for all of us the better,” he says.