Vote For Frankston’s Future.
Vibrant Nepean Highway Boulevard Critical To CBD Revival.
The unattractive appearance of the Nepean Highway gateway to Frankston is a major detraction from all that’s great about our city centre.
It looks neglected and unloved. This is a message that local business operators and residents have expressed loud and clear for years.
Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking said revitalising the northern entrance was the key to restoring Frankston’s image. Ms Hosking said our local community overwhelming supported a vibrant Nepean Highway boulevard concept as the city gateway featuring wide footpaths, street furniture including artworks and pop up spaces catering for multiple uses.
Other proposals include restaurants and cafes with outdoor dining, galleries and shops where people like to linger, more paths linking the highway to the foreshore and a dedicated bike lane to complete the ‘missing mile’ of the Bay Trail.
Ms Hosking said the revitalisation would draw families, tourists and locals, while providing a boost for both business and Frankston’s image.
“Imagine a summer’s day with the family at the nearby beach and then strolling up to get an ice cream and later going for an early dinner,” she said.
Ms Hosking said the Nepean Highway entrance was currently marked by derelict and boarded up buildings, narrow footpaths and a lack of parking.
“The vibe is entirely wrong. It’s a terrible look when you drive into Frankston and see boarded-up and empty premises. Our foreshore is stunning but the highway precinct isn’t a place where you would linger for a coffee,” she said. “It’s the first window into Frankston viewed by cyclists and motorists. It’s the gateway for people arriving for Melbourne and as such, it’s fair to say how Nepean Highway looks defines us.”
Ms Hosking said dilapidated buildings in the precinct were attracting squatters and consequently anti social behaviour including vandalism. “The Nepean Highway has been in decline for years and is scaring off visitors and workers. CCTV cameras are a help with safety, but active lively streets are better.”
Ms Hosking said the Committee along with other key organisations including VicRoads, Frankston Council and the State Government’s Revitalisation Board were working on a compelling case to regenerate the gateway.
Ms Hosking said many locals were deeply disappointed that the council and VicRoads did not finalise an agreement on a 2014 plan to improve the Nepean Highway streetscape.
“We now have a chance to fast track this project. We’re calling on election candidates to declare their support for gateway renewal in the lead up to the election,” she said. “Then we want the new council to throw their weight behind the initiative and push hard.”
Ms Hosking said the revitalised Nepean Highway entrance would link with other urban renewal initiatives including a shared pedestrian – cycling path to bring students from Monash University’s Peninsula campus and the new Hospital into our CBD. “Funding of $700,000 for the path was announced last month by Frankston state MP Paul Edbrooke, which is fantastic news,” she said.
The new path will be co-funded with half from the State Government and the remainder from Frankston City Council. Frankston has it all – a vibrant waterfront, top schools that invigorate young minds, striking murals and a thriving arts scene.
There are also relaxing walks and trails, a growing community of staff and students at the Frankston health and higher education precinct, as well as shops with something for everyone. That’s not to mention our compassionate and engaged community.
Ms Hosking said working together with all levels of government including the new Frankston Council to be elected next month, the region’s true potential could be unlocked. “Our new councillors will be in a prime position to make these critical projects happen and drive change.”