A master plan to revamp Maitland Park and make the congested area, which is surrounded by five schools, safer was given the tick of approval by council last week. City of Greater Geraldton councillors voted 10-1 to endorse the concept plan to improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion during peak pick-up and drop-off times. The vision includes a busport, covered carpark with solar panels, a central pedestrian promenade and changes to the Carson Terrace intersections at Maitland Street and Cathedral Avenue. The proposal would also see a youth plaza, nature playground, multiuse pavilion, sculpture/botanical trail and education loop, and an arboretum and botanical garden. Cr Bob Hall said the area had been “traffic mayhem” for the 37 years he has lived in Geraldton and was thrilled the first steps were being taken to make it safer. “We’re lucky, thankfully, that no children have every been killed in that area. When you go there, it is frightening,” he said. The only councillor to vote against the matter was Cr Michael Reymond, who failed in a bid to move an alternative motion to send the plan back for review. Cr Reymond said while he accepted there were traffic problems, he did not consider the master plan to be a good or effective design and believed that the consultation had been flawed and subject to vested interests. No other councillor agreed with Cr Reymond. Mayor Shane Van Styn said the area had been a problem for decades and consultation had been held between the council, stakeholders and experts over the past three years. Council also directed staff to submit a funding application under the Commonwealth’s Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program to go towards a detailed design and eventual construction. Information about the project is available on the City’s website.