Green roads give kids room to play

ROADS will become parks as Vincent council looks to expand the amount of green space for the city’s ever increasing population.

The council is consulting with locals around Hyde Street Reserve on the “Roads to Parks” project, which would see the reserve extended out onto Hyde Street between Alma Road and Forrest Street.

That chunk of road only sees about 128 cars a day and council techies reckon the redistributed traffic onto other streets would be “negligible,” and the nearby houses have access from either Forrest Street or Alma Road, so no driveways will be blocked.

• Vincent mayor Emma Cole enjoys a bit of roadside sports with Rasmus and Aliza Moerch.  Photo by Steve Grant

Hyde Street Reserve had some upgrades over the last couple of years, involving getting rid of the shabby old asbestos fence, putting in a new swingset, and new trees and shrubs.

But some locals were miffed that the small patch of turf was turned into mulch in an effort to reduce water use.

It was only a little patch of grass, but families had enjoyed having a bit of turf for picnics.

Roads to Parks will give them more space and reintroduce some turfed area, and add more park furniture and waterwise native plants.

The council’s currently going out to community consultation with nearby locals and if people like the plan, the city’s flagged $120,000 on the budget to get it done.

Rasmus Moerch lives across the road from the Hyde Street Reserve and says taking over the road will create some space to give his nine-year-old daughter Aliza somewhere to play.

Mr Moerch says when the council upgraded the reserve’s playground and replaced the grass with mulch and waterwise plants, it took away a much-needed space.

“When there was lawn there were picnics and all these mothers’ groups would come down, but that’s all stopped now, Mr Moerch told the Voice.

He says the playground equipment’s a bit babyish for his daughter now, so despite being across the road from the park she’s not really been able to use it.

“It’s fantastic to see more green spaces, especially now when you have that debate on what makes green and usable spaces,” Mr Moerch said.

by STEVE GRANT and DAVID BELL

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