Pomonal residents have voted for their preferred traffic treatment option at the Primary School.
A Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative was formed from community concerns about the high speeds some drivers travelled through Pomonal, with four concepts developed and presented to residents in April.
Work is progressing on the initiative and Ararat chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said residents were asked to vote on the four concepts, with the primary school idea proving the most popular.
Dr Harrison said data collected last year by the Council showed around 25 percent of vehicles travelled through the town at speeds higher than the 60 kilometre per hour limit.
"Although there are plenty of traditional speed signs in Pomonal, drivers are either not noticing them or are ignoring them, which is extremely concerning," he said.
"As a result, it was decided a more innovative approach was needed to give drivers greater visual cues that they are driving through a built-up area and need to slow down."
Ararat Rural City Council received $50,000 from Regional Roads Victoria's Towards Safer Speeds Challenge grant program for the project.
Council surveyed the community and received fantastic ideas about how to tackle the issue, then engaged a landscape architect to develop four concepts that will help these ideas come to life.
Dr Harrison said that with limited funding, the Council could only implement one of the concepts at this stage so the community was asked to vote on their preferred option via email or letter, and at a drop-in session held in April.
However, he said that Council was now seeking more funding in a bid to complete the other three ideas.
The four concepts were around the Pomonal Primary School, Sculptural town entrances, General Store intersection and Pomonal Community Hall.
"The Pomonal Primary School project was the most popular, with the intersection concept coming second, the town entrances third and the Pomonal Community Hall fourth," Dr Harrison said
Pomonal Primary School project includes installing a pedestrian crossing, creating a gathering space for student drop off and pick up, landscaping, widening the footpath and installing public art.
The project is being driven by a group of committed residents including representatives from the Pomonal Primary School and the Pomonal Progress Association.
Dr Harrison said the drop-in session in April was really well attended with around 70 people calling in to view the concepts and vote.
"Those who dropped in included Pomonal Primary School students and it was great to see them come down as a group and take part in the consultation," he said.
"Ararat Rural City Council staff, Regional Roads Victoria, and landscape architect Felicity Brown were all on hand to discuss the concepts, and there were lots of questions and positive discussion around the ideas.
"It was fantastic to see the community come out in force and show their passion and commitment to make their village safer for everyone."
Pomonal Primary School principal Belinda Wethers said the project would be great for the school.
"Not only will it keep the speed down in the area it will enhance the front of the school as well," she said.
"Often we have a number of trucks going past - from the coast to the Stawell landfill where a lot of the coast's rubbish is now transported.
"The trucks cut through Pomonal as a shortcut. Some of those trucks are going way above 60km even though it is only 40km past the school which is quite frightening."
Mrs Wethers said students participate in various activities around the township of Pomonal, which involves walking to different venues.
"The footpath isn't very wide along that area and it can be quite dangerous for the children with speeding cars," she said.
"We walk to the shop every Friday and also do planned activities in the hall.
"When the Western Highway is closed, which has happened a few times recently, cars can be doing up to 80km past the front of the school."
Pomonal resident and mother of children at Pomonal Primary School Sarah Genki said it had been a long wait for something to be done about the traffic near the school.
"I've seen teachers with hi-vis vests telling drivers to slow down," she said.
"The project isn't just about the school, it is about building up the town - rather than just putting in more signage.
"People often don't see signs or miss them. People see community when it is all built up."
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