Freo's View

FREMANTLE LIGHTRAIL NOT A PIPE DREAM

Posted in city of fremantle, lightrail, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on June 25, 2017

 

How nice to hear local councils in the Fremantle area working together for a change, instead of viewing each other as competition.

They could not agree on local government reform, council amalgamations and the Roe 8 highway, but now the South West Group of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville, Kwinana, East Fremantle and Rockingham are planning ahead together for light rail, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times.

A Fremantle to Murdoch lightrail corridor is a high priority according to the report, but also a loop with Rockingham and the coast.

There is no doubt in my opinion that lightrail from Fremantle to Rockingham would be used extensively by locals and tourists alike and connect the two cities.

The South West Group report also considers lightrail from Fremantle to Canning Bridge and linking Cockburn and Fremantle.

Long-term planning by local councils for lightrail and traffic corridors is essential to pin point where new residential and commercial development should be encouraged so that planing schemes can be introduced to accommodate that.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Sunday Times that local councils had a role to play in planning transit systems as they would need to rezone areas for transport hubs.

Lightrail has been on Fremantle’s wish list for a long time but low residential figures make it difficult to build a sound business case for it. However the development boom in Fremantle and Cockburn and along to coast to Rockingham is starting to make lightrail a very good option for the not too distant future, and we need to plan for that now.

Roel Loopers

 

CLASHING FREMANTLE EVENTS VERY FRUSTRATING!

Posted in art, artists, city of fremantle, community, fremantle, parking, students, transport, western australia by freoview on September 6, 2016

One of the most annoying and frustrating issues for me in Fremantle is the lack of coordination of community events, as we miss out on good ones because they happen at the same day and at the same time.

The Fremantle Network has talks every first Tuesday of each month and there is Council involvement there, so why does Councillor Jon Strachan has an event exactly at the same time today?

The Fremantle Network at 6 pm today upstairs at the National Hotel presents speakers from Core Fremantle and Hot Soup which occupy space at the Queensgate building at Kings Square. They will be talking about the role of emerging artists and students in the ecology of the city.

At the same time today at 6 pm at The Meeting Place in South Fremantle Jon Strachan will tackle the challenging topic of Sustainable Transport and Parking in Fremantle and the big picture of emerging social and transport trends in Perth.

I want to go to both events, but that is not possible, so why on earth do we not coordinate events in Fremantle better? I suggested years ago for the City of Fremantle to set up a register where people can lodge their events, so they are aware of other events that might clash with theirs.

I am always extremely keen to hear the ideas and visions of the younger generations, but am also very interested in the traffic issues in and around Fremantle. Where to go?

Roel Loopers

FUTURE TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE AHEAD

Posted in freight, fremantle, transport by freoview on July 9, 2015

The lecture PERTH FREIGH LINK: making the right investment in Perth’s freight task, by transport and sustainability expert Professor Peter Newman at the Fremantle Townhall on July 14, 6-7 pm becomes even more interesting in context to the just released report by the Federal Infrastructure Department.

The report confirms a “substantial growth” of Fremantle Port of up to 5.5 per cent over the past decade, and it states that the biggest issue is transport around our cities.

The number of passenger vehicle kilometres travelled on Perth roads grew five times over the past ten years to 16.2 billion kilometres, and Perth has the biggest increase in traffic delays of all Australian cities. It took 31 seconds longer to drive one kilometre over the last decade.

With the population of Perth estimated to grow to up to 5,5 million residents transport and congestion issues will only get worse with the Federal Infrastructure Department reports saying that investment will need to be made to improve road, rail, bike paths, public transport, ports and airports, but that funding to build all the necessary infrastructure won’t be available. That will create a huge headache for future generations and governments, so prioritising funding for essential infrastructure should be demanded by voters at the next state and federal elections.

Roel Loopers

MORE TRAINS TO FREMANTLE PORTS

Posted in fremantle, port, transport by freoview on March 13, 2015

Workers have been upgrading the railway line in the west of Fremantle and told me this morning that is to accommodate an increase of trains along there. This will be good news for the Road2Rail mob in the east of the city but west end residents might not be of that opinion.

There is no doubt that we need fewer trucks on the roads driving containers to and from Fremantle Ports and I doubt there are on average more than six cargo trains a day, so that’s not a big inconvenience.

Roel Loopers

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LACK OF CREATIVITY FOR THE FUTURE OF FREMANTLE

The first sitting of the all new City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee was a rather strange one that made me wonder why it was public. This was more a brain-storming session between councillors, officers and CODA consultant Kieran Wong, with the Director of Planning and Development Services Phil St John sometimes rallying the subdued group like an AFL footy coach, to stay focused and come up with big picture thinking, concepts and vision. “We want to put together a vision of your ideas”

I understand council wants to be seen to be transparent and inclusive but this committee could well be held in-camera rather than public and only three people plus me were in the gallery with not even the local newspapers bothering to turn up.

The other strange thing is that the committee was there to talk about the Activity Centre Vision Plan,but although it is mentioned in the agenda that the consultant for Visioning 2029 had documented the workshops, no report was tabled or attached and the lengthy and costly community process was not mentioned. That to me is putting the cart before the horse. Why start another visioning project when we have not even evaluated the one we did last year?

Should two-way traffic everywhere, or in the West End, be considered and what would that mean? First of all it would mean a substantial loss of parking bays to the detriment of the businesses in the area, as Councillor Simon Naber rightly pointed out.

There was also the suggestion to make future new parking only available on the periphery and discourage private vehicle traffic through the CBD because we only want people driving in the CBD who have that as their destination. That however would not work by forcing people to park on the periphery who have the CBD as their shopping/business/entertainment destination. That needs a lot of rethinking.

The reactivation of the Passenger Terminal came up, but with Fremantle Ports having recently spend millions on refurbishing it, I doubt it will become a public space any time soon.

There is hope for Arthur Head with Chair Rachel Pemberton mentioning the “anticipated boardwalk” there. Bring it on asap!

The strangely low-energy meeting talked about connectivity, sightlines, connection through the convict establishment, and having more events at Fremantle Oval to take the stress off the heavily-used Esplanade. The latter is a good idea and the oval might even be suitable as an occasional outdoor live music area for Sunset Events when they take over the Artillery Drill Hall from the Fly by Night.

Share, or naked, streets were obviously also on the agenda as that is one of the buzzwords around the western world and placemaking fraternity, and I am all for it as long as it is done sensibly and not to the detriment of local businesses.

Of course more and better bicycle links were discussed, and preferred transit corridors, as was a lightrail loop, a fast transit bus to the airport, and CAT bus connection from North to East Freo.

What did not come up and should be part of any strategic plan for Fremante is to find alternative off-street parking for Notre Dame University students, because the West End is a no go zone to try to find parking for shoppers and visitors when the students are attending campus. Dare I suggest the corner of Cliff and High for a low-rise creative UNDA carpark, without upsetting all my heritage friends.

Councillor Bill Massie asked why the City spend so much money on bike lanes when only a very small, less than five percent, of the population uses bikes. I think that went straight one ear in one ear out with some of the green pipe dreamers on council, who refuse to be realistic that cars will remain the preferred form of transport for the majority of the population for a very long time.

Lowering vehicle speed is obviously essential if the shared streets idea takes off.

While Bill Massie said we need as many vehicles in the city as possible because businesses are bleeding, Robert Fittock said that business who relied on vehicles should change strategy. I don’t believe the debate should be about vehicles or not vehicles, but how Fremantle can make it fast and easy for people to come to the inner city by all forms of transport and accommodate parking in a walking distance from the shops.

Did I get inspired last eve and did I have the wow feeling of having listened to great ideas, outstanding concepts and something new and fresh? Not at all. There was a lack of creative, out of the box thinking, trodding over old ground and rehashing old placemaking sessions. I had a real sense of deja vu, of having been there before, a council ground hog day. I think the Director would have been pretty disappointed with the lack of substance he will now have to work with.

Roel Loopers

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