Freo's View

PIPES FOR FREMANTLE GOING FAST

Posted in cappuccino strip, city of fremantle, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2019

 

Pipes for Freo

 

The Pipes for Fremantle project by the Water Corporation is ahead of schedule and that means the Cappuccino Strip will open this Saturday at the end of business.

Resurfacing is currently happening so the northbound lane remains closed until Saturday evening.

Roel Loopers

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VINTAGE BIKES AND GOOD OLD MEMORIES

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 18, 2019

 

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Arthur Grady Day was on at the Fremantle Maritime Museum this morning with lots of vintage motorcycles, cars and buses.

Arthur Grady was the first person to ride around Australia on a motorbike.

Nice also to bump into Val who has been very involved with the Fremantle Society. She pointed out to me that she used to ride to school on the Kalamunda bus that was on display.

Roel Loopers

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT DECLINE DEMANDS INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, public transport, western australia by freoview on January 21, 2015

The figures reported on-line WA Today on the decline in the use of trains shows that an integrated approach is needed to attract more people to public transport and to attack the huge traffic challenges of the Perth metropolitan region. There is little gain in small local councils like Fremantle stubbornly wanting to minimise motorvehicle traffic and for the State Government to have the Direction 2031 for higher denisty living near public transport corridors and railway stations, when the community is reluctant to use what is provided. The declining public transport figures create even less incentive for the federal and state governments to start paying for public transport infrastructure like lightrail and rapid bus routes, no matter how often the City of Fremantle bleats about it.

According to WAToday there were nearly 740,000 less trips in the five-months period from June to November last year, when compared to the previous years. That is huge!

It matters little if the reasons are overcrowding, safety, comfort, paid parking, not enough parking near stations, or more expensive tickets. Fact is that in the fasted-growing population state fewer people are now using public transport. That is not a trend we want to see continue!

Roel Loopers

PROMISING VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, fremantle ports, victoria quay by freoview on October 9, 2014

The City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee had a first discussion about the just released plans for Victoria Quay by Fremantle Ports. My first impression is that the Ports have listened and taken all the community workshops input into account and the plans are so much better than the two ugly ING boxes proposed years ago that were abandoned due to public pressure.

What we now see is a series of low 4-5 storey buildings with just one higher 10-12 storey building east of Queens Street.

This is an integrated plan and a lot about connectivity between the CBD and the waterfront, with a shift of the busport to the east and a new entry from Queens Street.

There would also be a new railway crossing at Pakenham Street, and Peter Huges Drive in the Port, north of the railway line, would be extended all the way to Cliff Street, which would be an alternative east-west connection to Phillimore Street.

I think these are sensible and acceptable plans that  still require detailed fine-tuning and consideration, but as an overall concept they are positive for Fremantle and to activate Victoria Quay, so well done to Fremantle Ports and consultants CODA for listening so well to the community and all the stakeholders.

On behalf of the Fremantle Society I spoke yesterday against the proposal for a substantial building on Pioneer Park along Short and Pakenham streets and warned that we can not afford to lose more green open space in the inner city, even more so because new development will see many more people using the CBD and they will need green lingering nodes and places for people to relax and children to play.

I pointed out that the City’s desire to activate the reserve was partly to blame on them because they have done little to make the park attractive. For example why is there not a playground near the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre that attracts a lot of kids?

But thinking about it this morning I thought I could envisage a row of 2-3 storey residential townhouses along Short Street being quite attractive and taking up only a small percentage of the green space.

I believe that the City of Fremantle in general needs to better plan public and green spaces, as they do at Subi Centro in Subiaco where the Carter Lane precinct is being promoted as “Green Spaces Galore” and being a “distinctive feature of the precinct.”

There is a bit of ambiguity in the statement that Victoria Quay would have retail that does not undermine retail in the CBD. How is that going to work? The area is designed as a commercial/retail/tourism precinct so that would have cafes, bars and restaurants which would no doubt compete with those along the Cappuccino Strip and elsewhere in the inner city. It’s a silly notion really to believe a new waterfront destination will not attract people away from the CBD. Of course it will, but that is just the way the world works and CBD traders will have to counter act that.

Concerns were raised that there is the opportunity for building heights to go up if they have excellence in design, but that no limit has been set on the additional discretionary height. That is not acceptable and needs to be addressed, and there needs to be a Design Advisory Committee appointed for that and not been left to the discretion of Fremantle Ports.

The idea raised by some Councillors that there could be a “development authority’ for implementing the VQ development is not a bad one as it would bring cohesion to it and deal easier with stakeholders like the Public Transport Authority. This would also take care about a possibility that only the commercially most viable buildings would be built but the public realm neglected.

I am not sure why there would be the need for weather proof access to the train station from the Post Office in Market Street, as Councillor Sullivan keeps talking about. It sounds a bit too much to me as those ugly passage ways they build between school buildings and I can’t see any need for that in a city environment. All over the world one crosses station forecourt squares without being protected from the rain or sun, so why Fremantle needs to have something like it, that will be a visual barrier at Market Street, and needs to be high enough to accommodate buses and trucks, is not something I support. It is a walk that takes two minutes so why we would need protection from the rain and sun I do not understand.

The timeframe and implementation of the plans are crucial I believe. Ideally we would not want VQ commercial office space to compete with that being built at Kings Square, so hopefully Sirona Capital will get a head start and pre-lease the Myer and Queensgate buildings soon and can get started on the development there that is most essential for the re-activation of the inner city.

I am worried about Freo’s short-term future but excited about the long-term one. The modernisation and revitalisation of our city is essential to retain the State’s second city status and it is crucial for our local economy and traders. The entire development of Fremantle though needs to be handled sensitively and the authorities need to insist on high quality and well designed new buildings. Boring bland concret boxes will not do and have to be rejected vehemently.

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL DEBATES BUSES, WIND, MOUNDS AND FERN

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 25, 2012

Full Fremantle council meeting was on Wednesday evening so I duly went along to see what our decisions makers had to say. It was a surprise to see the Liberal candidate for Fremantle, Matthew Hanssen there, so my immediate thought was that he was looking for a back-up plan to stand for council next October if he does not win at the state election in March, but I was wrong. Hanssen was one of three public speakers complaining about FERN at Montreal Street. The group was accused of having created a fire and safety danger with a wall of hay-bales, running an unapproved cafe, allowing illegal camping and overnight stays on the property, being a public nuisance, etc. Matthew Hansen called for the City to terminate FERN’s lease, inappropriately and offensively saying they were “a group of freeloaders constantly causing problems.”  The City is already investigating the issues and will have a meeting with FERN next week.

Councillor Sam Wainwright called for the Mayor to express the city’s disappointment with remarks made by the CEO of Fremantle Ports regarding the proposed windfarm at Rouse Head. Wainwright said the supposed health impact of a windfarm had only been put forward by the CEO who created the Ports own objections rather than them coming from the public or unions. He said council needed to convey that the community supports a windfarm.

There was lengthy debate about the proposed skate park, or Youth Plaza, at the Esplanade and the pros and cons of keeping the mound. This is going to be a substantial 2000 square meter attraction along the railway line near the ferris wheel. While some councillors wanted the mound to stay in the same location others argued that a new mound, or mounds, could be created as part of the Youth Plaza and that keeping the mound in its existing place might constrain the design.

It will be interesting to see if the Youth Plaza will affect future Chilli and Indian festivals on the Esplanade and also the connectivity to Little Creatures as the railway crossing could become obscured by the skate park. I noted that the Skywheel will have to be moved but that they are replacing it with another one anyway, so I hope to find out what that is all about.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton‘s motion to conduct a trial over summer to redirect buses away from the Cappuccino Strip was approved. There are more than 800 bus movements a day there and the roadworks at the strip had greatly reduced traffic noise and fumes and improved the amenity, safety and enjoyment of the strip. Only the CAT bus will be allowed to continue its route. The redirection trial will affect bus rotes 98, 99, 511, 513, 520, 530, 531, 532, 825 and 920. With this decision I hope we are a very small step closer to maybe one day see the Cappuccino Strip as one way traffic only or be closed all together for traffic.

Roel Loopers

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