The City of Fremantle has just announced an absolutely brilliant event to activate the inner city and make it more pedestrian friendly and attractive to families. A 315 metre long water slide is the centrepiece of Fremantle’s summer activities that will see the port city’s famous Cappuccino Strip (South Terrace/Market Street) and Essex Street closed to vehicles over four Sundays in December and January.
Slidestreet Fremantle will begin on Sunday 21 December and continue every Sunday until 11 January. Both Essex Street (where the slide will be located) and the Cappuccino Strip will be closed on these days between 3.00 am – midnight.
Several local businesses including The Monk, Sail & Anchor, Benny’s, Grill’d and San Churro will be extending their trading areas into the street and stalls from the Fremantle Markets will be trading on South Terrace. There will also be a kids’ water slide, a climbing wall, a photo booth and sea containers on the strip which will act as change rooms.
To keep people entertained while they wait to slide, there will be a stage outside Benny’s with Fremantle Dockers’ player and musician Luke McPharlin and local favourite Matt Gresham performing an acoustic set on 21 December.
Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said the reaction from the local businesses community has been excellent with businesses getting right behind the concept of closing Cappuccino Strip. “Freo businesses have been very supportive of what we’re doing with most extending their trading areas to activate Cappuccino Strip and we’ll also have lots of other supporting activities and entertainment for people of all ages.”
Another sign has been put up by the City of Fremantle to make us aware that we need to share the Cappuccino Strip between cars and bicycles, but I am not getting it. Why does it need another small sign like this when there are already huge yellow bikes painted on the road and big signs stating it’s a 30 kmh zone along the Cappuccino Strip.
What amazes me even more is that there is no figure showing pedestrians, as there are hundreds more pedestrians using the strip daily and trying to cross it than there are cyclists pedaling along there.
What the hell is the bikes, bikes, bikes mantra all about in this city. Is there a need for some serious counseling of some elected members and staff who appear so remote from reality that they might as well migrate to LaLa Land.
There are still no safe pedestrian crossings at South Terrace and along the Esplanade and that is endangering people especially on busy weekends. But pedestrians and motorists are only third rate citisens in the City of Fremantle where the bicycle fundamentalists rule.
In Subiaco the Council spends $ 4 million on upgrading Rokeby Road, but in Freo all we do is put new bicycles signs up. Yes that will enormously revitalise the economy of this city and retailers will thank Council on their knees for it.
It’s always interesting to see that spin doctors just can’t help themselves and like to distort reality. This artist impression in the West Australian today of the planned development at Victoria Quay in Fremantle port conveniently does not show the two planned commercial office towers and above ground carparks, that will make the area look very different from this low-rise tourism image.
While I strongly support VQ development it is disappointing that it does not include a new tourist attraction like a museum, and a convention and function centre.
The risk is that a hospitality focused VQ will have a severe impact on the Cappuccino Strip and other inner city traders, and many of them might just move to the quay because sitting at the water will be far more attractive to patrons than smelling exhaust fumes from buses and cars.
It is time for the City of Fremantle to pro-actively start making new plans for the Cappuccino Strip so it can compete with the new Victoria Quay.
I have been shaking my head in pure bewilderment since I noticed that some of the planter boxes have been returned to the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip. When I asked on this blog some months ago why they had not been put back there after the festival season was over, Mayor Brad Pettitt replied that an artist would be painting the boxes while they were at the carpark near the Shipwreck Museum and that it would make little sense moving them back and forth. I agree!
But the planters returned to the Strip have not been painted, and if the Freo Dockers should get into the grand final we will no doubt have another great live telecast spectacle on the Cappuccino Strip in two weeks, and that would mean moving the boxes again to make way for the mega screens and thousands of spectators..
It’s no wonder Fremantle residents often criticise the administration for not doing the basic stuff, because this seems a futile exercise, or do the officers responsible for the planters’ journey hope the Dockers won’t make the big day?
I should have known that City of Fremantle director Tom Griffiths and his Economic Development and Marketing Department had been pro-active on the Fremantle Dockers reaching the AFL finals.
The centre of the Cappuccino Strip has been painted all intense purple again and it looks much better than last year.
Tom and his team did the amazing job last year of getting all the big screens into Freo at short notice for the grand final live telecast at Kings Square, the Esplanade and on South Terrace.
I think Fremantle needs to get ready again this year for an AFL Grand Final party. The Fremantle Dockers finished fourth on the ladder and have a double chance making it into the final, so I assume The City of Fremantle will already have booked large screens and projectors on stand-by for the big day.
Last year’s screening on the Cappuccino Strip was one of the biggest parties I have been part of in Freo, so let the fun begin. Go the Dockers!
Now here is an offer too good to reject for all freeoloaders. The new GRILL’D burger bar on the Cappuccino Strip, opposite the Dome Cafe in Fremantle, is giving away burgers as an opening special on Friday between 6 and 9 pm.
Walking by yesterday I noticed they advertise the bar as “Healthy Burgers” something health experts might regard an oxymoron.
Grill’d will be the third burger place on the Strip and probably serious competition for JUS BURGERS and to a lesser extend Hungry Jacks, but it is a very welcome addition to South Terrace, as the vacant shop there had been an eyesore for years.
Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt told the Sunday Times that the Cappuccino Strip could be closed for traffic on weekends and busy week nights, and I believe that would be a very good step to create a true hospitality entertainment lingering space in the CBD.
I disagree with Cappuccino Strip traders spokesman and co-owner of Benny’s Bar&Cafe Ivan Dzeba that Fremantle does not have the population to support the closure. Fremantle does not have the population to support all the cafes and restaurants. They survive because of the mass influx of people out of Fremantle who come on weekends and Friday nights. They wont stay away because they can’t drive through South Terrace, they’ll park at Collie Street, Queensgate, the Esplanade and west end streets, as they do now so nothing will change in that regard.
It is beyond me why a weekend closure of South Terrace can be seen as a threat to cafe operators on the Strip or retailers in the CBD, because there would be no changes to the parking facilities in the area which motorists have to use now as well. All it does is create a cleaner, safer and more attractive environment for people to enjoy a meal and watch buskers and the passing parade of pedestrians, instead of unhealthy, pollution spewing busses and cars. Wouldn’t it be nice if children could safely play while their parents have a coffee on the Strip!
Grumpy old man whinge No 134,978. Why have the planter boxes, that were removed well before the Fremantle Easter Street Art Festival, not been put back on the Cappuccino Strip? They have been parked at the carpark near the Shipwreck Museum for nearly three month now. Budget worries, Freo?