Freo's View

HARMLESS PARCEL CLOSES FREMANTLE RAILWAY STATION

 

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The Fremantle railway station was closed for over two hours from 8am this morning when PTA transit guards found a suspicious package and the bomb squad was called in.

Traffic along Phillimore Street was diverted and some train and bus commuters experienced delays.

The parcel turned out to be harmless.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE TRAIN LINE NOT POPULAR

 

It is surprising to hear that passenger numbers on the Fremantle train line have again declined, with the seventh consecutive decline in 2018.

The number of passengers on the Fremantle-Perth line was down by 290,000 journeys last year.

This puts into question how realistic Fremantle Council is about pushing for light rail in the Fremantle area, when the existing rail services from Fremantle to Perth, Armadale, Joondalup, Midland and Rockingham are not popular with Freo commuters, and the numbers have been declining for seven long years now.

What needs to be done now by the State Government is to find out what the reasons are for the decline in people using the Freo line and maybe the City of Fremantle can also do a survey.

I know that many Fremantle residents drive to the Murdoch station to hop on the train, so that will be one of the reasons for the declining numbers from the Fremantle train station.

Roel Loopers

CAR SHARING A VIABLE FREMANTLE OPTION?

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on March 10, 2018

The City of Fremantle is investigating the likelihood of success-or not- for a car share project , with a consultant report going to the FPOL Committee of Council this coming Wednesday

Here some excerpts of the agenda item:

The report findings suggest that for a car share operator to be successful in Fremantle, support from Council is critical. Recommended support includes the use of car share vehicles in preference to fleet vehicles, and the provision of free car share parking bays.

The report suggests that Council seek Expressions of Interest to gauge the willingness of car share operators to enter the Fremantle market, and to determine the most appropriate applicant.

Fremantle Council adopted a specific Car Share policy in 2014. This indicated its intention to undertake a 2 year trial to facilitate car share scheme/s in Fremantle, the support the City was willing to offer operators, and the requirements it had of operators in return for this support. Uptake during the trial period has, however, been limited. Conversely, the prevalence of car share schemes, nationally, has increased, with these now successfully operating Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Car share services are most relevant to non-car owners or any owner of a low use vehicle (> 5000km per year). Car share operators own, service and clean vehicles, and customers pay to hire the cars on an hourly basis, returning them to the same pick up location. The hourly cost usually covers petrol, servicing and repairs, and some level of insurance. Public benefits from car share services include financial benefits (lower costs associated with having access to a vehicle), easier parking options, reduced congestion and improved urban amenity. Owners of a low use vehicle may choose to sell their vehicle and opt to use car share instead. Research indicates that one car share vehicle usually reflects a net reduction of nine vehicles.

Operators are likely to be cautious about developing a car share network in Fremantle due to the relatively low population and job density, generous parking permit controls for residents and availability of parking for business vehicles, all of which may reduce demand for the scheme and so undermine its viability. Reasons to be optimistic include that 13% of households do not own a private vehicle, which is relatively high, a large number of residents (2200) commute without a car, and CAT bus routes can provide free transport to the initial car share locations.

Commercial car share schemes are unlikely to be successful in Fremantle unless proactively supported by Council through:

staff use of car share vehicles as an alternative to fleet vehicles,

provision of parking bays for car share vehicles,

widespread promotion of the service, and

encouraging other large local organisations (such as Notre Dame, Fremantle Hospital) to use the services.

One has to wonder how long such a car share scheme would last with the probability of autonomous driverless cars on our roads within the next five years. Council should take that into account before committing to car share. A survey among residents would also reveal how many of us would be likely to use car share arrangements.

Roel Loopers

PUBLIC TRANSPORT PRIORITY FOR SOUTHERN CORRIDOR

Posted in city of cockburn, city of fremantle, public transport, western australia by freoview on June 10, 2016

Looking at all the development and planned development along the coast just south of Fremantle I wonder what plans the WA State Government has for public transport in the area, as the high number of new residents there, who will  commute to work, will have a substantial impact on Fremantle roads in the near future.

Cockburn Road and Hampton Road are already congested during peak hours and new commuters using those roads will make that worse. South Fremantle is already suffering from too many vehicles using Douro Road, South Terrace and Marine Parade, so good public transport strategies need to be in place well before all the new residents move in. Rapid bus or lightrail along that corridor would be great and could connect central Fremantle to central Cockburn, so maybe it is time for the two cities to start collaborating and planning for this together.

Recent figures show that substantially fewer people use public transport and more and more the freeways and other roads to commute to and from work, so long-term efficient transport planning should be a priority for this part of the metropolitan area.

In many European cities public transport is often in place well before housing development starts, and trams and busses are running when people move in. We should follow that example and not plan public transport as an after thought.

Roel Loopers

INFILL AND DECENTRALISATION NECESSARY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, fremantle, western australia by freoview on June 7, 2016

Fremantle Council has approved a Diverse Housing Engagement Plan to help the City better understand the community’s views on the future choices of housing in Fremantle and to explain the need for more diverse housing and what it means for everyone.

The project will explore the challenges that exist between the need for smaller infill housing types versus the need to retain the character of existing areas. It will also look at community perceptions around smaller housing options versus more traditional larger housing types in Fremantle.

The engagement is expected to include roadshow events presenting concepts for smaller dwellings, a design workshop to explore new housing ideas and walking/bus tours showcasing innovative and diverse developments. A survey to gauge people’s understanding of what diverse housing means and their preferences for the future of housing in Fremantle will also be undertaken.

Information gained will be used to refine the City’s guiding principles for diverse housing before a more formal planning framework is developed.

Council considers it of value to gain the community’s input into the diverse housing project prior to undertaking the statutory planning process.

The community engagement plan is expected to run from September to December 2016 and will focus on the purpose/reasons for the project from a local perspective as opposed to a metropolitan or state perspective.

The engagement activities are subject to the final adoption of the 2016/17 budget by council.

I believe it is essential to stress that infill does not mean highrise and suburban infill can be achieved with buildings of maximum four storeys, as the City of Fremantle wants to do along South Street and in the Hilton centre.

A recent report by the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre found that most people who commute to work want to work closer to home, ideally within walking distance or a short ten-minute drive.

Housing infill is good but there needs to be more active support from governments and organisations to decentralise and move offices to the outer suburbs, so that people have to commute less to Perth.

After the disaster on the East coast on the weekend one also has to wonder how long governments will permit new houses to be built close to the coast. There is no doubt that global warming will impact on buildings near the coast and rivers so who will pay for it when houses are destroyed? Will insurances cover this or will governments become liable for having approved houses in areas that will become flooded and eroded? Does the City of Fremantle has a policy on this?

Roel Loopers

EMPLOYMENT, COMMUTING AND DECENTRALISATION

Posted in committee for perth, employment, fremantle, western australia by freoview on May 16, 2016

The latest FACTBase 48 Bulletin by the Committee for Perth, called The Impacts of Employment Decentralisation on Commuting, examines the impacts of employment decentralisation and types of spatial organisation on commuting distances, patterns and travel times.

Some interesting points about Perth are that “The proportion of employees that have access to the CBD within a 45 minute drive commute is highest in Perth (93%) and Brisbane (54%), followed by Melbourne (45%) and Sydney (23%).

Access to the CBD within a 60 minute public transport commute is also highest in Perth (58%), followed by Brisbane (42%), Sydney (37%) and Melbourne (34%).

However in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, accessibility to employment by public transport and car is lowest for residents in outer suburbs where, in some locations, the share of jobs that can be accessed within 60 minutes by public transport falls below 1%.

The report found that decentralising metropolitan jobs from CBD and inner locations to middle and outer locations is promoted by planning and transport policy, with the primary aim of decreasing the distance between where people live and work.

In some decentralised regions, employment decentralisation appears to increase average commute distances. This is thought to be because dispersing jobs over a large spatial area can increase the total possible distance between where people live and work, thereby increasing the potential for excess commuting.

 

 

 

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WHY WAS BRIDGE DAMAGE NOT DISCOVERED EARLIER?

Posted in city of fremantle, state government, western australia by freoview on May 2, 2016

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There was already a huge traffic jam on Sunday at 1 o’clock at the Fremantle traffic bridges because the old one was suddenly closed on Friday by the Mainroads Department, so one can just imagine the chaos this morning during rush hour and again tonight.

We have to ask why there needed to be an emergency closure of the bridge when workers have been there for nearly a year. Why was it discovered only now that one of the foundation piers has erosion and is damaged to the point that it endangers life? Should the bridges not be checked regularly for that? Water, salt and wind, so erosion surely is something to be expected and is not at all unusual.

It sounds pretty incompetent to me that we have a sudden closure and emergency repairs, because if it is this serious Mainroads has been neglecent  in their duties and quite clearly not done regular inspections of the foundations. That is not acceptable when thousands of vehicles and people cross that bridge daily.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE CLOSED

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, TRAFFIC by freoview on April 30, 2016

 

The Mainroads Department last night closed the old Fremantle traffic bridge for at least a week as a safety precaution after erosion was found at one of the foundation piers of the bridge. No doubt there will be bad traffic congestions next week especially during the rush hours, so don’t go anywhere near it!

Work had been done to strengthen the bridge and make it safer over the last months, with new fenders installed at water level to prevent boats from running into the bridge.

This is a very interesting development in light of the statement by State Government that there would be no need to build Stage 3 of the Perth Freight Link for another ten years and that the two bridges would remain the only river crossings. What now?

Roel Loopers

DECENTRALISATION NOT SUCCESSFUL IN PERTH

Posted in fremantle, perth, planning by freoview on March 4, 2016

The FACTBase reports by the Committee for Perth are always interesting reading and the latest one on the failure of decentralisation is another one worth reading.

CfP concludes that despite many strategic activity centres being created for decades, the City of Perth still remains the number one destination for workers. More than 123,000 people commute to Perth daily.

The objective of getting people to work closer to home has not been achieved the Committee for Perth said, and there is a disparity between the number of jobs on offer and the number of workers in areas such as Cockburn, Melville and Rockingham in the southern suburbs, as well as Joondalup, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells.

Committee for Perth CEO Marion Fulker said that “Interestingly, many of the people who are commuting to work are actually living in or near strategic development centres.”

The strategic metropolitan centres are Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Joondalup, Armadale, Midland, Morley, Cannington, Stirling.

We in Fremantle have been waiting for years for the State Government to move departments here to help restart the economy and help Freo to become an activity hub with many more office workers coming to work here and hopefully relocating and becoming residents of Fremantle.

Traffic congestion during peak hours is becoming worse and worse and people reject public transport because of over-crowded trains and busses, so decentralised activity hubs that offer real job opportunities are very important for the future of the Perth metropolitan area that is rapidly growing, but not coping with the population boom.

Roel Loopers

WIDEN YOUR HORIZON AT THE SWAN RIVER MARKETS

Posted in fremantle, perth, swan river community markets by freoview on October 23, 2015

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Since I am involved with the SWAN RIVER COMMUNITY MARKETS at the Perth Belltower I am going to promote it now and then here on Freo’s View in the hope to entice some of my readers to make the epic journey across the mighty Swan into the big smoke.

The markets is on again tomorrow from 8 am till 1 pm and there is also the inaugural Bonjour French festival in Langley Park, so you could combine both events and make it a day out.

It will also give you the opportunity to check out the quite spectacular Elizabeth Quay development!

Take the train from the Murdoch train station to the Esplanade or from the Fremantle train station to Perth, or for the more adventurous drive to South Perth and hop on the ferry to Barrack Street. It will be fun!

Roel Loopers

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