Freo's View

ILLEGAL FREMANTLE PEDESTRIAN ACCESS CLOSURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, community, local government, pedestrians, Uncategorized by freoview on December 29, 2018

 

 

The City of Fremantle has not received permission from the WA Planning Commission to close the Pedestrian Access Way-PAW between Kellow Place and Swanbourne Street, but the PAW has remained closed, disregarding the WAPC’s direction.

Fremantle Council decided on July 26 last year to grant a temporary trial closure of one year after an application had been made for the closure on December 1, 2014.

The My Say Freo residents’ survey resulted in two submissions by local residents presented to Council, one to re-open the PAW with 22 signatures and one to keep the PAW closed with 13 signatures, but in October this year Fremantle Council decided to keep the PAW closed anyway, despite the directive from the WAPC, and asked officers to start negotiating with the state agency to see if they would change their opinion.

Local residents who are for keeping the PAW open received a letter from David Caddy, the Chair of the WAPC, dated November 21, 2018, which states that “……insufficient evidence exists at this point in time to warrant the closure. The proposed closure is not supported.”

David Caddy also wrote “Should the City of Fremantle decide to proceed with the closure and seek revised recommendation from the WAPC, then further justification will need to be provided to support the City’s position.”

Residents who want the PAW open rightly ask why the City of Fremantle keeps the PAW closed although it has not received permission to do so, which means the PAW has now been illegally closed for pedestrian access since the trial period finished six months ago.

One of the property owners who applied for the PAW closure has extended his brush fence across the entries to the PAW.

Roel Loopers

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HILTON TOWN CENTRE PARTY!

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 22, 2018

 

Nov 23 Hilton town party

 

The Hilton Town Centre Party is on tomorrow, Friday November 23 from 3-5pm so come and enjoy the fun!

It is about celebrating the new look of the town centre which also hopes to have created a safer environment for pedestrians.

Roel Loopers

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FINALLY ZEBRA CROSSINGS FOR MARINE TERRACE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, pedestrians, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2018

 

It is long overdue, and something that I have called for for many years, but we are finally getting pedestrian zebra crossings on Marine Terrace in Fremantle, which is a nightmare to cross, especially on weekends.

Main Roads have approved that the City of Fremantle make the raised plateaus at Essex and Collie streets into proper zebra crossings to make crossing the busy road from the CBD to the Fishing Boat Harbour and vv. much safer.

However a lighting audit has found that the lighting at the crossings is not up to Australian standards and needs to be improved at a total cost of $ 60,000 to the City.

The Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee will on Wednesday decide if Council will want to invest that money to get the safer crossings.

Roel Loopers

HAMPTON ROAD CROSSING STATUS QUO

Posted in children, city of fremantle, local government, pedestrians, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on October 11, 2018

 

I can’t even remember how many Fremantle Council sessions, and community information sessions, and South Fremantle Precinct meetings, I have attended that discussed the dangers of crossing Hampton Road near the Scott Street intersection. I live there so I drive my car in and out of those streets and walk there every day, and shop at IGA and Peaches at the shopping centre between Lloyd  and Scott streets.

So it is fairly disappointing that after all this time and many, many months of talking the FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council decided they did not like the officer’s recommendation of Option One, but preferred the status quo of Option Two.

It means the Scott Street intersection will remain closed and the pedestrian crossing will not be moved 50 metres further south.

They all agreed that the bus lanes were the major problem and that the Main Roads department is basically the enemy of pedestrians, because all that department wants is fast vehicle movement. Now that’s something for the state government to get its teeth into!

The state’s $ 200,000 allocated for better pedestrian crossing, through the election promise by Simone McGurk MLA, could now be spent on re-designing the Lloyd Street/Hampton Road intersection and how to get in and out of the carpark at the shopping centre there, and also at Scott Street.

For me, as a local with extensive local knowledge, the fact is that having no right turn at Scott Street will only entice more motorists to drive too fast and unlawfully use the bus lanes to overtake other vehicles. I have witnessed on many occasions that cars drive in the bus lanes during peak hours all the way from Douro Road to South Street and vice versa.

The FPOL Committee voted 6-1 in favour of Option Two. Only Councillor Andrew Sullivan, who is one of our two South Ward Councillors, voted against it.

For the record. 147 public submissions were received. 65% of those preferred option 1 and only 15% of them the option 2 Councillors voted for last night. And 20% did not like either option.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREMANTLE TRAFFIC CALMING CONTROVERSY

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 29, 2018

 

traffic 1

 

The first stage of traffic calming along South Terrace in South Fremantle is now completed near the intersection of Little Lefroy Road.

Footpaths have been widened, new trees planted, new benches installed, and four of the hated speedhumps have been removed.

But there is already criticism on the South Fremantle Precinct Facebook page with people complaining about the power lines still being above ground, alleged shoddy workmanship, and that traffic would now divert onto other roads and become a nuisance there.

All these issues were addressed during the lengthy and thorough community consultation process, and we should acknowledge that the whole process started at the request of local residents who wanted a safer environment for pedestrian and cyclists, and who complained that entering South Terrace from side streets was a hazard.

Most councils require local property owners to pay a substantial percentage of putting power under ground, and that was not supported at the community consultation sessions.

It is common knowledge that impatient motorists will always try to find alternative routes when they feel that traffic calming slows them down too much, but South Terrace was considered more of a residential area that warranted traffic calming and slower speeds than Hampton Road and Marine Terrace.

Roel Loopers

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MAKING FREMANTLE MORE WALKABLE

 

What makes a walkable city, and is Fremantle one of them, was asked at the Politics in the Pubs forum by the Fremantle Network at The Local in South Fremantle on Tuesday evening.

A panel with Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Dr Annie Matan of CUSP(Curtin University of Sustainable Policy), and City of Fremantle urban and transport planner Martin Spencer addressed the topic before a general discussion

Martin Spencer said that on the walkability index Fremantle gets 72-79 out of 100 and is the 19th most walkable suburb in the Perth metro area.

We need to make the city open, invite people in, and make them walk. Drag people into the shops and off the footpaths, and connect destinations with better signage.

Dr Annie Matan said that being pro pedestrians and cyclists did not mean we are anti car, but we need great public transport and walking and cycle infrastructure to make the city work better. There needs to be a safe and interesting environment for pedestrians, which includes good public toilets, water fountains, benches, shade structures and trees, etc.

“Every road needs to tell a story to our visitors and ourselves”

Footpaths are where we meet friends, and importantly also strangers. It is where we connect with our communities.

We need to create authentic places as they are important, and destinations to walk to, and do connections better, such as walking from the CBD to South Beach or the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Many footpaths are cluttered and become a hazard and Fremantle City needs a strong policy for planning walkability, Dr Matan said.

Olwyn Williams said that Fremantle has got more than anyone else; the port, heritage, the university, beaches, cafes, art, shopping, festivals and concerts, but we are a small community with a small ratepayers’ base, so we need the outside world to come to Freo and make it economically viable to set up shop here.

We need more visitors, more people working here and more residents, and to become a better place we need to embrace medium density living.

Connections with the suburbs is vital and important as Fremantle is not just the CBD.

Road closures in the CBD often have a negative impact on nearby businesses and the City should consider that more carefully. The second hour free parking the City of Fremantle has just implemented, is a very good idea as it will make people linger longer, Williams said.

Wayfinding needs to improve as signs don’t tell you that you could walk just a block further to enjoy Wray Avenue, or that it is a nice half hour walk to South Beach, and we need much better lighting to make us feel safer at night.

Olwyn Williams also said that the High Street Mall is a disaster and the closure should never have happened.

Martin Spencer said it was about time the community took ownership as it can’t be just left to local governments to implement change.

Comment: I believe we need to make the walking journey more attractive and make it a discovery, an adventure, walks where we connect all our Freo hidden treasures, and where we decentralise more and better utilise the A Class reserve at Arthur’s Head, the lawn next to the Roundhouse, Pioneer, Princess May and Fremantle parks, etc.

Fremantle offers a unique experience and that is what our new destination marketing should be all about. People will be encouraged to walk if we offer them a better shopping and lifestyle experience.

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREO POLITICS IN THE PUB TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, pedestrians, politics, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2018

 

A reminder that the Politics in the Pub by the Fremantle Network is on tonight at The Local in South Fremantle from 6.30pm.

Topic of the evening is the question if Fremantle is pedestrian friendly, so it will be interesting to hear suggestions on how we can improve the pedestrian experience and make it safer.

Far too many motorists don’t give way to pedestrians when rounding corners, and only a  few of them stop during busy weekends on the Cappuccino Strip and Marine Terrace to let pedestrians cross. That lack of consideration, and how/if we can improve it needs to be discussed as well.

See you at The Local. It’s a free event, but meals and drinks available at the bar.

Roel Loopers

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IS FREMANTLE REALLY WALKING FRIENDLY?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle network, pedestrians, Uncategorized by freoview on September 18, 2018

 

The next POLITICS IN THE PUB by the Fremantle Network is on next Tuesday September 25 from 6.30-8.30pm at the Local hotel in South Fremantle.

The topic is Is Fremantle really walking friendly? and will be discussed by a panel of Urban and Transport Planner Martin Spencer, Dr Annie Matan of CUSP(Curtin University of Sustainable Policy) and Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.

Of course there is also community participation during the Q&A.

Catch up with your community, have a meal and drink, and positively contribute to Freo’s future!

Roel Loopers

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PRETTY PICTURE JUST PART OF THE STORY

Posted in arthur head, bicycles, city of fremantle, local government, rain, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2018

 

puddle

 

While the large rainwater puddle on the pedestrian and bicycle path below Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head creates this great reflection every time it rains, it is not very convenient for the very many people who travel along the path between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

The path is very popular with cyclists from South Fremantle and Coogee on their way to the railway station in the mornings, and is frequented by many hundreds of tourists daily.

The big storm with predicted six-metre high waves has not eventuated so far, so it was probably premature to suspend the Rottnest Island ferry services for the day.

Roel Loopers

 

PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY AT FREMANTLE OVAL PROJECT

 

 

When Fremantle Council and the Fremantle Oval reference and steering groups are looking at the potential and opportunities for the development and activation of the area one of their main priorities must be the connectivity between the north and the south of Parry Street, as this is going to be a major challenge.

Pedestrian crossing is already a challenge on weekends when the Fremantle Markets are open. The roundabout at William Street is not the safest place to cross Parry Street since motorists are occupied with navigating the roundabout and rarely give way to pedestrians who are on their way to the oval or Fremantle Prison.

The entire precinct will attract a lot more people when Fremantle Oval is activated and when Silverleaf Investments have developed the police and justice complex down the road with a hotel and community spaces and activation, so vehicular and pedestrian movement will increase substantially.

When one also considers that the City of Fremantle has plans to extend Norfolk Street all the way to Mews Road in the Fishing Boat Harbour, which will make Parry Street even more into a ring road, one can start contemplating the challenges ahead to create safe pedestrian access between the markets and the oval.

Serious thoughts need to be had about a possible pedestrian underpass or at least a zebra crossing somewhere halfway along Parry Street between William Street and South Terrace.

There will be events and concerts at Fremantle Oval and residential and commercial accommodation in new buildings to the south and west of it, and the Kings Square activation project will bring heaps more people to that part of Freo, so a lot more people will be in the area, that already is home to two of Fremantle’s most popular tourist attractions Fremantle Prison and the Fremantle Markets.

If Fremantle Council is serious about making Parry Street even more into a ring road from Queen Victoria Street in the north east of the CBD all the way to the Fishing Boat Harbour, it will need to address especially pedestrian connectivity and safety between the new developments in the precinct as a priority.

Roel Loopers

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