Freo's View

FREMANTLE CITY ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO DO BETTER

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, parking, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on July 29, 2017

 

I have been contemplating this since Wednesday’s Fremantle Council meeting, as I simply cannot understand the reasoning behind the residents parking permit yoyo process, that reeks of incompetence.

I reacted very negatively when I first read that the City of Fremantle wanted to change the residents free permit parking from on-street to off-street only, and the next thing that happens is that it is all reversed and we are now back to on-street parking, with a few minor adjustments.

For me that is proof of a thought-bubble gone all wrong, where officers did not do their homework and considered all the consequences. Only when there was a community outcry they changed their mind and went back to the past.

The only changes we will see from September on is that residents with the appropriate permit can now also park for free in street bays on Saturdays before 11am and after 3 pm. There is no free Saturday parking at present.

The negative is that all day free Sunday parking now also has been restricted to the before 11am and after 3pm times. That is not good as there are shops that only open at 10am on Sundays and close at 4pm. Sunday lunch with free parking in the CBD is now also out for Fremantle residents.

Then we had the speedhump shambles, where too many speedhumps were installed along three streets, and some were too high. At no doubt considerable cost speedhumps were then removed again and others flattened.

I am sorry to say this but these are mediocre performances by the responsible officers, which the CEO needs to jump on as these mistakes cost a lot of money.

Questions need to be asked why too many speedhumps were installed in the first place and who gave the go ahead for them, and questions need to be asked why the consequences of changes to residents parking were not considered before the item went to council.

The other thing I do not understand is why on-street and off-street parking is not going to be introduced for a trial period of one year, so that the officers can properly evaluate what the financial consequences would be, and how many motorists would prefer off-street parking over on-street parking. This cannot be tested without actually implementing it!

It’s been a disappointing few weeks by the City of Fremantle administration. Our Councillors need to start asking a few hard questions, because the community will blame them.

Let me ask these questions:

  • How much did the installation of speedhumps in South Terrace, Ord Street and Wray Avenue cost, including cost for traffic management staff and electronic signs?
  • How much did it cost to remove some of these speedhumps and modify others, including cost for traffic management and electronic signs?

 

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE PALMS RELOCATED

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2017

 

 

The relocation today of two 12-metre tall and 20 ton heavy palm trees at Fremantle’s Kings Square is the symbolic start of the Kings Square Project development.

The tree are being re-alligned to fit in with the other palm trees in the square, and other trees at our city square will be removed in due course to accommodate the development.

It is the start of a bright new modern future for Fremantle and one that will kick start our retail and hospitality industries and make Freo a seven day a week destination again.

 

Roel Loopers

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CORRECTION ON RESIDENTS PARKING

Posted in city of fremantle, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on July 27, 2017

 

Well, this is highly embarrassing. I GOT IT WRONG! and was too early in my praise for Fremantle Council and officers.

It turned out I read the screen behind the Mayor wrong last night, and not much has changed as far as residents parking permits are concerned, and we are back to the status quo, with a few minor adjustments only.

So it will remain free street parking only for residents and the off-street parking they wanted to introduced has been put on hold.

Now we have seven days a week free parking all at the same times before 11am and after 3pm. That includes Saturdays, where there was no free parking, and Sundays where we had all day free parking in the Beach Street car park.

‘This permit exempts the holder from paying parking fees for all standard on-street (curb side) car parking bays during the following times only (including public holidays):
· Monday-Sunday (7 days per week)
· Valid between the hours of 9.00am – 11.00am and between the hours of 3.00pm–5.00pm. Permit holders must abide by the posted time limits (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours).
· Valid between the hours of 5.00pm – 1.00am. Permit holders are exempt from the posted time limits during this period.’

As Director Tom Griffiths emailed me “So, extending the current arrangement to include weekends as well as weekdays. The debate was around also investigating the viability of adding off-street to this package. However, we don’t have any data on the use of the permits (they’re hard copy) so we need to gather data on their use over the next year to responsibly evaluate the impact of that change.”

I AM SORRY!!!!My apologies for publishing the wrong Council resolution. It’s about time someone shot me, as I am clearly losing my marbles. ; >(

 

Roel Loopers

GOOD RESIDENTS FREE PARKING CHANGES

Posted in city of fremantle, parking, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 27, 2017

 

Fremantle Council has listened to community objections to proposed changes to residents parking permits, that would have ended on-street free parking. Instead it streamlined the conditions that will improve free parking for Freo residents, as it now applies to on-street and off-street parking.

The permit exempts the holder from paying parking fees for all standard on-street (curb side) car parking bays and off-street parking bays in City owned car parks from

  •   Monday-Sunday (7 days per week)
  •   Valid between the hours of 9.00am – 11.00am and between the hours of 3.00pm–5.00pm
  •   Permit holders must abide by the posted time limits (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours).
  •   Valid between the hours of 5.00pm – 1.00am.
  •   Permit holders are exempt from the posted time limits during this period.
  •   This includes Public Holidays.

This is a very good outcome for Fremantle residents and inner city businesses and a good example of flexible and creative governance that responds to community concerns and comes up with better solutions.

Councillors expressed that they hoped the changes would encourage residents to stay in the CBD longer and support local businesses, and that those who want or need to stay longer would use carparks instead of on-street bays, so that they would be left for motorists who only have the need for short-term parking.

Well done Fremantle Council and officers!

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE VACANCIES NOT TOO BAD

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, real estate, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

Fremantle is doing pretty well in the commercial vacancy rate comparison with other councils.

The West Australian this week released the vacancy figures for Bayview Terrace in Claremont at 10.16%, Napoleon Street in Cottesloe at 6.81% and Rokeby Road in Subiaco at 5.94%, but failed to mention Fremantle shopping streets.

The best performing street was Oxford Street in Leederville that has no vacancies.

When we compare Freo’s main shopping streets we are doing alright here and it is not as bleak as some people think.

Commercial vacancies in Fremantle high streets are:

  • High Street mall and west end 5%
  • South Terrace 3%
  • Cappuccino Strip and Market Street 5%

However the more run-down part of Fremantle that is waiting to be developed has higher vacancy rates:

  • Cantonment Street 16%
  • Adelaide Street 21%

Adelaide Street is of course waiting for the Hilton Hotel and Little Laneway (Spotlight site) developments, while Cantonment Street will be transformed with the Woolstores shopping centre development.

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREO LANDLORDS SHOULD FOLLOW SUBI

Posted in city of fremantle, property, real estate, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

According to today’s POST newspaper Subiaco’s Rokeby Road is making a major comeback, due to landlords halving rents and Subiaco Council dropping alfresco and trading fees.

While vacancy rates in Fremantle are lower than the average in the metro area, high rents in our port city are a major worry for small retailers, and Fremantle Council is powerless to do anything about it.

I have suggested before that Freo Council should relax its alfresco fees during the Kings Square development to help traders in the area and should allow retailers to offer their wares out on the street.

Subiaco Council has offered bollards, space and decking to hospitality operators, so that creating alfresco spaces does not put a huge financial burden on them. Something the CoF should consider, I believe.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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QUEENSGATE PARKING ONLY $ 2.00 PER HOUR

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, parking, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on July 20, 2017

 

From the end of July parking fees at Queensgate car park will change ensuring it continues to be one of Fremantle’s best value carparks.

A new flat rate of $2 per hour, every hour, will apply to all car park users after 27 July, resulting in a simplified and easy to understand fee structure. An early bird rate of $9 will also be available.

Queensgate will continue to offer parking rates at or below the cost of other facilities in Fremantle including surrounding commercial facilities and City-operated meter parking.

Sirona will also undertake a multi-million-dollar refurbishment of the car park which will make Queensgate a more attractive, cleaner, safer and reliable facility.

The upgrade starts next week with the installation of new boom-gates and easy to use ticketing and payment equipment.

Announcing the new simplified fee structure, Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said there had been no adjustment in fees since July 2015.

“We’ve thought long and hard about the best way to structure parking fees at Queensgate both in terms of legacy issues and the overall outcome we’re expecting in the precinct with the Kings Square Fremantle renewal,” Mr McNeilly said.

“Our analysis of the car park operations found that simplifying the fee structure would contribute to a better performing and more user-friendly car park.

“Our independent analysis has recommended other ways to activate the car park and deliver broader positive outcomes for the precinct beyond free parking.

“We’ll be implementing those concepts both during and after the Kings Square Fremantle renewal,” he said.

The car park and adjacent Queensgate building were purchased by Sirona as part of the City of Fremantle’s contribution to the City’s $50m investment in the $270m Kings Square Fremantle Renewal project.

Queensgate car park is operated by Secure Parking on behalf of Sirona.

 

CHEAP FREMANTLE PARKING

Posted in city of fremantle, parking, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 19, 2017

 

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p1

 

Don’t take my word for it that parking in Fremantle does not have to be expensive, check it out for yourselves!

Street parking is only $ 2.80 per hour, and at the Westgate car park in Point Street it is only $ 8.00 for all day parking.

Just over the road from there at the Woolstores shopping centre all day parking is just $ 9.00.

Both these car parks are only a leisurely five-minute stroll from Kings Square, so well within the shopping and hospitality precinct.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREMANTLE ALDI OPENS

Posted in aldi, city of fremantle, food, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

A 4

 

German supermarket giant ALDI opened today at the South Fremantle Marketplace on the corner of Douro and Hampton Road.

Parking bays were hard to find but it was quiet inside the supermarket when I went for a look at midday.

I bumped into a very excited English lady who gushed about cheap German beer for only $ 8.00 a six pack.

I was delighted to get a Dutch rookworst for only $ 2.99 when they are $ 9.00 at Woolies and bought fresh Australian salmon for about $ 4.00 less than I normally pay elsewhere.

I did not have too much of a look around but noticed a giant 58″ high definition TV for only $ 499.00.

Nice touch to have special close-by parking for those special parents with babies.

Roel Loopers

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BAD IDEA TO CHANGE PARKING PERMITS

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

busses

 

My relationship with Fremantle Council is like a volatile marriage. Sometimes I want to hug and kiss them for making great strategic long-term decisions and on other occasions I want an urgent divorce; the house, the car, the boat, the Margaret River weekender, the bank accounts, and even the kids.

The idea to change the residents parking permit conditions is one of those divorce situations, or like talking to teenagers and asking them to grow up to reality.

The timing of the proposed changes could not be worse, with Fremantle going through a welcome massive period of development. Long-term parking bays will be occupied by construction workers and tradies for the next three years because of the Kings Square Project, and it is highly likely that the Woolstores shopping development will also start early next year.

To relocate residents to free parking in City carparks only and no longer on the streets will hurt the CBD traders, and the change of time in the morning from 11 am to 10 am will also be bad.

The item is on the agenda of this evening’s FPOL Committee, so have your say and come along. It starts at 6pm.

And why is the City of Fremantle taking no action at all of Transperth busses occupying many parking bays in Goldsborough Street near the Woolstores? A bus takes up to 3-4 car bays and that is not at all helpful for shoppers.

I took this photo at 10.40am this morning.

Roel Loopers

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