Freo's View

LET’S TALK FREO UP!

 

Those people who constantly hammer Fremantle Council with criticism about vacant shops, homeless people, anti social behaviour and crime would do well to pay attention to recent media reports.

Shops, cafes and restaurants in Mount Lawley along once extremely popular Beaufort Street are closing in large numbers and they blame high rents and a drop in foot traffic for that.

The decline in retail is happening all over metropolitan Perth, Australia and the world as the traditional high street shopping destinations have been replaced with huge suburban shopping centres on the outskirts.

Media reports about excessive shop lifting and anti social behaviour in Cockburn, Rockingham, Canning, etc have become common, and the West Australian dedicated two pages of their weekend edition on the issues of homelessness in the Perth CBD.

There are no easy solutions for any of these problems and the call from traders for councils to demand that property owners charge lower rents is as unrealistic as it would be unlawful. Governments can not dictate what rents property owners can charge and while high rents in the present retail climate appear almost indecent and selfish there is very little local or state governments can do about it.

Some owners are better and allow pop-up shops to fill vacant shops, but only for a very limited time, so that is only a short-term ‘solution’.

Crime and anti social  behaviour are State responsibility and while Fremantle and most councils do have their own very good security officers they are often powerless as they do not have the right to issue move-on notices or arrest people.

There is no doubt though that the perception of not feeling safe will keep people away. Foot traffic numbers in the Cappuccino Strip have dropped dramatically while they have increased quite a bit in High Street in the West End. The latter is probably mainly due to Notre Dame University students pounding the pavement.

It is always strange to notice on busy Freo weekends how many people are walking along South Terrace but when I turn into High Street the street is nearly void of pedestrians.  Visitors seem to prefer Collie and Essex streets for their East West movement and ignore the far more attractive historic High Street.  Why is that, I wonder?

A prominent Freo business owner urged me last week to promote that we collectively stop talking our city down and that we have to start telling ourselves and our visitors how special Fremantle is.

Only yesterday at the Roundhouse two German tourists told me how much they liked Freo and how friendly people here are, and the volunteer guides hear those kind of remarks very often. We receive so much positive feedback from overseas and interstate visitors that it is hard to believe that some Fremantle residents and traders here have such a negative opinion about our gorgeous little city.

Freo is a great place but like most other suburbs has similar problems and struggles with the retail economy,  anti social behaviour and crime. Attracting more visitors to Freo will partly help with that, and that can only be achieved by not talking our city down, but by talking it up. Let’s give it a try!

Roel Loopers

 

HAMPTON ROAD TRAFFIC ‘IMPROVEMENTS’ COUNCIL COMMENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, schools, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2019

 

Fremantle Councillors have been commenting on Facebook about the article I published yesterday on Freo’s View about the traffic ‘improvements’ at the South Fremantle Hampton Road/Scott Street intersection.

It is rather strange that Councillors don’t want to comment on my blog but do respond to my blog posts on FB rather than at the source.Only a few readers of Freo’s View connect with me on Facebook so they are missing out on the conversation, so I decided to copy and paste the FB comments and publish them here.

It is clear that there must be an understanding at the City of Fremantle that they want to control what is being said in the media and social media, but it makes little sense to me that they engage on Facebook but not on this Fremantle blog.

Hannah Fitzhardinge Roel the residents who live along the southbound side of Hampton Rd were finding it almost impossible to get safely in and out of their driveways when there was a right turn there. Tricky to make everyone happy!

Pip Sawyer Hannah Fitzhardinge well youve made a lot of people mad
I stopped using that shopping centre completely in late March. And thats sad because the IGA had put in a lot of improvements

Hannah Fitzhardinge Pip Sawyer it was a tough call but it didn’t seem right (to the majority of Councillors) to make people’s access to their homes so dangerous. I still use those shops…

Roel Loopers People who live along main roads often have huge difficulties exiting their drive way. The question is if the comfort of a few is more important than the safety of many.

Sam Wainwright Hannah Fitzhardinge and Roel Loopers

The main safety problem with “Option 1” was that retention of right turns from Hampton Rd into Scott St causes drivers who want to continue south to suddenly pull into the bus lane to get around vehicles waiting to turn right.

This certainly poses a hazard for people people pulling in and out of their driveways in the vicinity. However the *main* problem is the danger it creates for people at the adjacent pedestrian crossing. The cars queuing to turn into Scott obscure vision of crossing pedestrians for motorist that try to pass them by lurching into the bus lane. Similarly the pedestrian on seeing a stopped car in the centre lane can’t be expected to anticipate another vehicle travelling at 60 km/h to suddenly appear in the bus lane when they looked and saw no bus coming. This visibility problem is even more of an issue with children.

In their report the officers proposed proposed Option 1 not because they thought it was superior, but because they didn’t think council would have an appetite for blocking right the turn into Scott. They confirmed in discussion that they actually preferred Option 2 (as pictured in your blog post).

The road treatment we went with is not perfect. Inevitably it will deflect some vehicle movements down other streets making them busier, plus it has its own inconvenience. You have to play that balancing act whenever you block a street or put in traffic calming somewhere. Conversely it will make it safer and easier for people on bicycles to cross Hampton at Scott.

I would actually prefer that Scott and Hampton be signalised thus allowing motorists to turn right and giving pedestrians priority when crossing. However there were two issues with this. Main Roads won’t fund a crossing guardian for kids if it’s signalised and they did not want to help pay for traffic lights at this location anyway. From memory the design we opted for will make it easier and cheaper to signalise the intersection sometime in the future.

In that context I remain firmly of the view that Option 2 was the right decision. I put pedestrian safety over the inconvenience of motorists having to travel a bit further down to Lloyd St.

Hannah Fitzhardinge Sam Wainwright well said!

At least now Freo’s View readers can also see what Councillors Fitzhardinge and Wainwright have to say about it. Democracy at work.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREMANTLE ROAD ‘IMPROVEMENTS’ NO ONE WANTED

Posted in accidents, cars, children, city of fremantle, family, local government, schools, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on April 22, 2019

 

road 1

road 2

 

Traffic ‘improvements’ no one wanted have started in South Fremantle at the Hampton Road and Scott Street intersection. Right-hand turns are now permanently disallowed there.

The right-turn ban out of the shopping centre car park at Scott Street remains and that is also nonsensical because it means all cars going north need to exit at Lloyd Street where most of the issues are, but the exit there will somehow be improved as part of this expensive and useless exercise by the City of Fremantle.

Improving the crosswalk for students and parents of the Beaconsfield Primary School and local users was the aim of the extensive community consultation, but a handful of Councillors decided they knew better than the locals, their own staff and Mainroads experts and decided to do it their way.

I use the intersection several times a day on foot and in the car, so I am very familiar with the issues.

What a shame their is no higher authority to go to to get this stupidity overruled.

This and other matters will be discussed tomorrow, Tuesday April 23 at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local from 6.30pm.

Roel Loopers

FREO CRUISE SHIP SEASON ENDED THIS WEEK

 

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The Fremantle cruise ship season for this summer ended this week when the Viking left Fremantle Port on Thursday.

There were 35 cruise ship calls to Fremantle, which annually bring around 88,000 passengers to town with an estimated value to Fremantle of $ 235 million.

Shuttle buses from the Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay to Kings Square were provided by the City of Fremantle, where they were greeted by tourist guides from the Visitor Centre, while roaming visitor guides walked around the inner city to give out information and street maps.

There were several ships who arrived on a maiden journey to Freo, including the huge MSC Magnifica pictured above.

The next cruise ship will arrive on October 20.

Roel Loopers

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COMPARING SHOP VACANCIES

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on March 23, 2019

 

Retail vacancies

I pinched this graph from Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog who responded to some of the negativity on social media on his blog. Read his blog post here: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/

This one is about comparing the retail vacancies in the major shopping streets in the Perth metro area. It is always good to have the facts at hand and it shows that there are a lot of empty shops in a lot of streets.

Roel Loopers

TRADERS UPDATED ABOUT KINGS SQUARE PROCESS

 

Kings Square

 

Only a handful of local traders turned up yesterday for an update about the building progress of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

These updates at the Federal Hotel have been regular events to keep affected traders in the loop.

Those who came heard form builders Pindan and Probuild, Sirona Capital and City of Fremantle Director Infrastructure and Project Delivery Graham Tattersall that things are going very well and to schedule.

Completion of our Civic Centre community facility will be in July 2020, so a construction period of 18 months. Excavation will start in two weeks for the lower level and the main structure will be up before Christmas this year, so that will give us all a much better idea of what we can expect and how it works in the space.

Sirona is on the home straight with their two buildings and they are estimated to be completed by August/September this year. The paving of Newman Court on the Sirona side will be done in September and the Civic Centre half toward completion of that building.

Queen Street should be back to normal in July when the hoarding there comes down, so that will make traffic flow a bit easier.

The Newman Court thoroughfare between William Street and Queen Street will be open before Christmas, so that is good news as well. Scaffolding around the carpark will be removed in July.

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

 

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PORTSIDE TRADERS MARKET ON VICTORIA QUAY

Posted in city of fremantle, food, fremantle ports, markets, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2019

 

Portside Traders Market

 

An early notice for those who plan their weekends early.

The huge Portside Traders Market is on this coming Saturday March 16 from 10am to 4pm on Victoria Quay in Fremantle Ports.

Check out all the participating stalls on the poster above, and there are a few more latecomers as well.

It should be a fun day, so come along!

Roel Loopers

 

Henty ad

 

 

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WHAT UTTER NONSENSE! FREO HAS TOO MANY TOURISTS?

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, local government, notre dame university, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2019

 

Too many tourists

 

A friend sent me this screen shot, presumably from Facebook, and I was flabbergasted by the comments made by Fremantle High Street resident Julie Morgan, who will probably stand for City Ward again at the next Council election in October.

Morgan is also on the committee of Fremantle Now, the former BID, that is there to support local traders.

Fremantle does not have too many tourists, as is clear when one hears the complaints of so many struggling retailers. The hundreds of tourists who come into Fremantle can’t be compared to the millions who visit Venice in Italy and literally overrun it.

Weekend suburban ‘tourism’ is what keeps Fremantle alive and if that stopped we would be in even bigger trouble and more shops would close.

“Tourists” of Notre Dame University students and staff are the majority of cafe customers on weekdays. Without them many of our West End cafes would have to close because of lack of trade.

Festivals bring thousands of people to Fremantle and while these “tourists’ might not go shopping on those festival days they become aware of the businesses and things Freo also has to offer.

It is irrational and wrong of Julie Morgan to claim that Fremantle has too many tourists. It’s a ridiculous statement, but that comes as no surprise, because she also had No More Notre Dame signs in her office windows in High Street. What’s going to be your election slogan, Julie? Fremantle needs fewer people?

Fremantle needs more, many more, visitors and shoppers and many, many more tourists seven days a week, and it needs many more people working and living here, so that it will be activated and revitalised.

Roel Loopers

SPUDSHED FOR SPEARWOOD

Posted in city of fremantle, food, Uncategorized by freoview on February 13, 2019

 

Good news for those Fremantle people who have made long journeys to shop at Spudshed.

Tony Galati is returning to his roots and is opening a new Spudshed in the former IGA supermarket premises on Rockingham Road, very close to South Fremantle.

The 2000 square metre shop will open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I am not sure what the opening date is,  but Galati promises it to be before Easter, so keep an eye on it!

Roel Loopers

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IT’S A MANGO TANGO AT FREO’S GALATI

Posted in city of fremantle, food, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2019

 

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GALATI AND SONS in Fremantle’s Wray Avenue have a very special weekend treat for all those who love mangoes.

Starting today you can buy a mango for just 29 cents from the back of the ute, so make sure to go and buy some for the kids and celebrate the Australia Day long weekend the Carnarvon way.

Roel Loopers

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