Residents who are Land Locked West of Goodwood Road

With all good intentions it seems Council has not recognised those residents who live west of Goodwood Road. When designing the improvements to Goodwood Road from the tram line to Victoria Street we have not consulted them. We have not in other words recognised a group of residents who are land locked west of Goodwood Road.

The Goodwood Road redevelopment, which is well underway, promises to add life to an already vibrant precinct.

Council has a vision for this section of Goodwood Road. We want to make it more of a destination rather than a commuter thoroughfare. We are looking to make it a more pedestrian friendly environment.

As you would no doubt be aware, we’re in full swing of construction and local company. Local Company Outside Ideas are putting out a good pace.

Hope you like the result that’s been achieved so far!

Works on the eastern side moving south from the tram crossing commence Tuesday after the long weekend. Work on the western side has been interrupted however.

Some residents have identified a concern with the design. They are those who live west of Goodwood Road and who use Victoria Street to commute from home to work etc.

These residents believe the narrowing of the junction of Victoria Street into Goodwood Road will cause significant delays for motorists accessing Goodwood Road. This is whether turning north or south.

This conflicts with our administration’s view. Their focus is to improve pedestrian movement and safety at the intersection. Their study indicates that there is only room for one car to access Goodwood Road at a time. I admit my own assessment was similar. That has been, as a regular user of Victoria Street, my experience.

A number of residents do not see it this way however. They believe there has always been room for those turning right and left to both access Goodwood Road at the same time.

Hearing from these residents has highlighted a glitch in our original public consultation. With most of the side street renovations being on the east side of Goodwood Road, only residents living east of Goodwood Road were directly consulted. Had I known this was our administrations intent, I would have intervened. I would have asked for council to support a wider public engagement.

Having lived in Cromer Parade previously I am only too conscious of this. Of having been one of those residents land locked west of Goodwood Road.

Error identified we will now being doing just that. Seeking the input of those of us Land Locked West of Goodwood Road.

If you are one of those land locked between Goodwood Road and the tram and train lines you will get a chance now to contribute. You can assist us to determine whether narrowing Victoria Street where it meets Goodwood Road is a good or a bad thing. You will get the chance to tell us whether or not two cars can access Goodwood Road safely turning right and left concurrently or not.

Please take the opportunity to contribute. While we (Council) are hoping to make this precinct a more pedestrian friendly environment, we don’t want to cause inconvenience and anguish to those who use this intersection as a motorist.

Help Us with improving walking and cycling in Unley

Unley Council wants you to help with walking and cycling in the suburbs of Unley. We ask you to go to our Have Your Say web page.

Then let us know what you believe is the best way of ensuring safe and enjoyable or simply improving walking and cycling through the streets of the suburbs of Unley.

 

In passing legislation allowing cyclists to use footpaths the State Government has put cycling on the map. Everyone is talking about it. We still hear comments on talk back radio and in letters to the editor. What better time to engage you in helping us with our own walking and cycling plan.

Draft_City_of_Unley_Walking_and_Cycling_Plan_2016-2021We (Unley Council) have been working on a walking and cycling strategy of our own for some time now. The result of that work is a draft walking and cycling strategy.

The next step is we are asking you to help us with determining the immediate future of walking and cycling in Unley.

With 27 persons per hectare Unley has the most dense population of any metropolitan council in Adelaide. This is ideal for walking and cycling. The 2011 Census indicates indeed that the residents of Unley are more likely to walk or ride to work.

Recognising this, over the years Council has made a number of decisions that has resulted in one of the best environments to walk or cycle, whether socially or as a commuter to work or school, or to the bus or train. Decisions like creating a council wide 40 kph speed zone, like installing the cities first Wombat Crossing (in Arthur Street) against the departments “better” judgement. A number of other initiatives have been implemented since Council’s 2005 Bicycle plan was adopted.

We of course are an important component to the Government’s Mike Turtur and Greenways bikeways.

The draft plan builds on these achievements and will inform council programs for the next 5 years.

So please hop onto our have your say webpage on walking and cycling, study the plan and provide your input before the end of this month into what we are proposing and/or making suggestions for enhancements.

 

Cycling IS the topic of the moment

Cycling remains in the news courtesy of the Governments changes to the regulations. Having made observations about this last month I can now advise you that Council will soon go out to public consultation on  a new walking and cycling policy.

 

Bike and Ped Plan Review EM Briefing 2 November

Our current plan is now some 10 years old and is due for review. Our consultants Infraplan, have reviewed our current cycling and walking network, analysed traffic and crash data and given consideration to the introduction of the Mike Turtur and Greenways bikeways that have both appeared since the last review.

 

As readers of this blog would be only to aware, Unley has a fine reputation in considering our cyclists and creating safer environs for them to ride in. It is a reputation we wish to keep and to build on noting that bike riders now constitute 3.9 % of all commuting to work by our residents. Even more, 15% of Unley residents walk to work or to a public transport stop.

 

They have made a series of recommendations to Council for changes that elected members now have a chance to read and make observation on before presenting back to Council for further consideration. The recently formed Unley Bicycle Users Group (UBUG) have already been consulted and have endorsed in principle the plan being put to us. At that time we will endorse a public consultation program to gain your feed back before approving or otherwise the new plan.

 

The plan makes a number of important observations including modifying actions already implemented and introducing new ones. It has identified a number of key safety deficiencies.

 

The plan has then made a number of suggestions on how we might improve the netwrok including

aFilling in the missing links

a Continue traffic calming

a Improving road crossings

a Improving Lighting

 

Improving way finding, something that we have been working on rectifying at the East Avenue/Canterbury Terrace, Cromer Parade rail intersection.

 

There is NO observations in this plan regarding the government’s recent regulation changes. This has onlu just been dumped on us as you know whereas the report has been the result of research over the best part of this year.

 

Watch out for your opportunity, which I expect may be not before the new year.

 

Council’s Cycling Conundrum

It’s here whether you like it or not. Cycling on Footpaths will be Council’s Cycling Conundrum courtesy of our “well researched” State Government.

 

You have all heard about this one, it is the hottest topic in town right now; the Governments Cycling legislation bought in outside of Parliament by regulation. What does this mean to Councils and in particular the City of Unley.

Unley has a reputation I believe of being a bike friendly City. We have and continue to grow a network of bicycle friendly routes. Our bike friendly tracks interact with Government tracks in the Mike Turtur Bike-way along the tram corridor and the recently constructed Greenways along the Seaford Rail Corridor.

As we speak we continue to look at ways of increasing and/or improving the pathways to allow our numerous bike riders and indeed those from outside our city to navigate through our city.

The Governments (what I suggest is ill conceived) allowing of bike riders of all ages to use the footpaths has the potential to undermine this council’s reputation. They have by their regulations shown themselves to be a champion of bike riders. In doing so they have paid no attention at all to the problems and challenges that this may place on local government.

I personally heard the minister when he first announced on talk back radio that pedestrians injured by cyclists can sue the Local Council for compensation for any injures sustained.

Thankfully the bike in the background is stationary

Thankfully the bike in the background is stationary

A big percentage, if not the majority, of footpaths I suggest in the City of Unley simply are not suitable for bike riding. Many are too narrow, some being 600 mm of less in width. Many are compromised by our much loved and much hated street trees, making travelling along footpaths I imagine as difficult at best for bike riders. As is the case with most inner suburban streets the front yards of our properties are fenced with high vision restrictive fences.

If we at Council hold this as true then it would appear we will have to create by-laws prohibiting cyclists from using footpaths designated by us as unsuitable. Failure to do this would likely see us being capable of being sued for negligence in not protecting our citizens.

Grandma and child approaching. Who gives way at bin.

Grandma and child approaching. Who gives way at bin.

Up go our premiums and up go your rates and down goes our reputation of being cycle friendly. A plethora of new signage to add to the clutter of road signs we already have.

Having said that I would be surprised to see cyclists considering riding along many of our footpaths because they themselves will see the folly. But common law will place the onus on us, not the rider, to determine if a footpath is safe.

We at Unley Council, and the LGA on our behalf, are lobbying the government hard to determine how we best deal with this or (touch wood) get the government to see sense and restrict or remove the regulations that precipitates this dilemma.

 

Maud Street Kerb Build out.

The preferred option for addressing the safety concerns at the intersection of Maud Street and Unley Road was put out to consultation on the understanding that it would not proceed if there was significant community opposition to it.

On the face of it this means we should rescind our decision. Let’s face it we have significant opposition.

 

This opposition however is ill founded and of our own making. We have not communicated well the message that would allow our rate payers the opportunity to make an informed response.

Safety

Here we are trying to make the intersection of Maud Street and Unley Road a safer one. We are doing this by asking the Mothers Milk to provide bollards and by our narrowing the throat of the entrance into Maud Street.

Narrowing the side street entrance which is what we are paying for is seen by experts as a safety measure. This is going to be the core of upgrading soon of Goodwood Road and its numerous side streets. It could also be integral to the redevelopment of King William Road if and when that may come before us.

And yet we see a number of respondents claim this will make the area less safe.

Financial Contribution

What we have proposed is a good precedence I would have thought and far from setting the wrong precedence.

We originally expected Mothers milk to pay the whole cost of the project. That is until we recognised that the kerb build out is something we are considering elsewhere without seeking financial contribution from the other businesses.

The fact is the business will be paying for that which they should be responsible, the bollards. Any other business wanting protection that will require bollards will recognise they will have to pay for them.

Loss of Carparking

As has often been the case before the Development Assessment Panel we are being told that we cannot afford to lose the carparking spaces this project will take. I have heard this argument time and time again for Development applications along King William Road and yet we still have not seen evidence with approval after approval of carparks not being accessible on this strip.

Our own internal measuring indicates that the concern is not well founded. We are being told that parking in Maud Street when the café is not open is at 63% and when they are it is 84%. Yes this is up, but it is far from being an issue.

We must surely be bold enough to show some leadership here and at the risk of alienating some recognise their concerns are indeed ill founded for no fault of their own and support the street build out.

…………………………

We should have more kerb build outs and we should be striving to do so over time, be it soon on Goodwood Road, King William Road or the road in question tonight, Unley Road. This ticks so many of the boxes in our Community Plan and it would be wrong to back down.

…………………………….

This is a copy of my contribution to the debate last night at Council on whether we should continue and build the kerb build outs on Maud Street Unley. A majority of 7 to 3 saw it similarly and the motion to proceed was passed.

Pay for use Parking Trial approved by Council

At last Monday night’s Council meeting we approved a pay for use parking trial for a section of Bartley Crescent Wayville and Railway Terrace South Goodwood.

 

The concept of pay for use parking is a hybrid between two competing challenges that council has grappled with for some time.

The first of these is the concern we have that our residents in the northern reaches of our City, those near public transport routes, of the habit of people outside our council using our streets as a park n ride to access the City of Adelaide. Access to residents properties and the ability of their friends and acquaintances to park when visiting has been a challenge we have yet to solve.

Commuter parking in residential streets is inconvenient for residents and for the delivery of council services such as street sweeping and waste collection. There are areas of the Council where commuter parking has occurred historically with minimal impacts. The main problems occur when parking spills out of these areas and onto narrower residential streets.

This trial, it is felt, may well address these concerns.

Another challenge is the ever increasing pressure to keep rate rises in check and reduce the burden on our rate payers. A recent survey has identified that 70% of cars parking in these streets are outsiders to the City of Unley. Pay for use parking is certainly one answer to reducing the rate burden.

Pay for use parking, based on the figures we have, will be a charge primarily on people who are not our rate payers. These people, if not put off by the charge which is minimal (a maximum of $ 4.00 per day during the trial), could potentially make a significant contribution to our income and impact on the rates.

By my calculations if 80% of commuters continue parking in these locations income derived could equate to up to 1% of rate income.

Of course if they move on then these streets will have less parking in them and our residents will feel some release of pressure on their parkign needs.

Mothers Milk Offer seen as sweet by Council.

Mothers Milk, the cafe on Unley Road and who experienced a vehicle crashing into its outdoor eating area, has made an offer to council to share the costs. That offer was seen as sweet by council. We approved it at this weeks mid month council meeting.

 

Mothers Milk

Following on from my two blog posts on how to address the safety issues that exist for the outdoor dining at this location I can say that the proprietor of Mothers Milk has put an alternate offer to council concerning the costs of rectification.

They recognised and accepted that they have a responsibility for safety of their patrons and accepted that they should pay for the installation of the bollards needed to make this happen. The cost of bollards will be in the vicinity of $ 50.000.00

They felt however that the kerb build out we proposed to find room for their installation is a council responsibility. After reasoned debate Council accepted this logic and voted to accept the Mothers Milk offer.

As Council looks at rejuvenating it’s strip shopping precincts we will be looking at modifications not unlike that proposed in Maud Street to accommodate the Mothers Milk bollards. For instance if we ever get around to changing the amenity of King William Road we will surely not be charging each of the businesses.

The need for bollards comes about because the main street fronting this intersection is a 60 kph road.

Unlike the installation of bollards the kerb build out is work that needs to go out to public consultation. If there is significant opposition to the kerb build out then it may not occur and it will be back to the drawing board.  I doubt that will be the case however.

When council pulled Mother Milk’s licence for safty reasons immediatley after the crash there was significant public disquiet about the closure. So I believe the public will likley be in favour, even thoguh they (the rate payer) will be footing the bill, around $ 35,000.00

 

 

Toll Gate First

Well done Councilor Mike Hudson (Of Parkside Ward fame) in his letter to the editor to the Advertiser this week.

With the sad loss of life from the truck accident near the toll gate earlier this week we have heard much in the media where the government is quoted as spending money will not necessarily be productive in reducing loss of life.

 That is not stopping them from spending big on cutting access to and from the side streets of Parkside, Unley North and Wayville because there have been a handful of minor accidents along Greenhill Road over the years.

Hmmmm!

Check his letter here.

DPTI Twist on DPA2

Last nights public meeting saw a twist to what may or may not “be able” to happen with future development  in the south west corner of Unley.

Some time back I forecast two possibilities for South Road once the State Government through DPTI how they are going to upgrade South Road.On both occasions people wondered whether I was sane.

I predicted that South Road may become 6 lanes wide and on a separate occasion suggested that I had information that the suburban streets of Black Forest will be dead ended with now access or egress from them from an direction on South Road.

Well we learnt last night that while DPTI have been forcing our hand and pushing for the maximum density in rezoning that the very same organisation may have plans to make any such move obsolete and/or pale into insignificance by comparison.

We heard of two possible options they (DPTI) are considering for the South Road, Cross Road environment. One is to build a duplicate of the Superway at the northern end of South Road. If you have not seen this the I suggest you take a drive up there ad see for yourself.

The other, and likely from what I can ascertain, is that South Road in order to accommodate the B Double traffic down Cross Road will need to be not the 6 lanes I was told I was stupid for suggesting but….wait for it…. 13 lanes.

So residents of Black Forest. If you cherish your environment as you clearly do, as demonstrated after your participation in the DPA 2 consultation, start pushing the government for what their plans are so you can influence them.

I believe you need to be very alert as to what your State Government is proposing for you and you need to do that now, not when it is announced. And you know they (the Government) will not consult like Council have. They will inform.

East Avenue being resurfaced

The resurfacing of East Avenue (north of the rail line) has been coming for while now after the road suffered significant disintegration as a  result of DPTI works on the rail corridor.

Patch work has all but held the road together up until now but it is full steam ahead.
Residents at that end of East Avenue and adjoining streets have been mailed alerting them to the works. For those of you not on the mailing list or who did not get the letter, like me (yet) please note as follows:
·                    Ø   Road surfacing treatment will commence on Tuesday 10 June for a 4 day period.
Ø  The Traffic Guys will be dealing with the traffic situation
Ø  All signage will be set up by 6.00am (apart from East Ave & Mills St closure to allow north bound traffic until 9.00am)
Ø  Full closure from 9.00am until 3pm
Ø  At 3pm south bound traffic will be allowed (removal of road closure at Leah St & Everard Tce and Leah St & Norman Tce)
Ø  25km/h Speed restrictions apply through site (day shift)
Ø  40km/h Speed restrictions apply through site (after hours) 

Have a great weekend guys ad celebrate East Avenue getting a face lift. I trust no-one is too inconvenienced in the short term.