Fremantle’s King Square, No News

Another month has pasted and Fremantle Council must be loving the much needed distraction of the PFL issues to take attention off issues like Kings Square, which seems to have gotten no further.

It gives them a chance for a little more state government bashing, to distract from Fremantle’s lack of direction and real issues facing our Great little city.

Good to see the High St Mall area getting a touch of love, shame to see even the Pop ups moving out of the mall again.

Disgraceful to see the state of our town hall, has been left to degrade to, lets hope we have a dry summer and no strong out of season rains which could have real destructive effects on our icon building.

Fremantle’s Mayor Brad Pettitt told Fairfax Media last month a maximum output, privatized port connected to a tolled freight freeway has the potential to chop the port city off at the knees economically.

I think our Mayor is being a little theatrical pointing the finger at something that has not even happened bringing Fremantle to its knees, when its been there for years now, seriously how much worse can it get for Fremantle. Seriously, has Fremantle ever been in a worse financial state than it is now, retail is dead, office workers have left by the thousands, it has a shocking rep for parking, driven by council. An image for anti-social behavior, also not helped by council decisions. The council has been for years driving an anti-car strategy, now to blame a road that could bring thousands of more cars from the east to Fremantle as killing off Fremantle is truly amazing? If u think they don’t have an anti-car stance just read their (ITS) Integrated Transport Strategy

Over the last years we seen Fremantle suffer loss after loss, of course not all council fault, there is a variety of factors, but for the Mayor to now claim a Port Lease that has not happened and a road that has not been built, is bringing Fremantle to its knees, is just laughable, its blame shifting at a colossal level. I’m sure it suits somes political ideology but does Fremantle no good at all?

Fremantle city council has taken years of poor decisions making to get Fremantle to its current state. The recently released City of Fremantle’s 2015 community perceptions survey paints a true picture of Fremantle being at perhaps at a decade low, is that an all time low, can anyone remember Fremantle looking worse?

King Square project was suppose to be a beacon to attract development into Fremantles CBD, instead it may well have become a lighthouse to warns others of pending doom.

Looking forward to hear some good news for the Kings Sq development and Freo as a whole real soon.

Fremantle Bias Where We Need Balance

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Do I blindly accept the governments Perth Freight Link (PFL) old options, of course not.

The real question on the various issues before Fremantle is, do we get a balanced source or feed of information? Sadly Fremantle council is deeply entrenched in partly politics, labor, greens and even the little known socialistic something, whatever they call them. To give us all the pros and cons of the various issues, as it doesn’t suit their political agendas.

Personally I can see some major faults with the government’s old PFL plans but currently we don’t actually know what is planned for the PFL.

As the current Transport Minister has asked for 3 new proposals from 3 different consortiums with some that do not even build roads!

Personally I find it hard to protest something, I don’t even have the facts on, that’s not saying the current government will not drive some 1/2 cocked idea. The issue before us, can we make an intellectual objection before we 1st have facts on what we are objecting to.

I have major issue with council’s current fear mongering over the PFL? What’s that you ask, well 1st of all it’s not much to with trucks. It’s mostly to do with cars. Cars are the major part of the PFL issue if anyone has bothered to check the real facts/data, its cars that are the majority of traffic clogging the road systems we are discussing.

Before I forget the so called PFL will not make more trucks carrying containers, that’s just pure bullshit. What makes more containers in a port, is people buying things that need to be imported. This is one of Fremantle’s council major problems, fact or fiction, all that drives the ports increase in containers is demand for offshore or imported products. If people bought more Australian made or produced products we would need to import less. Hence less containers, a new road will not make more trucks it will only depend on what is imported into the country.

The council supports a group like Aldi coming to Fremantle, guess what, they import huge amounts of product from overseas, which means more containers, more trucks, etc. Try supporting local business and lessen the demand for imported goods, less containers, less trucks.

So getting back to the cars, if someone is against expanding or increasing the road network for cars, personally I respect that point of view but only to a point. If that person uses a car but objects to new car drivers adding to the network, that’s a double standard. You can’t expect to use a car yourself and then expect everyone to use something else? Just recently I went to the Stock Rd and Winterfold Rd protest, not surprisingly to see cars parked everywhere, imagine going to a protest to complain about the road network you just drove on to get to the protest, does no one find that hypocritical? It’s a little like seeing a 350.org protest or something similar at Freo in the evening and seeing all the street parking full on a Tuesday night, if you are going to demand people divest money from fossil fuels stop buying petrol or diesel yourself 1st.

One of the real problems is,  the council is actively promoting fear or hate mongering with little facts,  one day they are driving the PFL thru East Fremantle, the next thru Hilton or Hamilton Hill, it can’t be both or all 3 so which is it? Well, what they are hoping is for is to trigger all the nimby attitudes to protest everything with little or no facts, fear is what they hope to drive, is this what’s best for Freo or is it their own personal political futures.

If people expect to drive cars u cannot expect to double the population over 50 years and not increase the road network? So if u drive a car and protest the increase of the road network like 80% of our council who drive cars, you are just another hypocrite, like them. Our council is quite good at “Do as I say, not do as I do”.

Our council should be working for the best possible outcome for Freo not their own personal political benefit.

If this road is going to go ahead as most of the councillors seem to believe it will from what u hear at council meetings, wouldn’t it be better to try and be part of a plan and ensure that Fremantle gets the best possible outcome. Instead of behaving like a spoilt child, stamping their feet and screaming no no no no no.

There must be a better way to do the Link than knocking down people’s homes along High St and Leach Hwy. If the tunnel option is taken that sort of cancels the whole fear campaign the council is driving on that front.

So far, apart from putting everything on the rail which does not seem to be possible, or shifting the port to Kwinana, i.e. just pushing the problem to some else’s back yard. I have not heard any solutions on what happens if the PFL was cancelled. The demand for imported stuff is not going away, the trucks that carry the containers even if rail is doubled will not lessen as the port continues to increase volume. The # of cars will continue to increase. The congestion will continue to worsen. The councils increasing the density of our suburbs which will bring more cars and congestion. Their fables of rail links running everywhere just aren’t going to happen. They are blindly adding density with no ability to add the needed ingredients to make the density sustainable or workable. We are more than likely to just get extra people and cars in our suburbs with no added infrastructure, lets be honest the Fremantle councils record on getting deliverables from any colour of state government is less than poor.

So what is the solution?

What is the impact on Fremantle if we increase the rail through town? Noise, vibration, pollution, etc.

What safety issues would it cause at all the level crossings through Fremantle, this could happen 30 to 100 times a day depending on which scenario is used, can u imagine how Fremantle would function with a 100 trains and day going through the city.

  • Fremantle cut roads by train
    • Phillimore
    • High St access for round house
    • Bathers beach pedestrian crossing
    • Warden Lance
    • Mews Rd
    • Capo D’Orlando Drive
    • Intersection at Scott St
    • Ocean Rd
    • Rollinson Rd

Imagine going to South Beach with a 100 trains a day going past, how many people and pets will end up getting injured or killed at the multiple crossings, along this track, not mention the noise, vibration and smell. I don’t imagine that would be great for cockburns new coastal community around the old power station development. It would also kill all the property prices along the coast for the new developments between South Freo and Cockburn

What impact will it have in Spearwood/Cockburn where trains would cut off at least 3 major roads with 30 to 100 trains a day going through the suburbs?

What safety issues would it have for homes in Spearwood where the train track is higher than the roofs of the house and only metres away?

Would the extra trains past the Round House have any impact with vibration?

The real problem is the whole issue is not being addressed by anyone, it’s just each camp yelling the loudest on what they are against, is anyone looking at all the pros and cons and giving a true picture of what is best for Fremantle and being honest about what impacts different scenarios would have on different parts of Fremantle.

What does Kwinana think of Fremantle kicking its problem further down south? The government doesn’t have the billions needed to build a new port down there.

Where will the increasing number of cars go to without new road infrastructure, you will frequently hear some Fremantle Councillors rattle on about the international known facts that more roads means more congestion, strange then, that governments all over the world are spending trillions on Hwys, Freeways, Motorways etc.

So before we jump onto the council’s bandwagon of screaming no, what are we saying no too and what will be the effects of doing nothing or implementing a different approach, considering we don’t have details/facts on anything yet?

 

 

Fremantle Councils Anti-car Campaign Continues

Here we see again Fremantle’s campaign to drive out cars, keep cars, their drivers and their cash out of Fremantle.

Recently the Mayor Brad Pettitt was quoted that the proposed Perth freight link would cut Fremantle off from cars coming into the city hence crippling its economy. Sorry isn’t that what the Mayor and council having been doing for years, trying to keep cars out of Fremantle. They are doing their best to stop people in Fremantle even owning a car, as we saw from the city’s new car parking policy they just voted on at SGS.

These pictures attached are one of the reasons why cars aren’t coming into Fremantle, its part of the anti-car campaign.

This street and many others have worked fine for decades, this one with a pedestrian crossing just a 100m or so up the street supplies constant windows to give you an easy safe access out to do a right hand turn on to Phillimore St from Pakenham Sts, T-junction.

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The island just in front makes it harder to turn off Short St into Pakenham.  Also making it more dangerous to turn onto Pakenham as now you have to pull into the lane of traffic heading north, which view is partially blocked by the building.

Where as you can see from the google maps pic, before was a much safer and sensible design.

Driving in Fremantle is not just a simple task of watching where traffic should be coming from but also watching for the cyclists and skateboarders riding on the wrong side of the road or the wrong way down a one way street. Here is a clear example of where the city change has made this intersection more dangerous.

On Adelaide St another classic of their anti-car strategy that actually makes the design more dangerous for all road users, this gem I have already complained to the city about when it was 1st done. At the time I also pointed out that apart from the design being stupid and completely void of common sense has no warning signs for users of the street that a modified road layout is ahead.

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Now we see it littered with broken temporary road signs, no painted curbs or reflective signs to signal the hazard ahead. When you come around the corner from Parry St to turn left onto Adelaide St, you veer right so you can turn left, makes sense? To make it worse before it was a merging road, now you have to do a 90% turn to get out on the street, your wing mirrors being obsolete for this manoeuvre, so you must drive left while looking right. The other challenge I found on my first navigation of the road disaster was, I had a cyclist coming against the flow of traffic up the green lane towards my left, with a bus on my right, you can’t look 2 ways at once.

It’s all this constant road modification that makes driving in Fremantle more difficult and dangerous for all road users. It’s clearly just part of the anti-car campaign to discourage drivers from coming to town. So Brad, no need to worry about Barnett’s Freight Link killing off access to Freo, your constant screwing up of the road network and parking has beaten Barnett to the punch.

A quote from Brad from the  The Wests piece, “We’ve been putting in so much effort trying to bring Fremantle back to life economically. This is one of those macro issues that could undo a lot of that good work.” Brad what you are blaming on Barnett is something you are doing right now, Brad the macro issue is that if people can’t park they don’t come, if driving around to find a parking space is a massive pain in the ass they just go somewhere else next time. Every booming shopping precinct has reasonable traffic flow and lots of free parking, fremantle has neither, no cars, no vibrant economy, well not unless he can point to an example in here in WA, somewhere to prove different.  Freo mayor warns over Link hazard

After a decade of decline can’t they see their direction is not working, trying to pin Fremantle’s future outcome on Barnett is lame to say the least, for sure he hasn’t done us any favours but his road if and how or where it happens has no effect on the last decade of Fremantle’s Decline. The legacy Brad will leave is the Mayor who helped choke the life out of Fremantle with his councils anti-car ideology, you will regularly hear council say they are not anti-car, but their actions tell a different story?

Anti- parking policy for new developments

Selling off carparks

Cancer like death of street parking

Hazardous road modifications

Anti-car transport Policy

Policy to develop over car parking at the train station

Festivals taking over the streets

Removal of Parking permits for future developments in the CDB

Ridiculous speed limit proposals of 10km/hr

Trying to attempt to restrict car ownership in the suburbs to one car (see you tube clip)

Creating more rat runs through the suburbs with closures of side street exits or entries

Adding density to suburbs without traffic impact modelling to suburbs (the constant complaints from McCabe St precinct)

Plans to close streets to cars completely.

Complicated residents parking system for the CBD

The list just goes on and on.

This is not about being anti bikes, cycling should be encouraged as it adds another dimension to the city but not increased by driving out motor traffic.

After watching Brads you tube interview, ask some questions

Where does Brad live in a small apartment or a big house, how many people live in it?

Where does Brad park his car in Fremantle, who pays for his parking space who pays for his car?

How many parking permits does the city hand out to its staff for free parking in the CBD?

Its ok for them to drive cars, park in the CBD, but not for the rest of us, sounds pretty hypocritical to me.

From the interview it’s clearly a message of, Do as I Say, Not As I Do – (Says) Council

 

 

Fremantle’s New Parking Policy

At Fremantle’s next full council meeting, the council will consider the new council  parking policy for residents, link here to the meetings agenda.

Its an issue I have spoken about many times before, I have included links to the Heralds parking curbs article from October 2014. Also the interview I had back on WTV “Fremantle Parking Curbs”  from last year when I raised attention to the anti-car tack taken by CoF. Strange a council that wants to reduce the parking its residents and rate payers can use, yet supplies some 200 car parking bays free to its staff, sends a bit of a mixed message doesn’t it? What happened to their drive for workers to use PT to commute to and from work. While the council encourages its own staff to use cars with free parking right in the heart of the CBD.

Its interesting when you watch Brad talk on the WTV interview, he seems to think that if you live in the CBD, “you don’t need a car” so I guess that means, if you live in CBD you don’t need to leave Fremantle or go down south, even in an electric car.  Does that means people who own electric cars cant live in the CBD in Fremantle? Quite confusing really, Brad wants an electric car charging network, going down south but thinks we don’t need CBD parking spaces for residents, we need charging stations but not bays to park the cars in? This sort of ideology left common sense a long time ago.

The sad comparison of Fremantle with European cities or high density cities in the Americas is ridiculous. If they think bike riding will be as popular in fremantle as it is in places like Holland which is just dead flat. The biggest challenge to bike riding east to west or vise versa in freo is not the lack of a dedicated bike track, its the 2 big hills up south st. To think a parent with an infant will tackle that in + 30degrees C with shopping onboard riding a bike is ridiculous. That’s why as CoF continues to make car parking more challenging, shoppers make other shopping precincts their destinations. With out the mass of shoppers using freo as a destination, the businesses continue to leave, driving even the CBD residents to shop  more and more at other centres.

The councils primary function is representing the rate payers and residents of Fremantle, judging from the agenda for the upcoming parking policy item the community submissions and surveys tell a difference story from the direction council is heading, nothing new there I suppose? Especially since the council has decided to treat the 200 public comments on the subject as a confidential attachment.

So now we can wait and see whether common sense and the rate payers wishes guides council or is it their anti-car agenda.

Fremantle Special Projects Committee Last Night ITS

no cars

Well the wheels almost fell off the committee last night as after 6pm they were struggling for a forum, so final they kicked off with 7 out of 12 councillors.

Bill Massie started off the night with a straight up, common sense, good governance, real representation question to the fill-in chair, Brad Pettitt. (Brad was filling in as the chair and vice chair where no shows) Bill asked if it was appropriate to go ahead with voting on motion before them, as at that moment the COF did not even know what Fremantle will be, whom it will effect, what suburbs it will impact and whether it was appropriate,  for those suburbs. Not to mention if suburbs are added to Fremantle those new residents would have had no say or voice in the process, welcome to Freo, better get use too it right?

Bill raised the issue of budgets and the impact from adding suburbs and what feasibility studies had been done, sounds sensible, good questions?

Brad hand balled to the CEO, he gave the answer a crack then a quick hospital pass out too to the acting director Paul Garbett, whom gave a fairly long answer, though I must say Mr Garbett seems to be a pretty switched on guy.

Needless to say Bill concerns where brushed over like normal and the rest of the council voted in favour of the motion.

The councils ITS Integrated Transport Strategy, was pasted through so COF delivered a strategy that pretty much will be done by someone else other than the COF. Most of these thing are out their control so mostly it’s a wishful thinking list. How I believe the Transport Authority is also so about to release a strategy, so instead of waiting to see what they have done and coordinate Freo’s ITS with a group capable of delivering actual outcomes? Freo’s has just happily made up a plan, they need someone else to actually deliver.

COF will assist the strategy by closing streets buses run on, selling the car parks, removing car parking from the west end, limiting time to max of 4hrs in the suburbs for street parking, one car per house limit, making Hampton Rd dangerous for trucks to drive on, adding more bike lanes, did I mention selling off car parks, putting a road thru the esplanade. While wishing for thousands of jobs to suddenly appear in the city where clearly there is an exodus leaving.

I believe we will get more and more people living in the city, but for the council’s figures to be achievable how many thousands of permanent full time jobs do we need in the city? Currently we see a glut of office space around Perth another 150,000sqm or so of new space coming on line this year, 15% vacancies and increasing and Freo’s plan, is to add another 70,000 sqm of office space, what developer in their right mind would build office space on some of the most expensive real estate in WA when there is a massive and increasing amount of vacancies? So the councils ITS strategy really only works if all the people coming to Freo are going to work by walking cycling to work, or are using easily accessible PT routes.

Their ITS plan is to more than quadruple bike riding as a transport means for going to work, triple walking as mode of transport to work and almost 1/2 the use of cars in 15 yrs?

Who’s to say someone living in Freo will work anywhere near Fremantle, gone are the days when people had jobs for 20yrs, the workforce is possibly more transient than it has been in years, just look at the FIFO situation?

The ITS plan is made around the personal ideologies of council, like one planet not around the reality of the situation we are in. Is there anything wrong with one planet ideas no but if we follow that blindly without looking at the reality of demographics and geography we are in, I think Freo will end up a lot worse off than it is now?

How will parents get kids to day-care, kindie or school then go to work, return from work, collect the kids, do the shopping, go to after school activities, doctor appointments and specialists to squeeze in etc, etc, is all this to be bike or foot powered? Time becomes more and more critical. Stand in front of any school in Freo and count how many bikes you see coming to drop off kids now compare that to the amount of cars, that’s reality.

Currently according to ABS WA homes about 40% have 1 car, over 33 % have 2 cars, over 12 % have 3 cars or more, that’s not including motorbikes, scooters, caravans, motorboats, sailboats, jet skis, trailers, campers, RUV’s etc. Where will we keep these things with a max one car per house policy and time limited street parking? Fremantle 1 car per household is 8% higher than the states average!

Now these number are increasing not decreasing so reality is going in one direction, Fremantle council’s ideology driven policy seem to be is heading in quite the opposite?

Anyway don’t believe everything I say have a read of the policy and decide for yourself, click onto the link it will take you to the daft discussed at last night’s meeting. I have only just highlighted a few of the clangers this policy has.

One sensible idea is to increase the CAT bus service, but they can’t increase it now as they can’t afford to?

A couple of other highlights below,

No trucks on Hampton Rd, how will fuel stations get petrol, how would all the marine industry survive at fisherman’s harbour, let’s have more jobs in Freo but no trucks which many need to function, maybe Little Creatures can get supplies and make deliveries by bike? Let’s not even mention all the businesses along Hampton road that need truck access to function? The classic last year council approved a restaurant to be built just of Hampton road on the west side and 2 weeks later pasted a motion not wanting container trucks on Hampton Rd. Yet the restaurant concept they approved was based on the restaurant being built out of 40ft containers, which they applaud as an innovative idea, the real innovation now will be how to get the containers there.

No Cars in the CBD?

Rail down South St, who’s going to pay for that?

No primary road transit corridor going north?

Increasing rail use but a better access from CBD to Port, will we have a tunnel or bridge?

Better visual and physical access to fisherman harbour but tripling the rail going through there that will make all the new home owners happy in South Freo?

On their Map Freo is a bigger destination than Booragoon or Gateways, who’s kidding who?

They oppose the Roe 8 great, but if it comes what’s the point in planning like it’s not, I believe main roads has upped the tempo to bring it in even quicker.

Do they seriously believe taking away car access to Fremantle will help retail or attract new business? The ITS really is just a big anti-car policy, though they end take pains to say it’s Not? Just google anti-car Fremantle and it’s enough reading for the night. If there is smoke there’s fire?

no car

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