Little Streets letter to Candidates

Dear candidates for Lord Mayor and candidates for Councillor for the Gabba Ward in the Brisbane City Council elections, March 2016,

The Residents of the Little Streets East of Montague Road West End (13 streets who have determined to work together) are requesting that you consider:

A new Local Area Traffic Management Plan (LATM) and improvements to be funded in Council’s Budget, Program 2 - Moving Brisbane, over the next four years to address ‘rat running’, congestion, speeding, safety, parking management, asset damage and loss of amenity issues in the Little Streets east of Montague Road, West End.

In 2009 the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan allowed for the dramatic increase in dwellings west of Montague Road. Thousands of high-density residential dwellings are now being built, along with new businesses to service the increased population. This has resulted in safety, amenity, and parking issues, and use of neighbourhood streets for inter urban transit resulting in significant damage to Council assets and loss of amenity for residents. Improvements to the traffic network such as the duplication of  lanes on Montague Road are not likely to happen (as it requires land dedications through development) in the life of the Neighbourhood Plan. The reliance on the Little Streets to take traffic from new development west of Montague Road is not acceptable or sustainable. Solutions are required now.

In 2014 and 2015 well-attended community meetings were held and a community group has formed to discuss issues and to suggest solutions. Representatives of Little Streets met with Council officers and on 21 October 2015 and a traffic study was completed. This study provides useful baseline data however the focus on traffic volume, rather than outcomes of traffic behaviour (speeding, illegal parking, reduced pedestrian safety, and asset damage) does not reveal the issues of the ‘lived experience’ of residents. Real time data of traffic queuing on Montague Road and the wider network is available on the internet/Google Maps (by tracking of mobile devices) and the impact this congestion has on rat running in Little Streets can be shown.

Little Streets is a residents’ community group who are working group under the West End Community Association and has no political affiliations. We are active in the local community, communicate regularly, have a significant database of contacts, and have a well-represented and active Facebook page. Members regularly communicate on traffic issues with Council, Councillors, developers and their contractors and report issues. Little Streets have come together to request an integrated solution.

A new Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) plan funded in the Council Budget – Program 2 – Moving Brisbane is required that discourages non-local traffic, moderates vehicles speeds, and provides a safe environment for pedestrians, cyclists and residents in the Little Streets.

A clear demarcation of the threshold between the high-density development west of Montague Road and the low-density character Little Streets to the east is required. From a road hierarchy perspective, threshold treatments are required to indicate to motorists that they are entering a lower order street where the speed limit is lower, direct property access is more prevalent and shared use of the road by pedestrians and cyclists is encouraged.

Little Streets are a constructive group and are mindful of integrated, feasible solutions and have proposed short-term cost effective ‘lines and signs’ solutions, better enforcement of traffic conditions on new development and longer-term hard infrastructure solutions. Little Streets issues and solutions are outlined in clusters of streets in the attachment.  

Each cluster of Little Streets is prepared to formally petition Council, however, in the interests of efficiency and integration, in the first instance, this submission simply requests a new LATM including funded and phased solutions in the 2016 and forward years Council Budget, Program 2, Moving Brisbane to address the impacts created by the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan density increases on the Little Streets east of Montague Road, West End.

Would you kindly provide a response to this submission by 14 March? If elected, a further response is also requested prior to the finalisation of your Council budget in June 2016.

Thank you for your consideration.

Little Streets (East of Montague Road, West End) Committee 

 

Please see Attachment for this cover letter and a submission for:
Ashington, Skinner, Victoria Streets Cluster
Drake Street Cluster
Crowther, Archibald, Brady, Harriett, Edgar Streets Cluster
Mitchell, Ida, Rogers, Raven Streets Cluster

Attachment: combined submission from Little Streets 25 Feb 2016

Meet the Candidates Forum

Thank you everyone who came along to the 2016 Meet the Candidates Forum, presented by the Westender and WECA. Particular thanks to all four Gabba Ward candidates for your time in presenting your position, and answering questions from the audience. If you couldn't make it, here is a video of the evening.

Submissions on Absoe Site Development Application

The former Absoe site is one of the most critical developments for West End and for Brisbane.
The current development application for the site fails to deliver on many fronts: public space, design and calling for greatly increased residential density and supermarket/retail space.
Thanks for taking the time to lodge your concerns on this crucial site in our neigbourhood.
The closing date for the submissions is Thursday 18th February 2016.
We have analysed the Absoe development application, and have created template letters. Here are two versions you can use:
We have a Word version letter here so that you can edit to add your own comments as you wish.  It is in a format to be submitted.
We have also provided a PDF version - it is on Council’s Development Application form
Please note
In order to be considered a properly made submission, the submission must:
  • be in writing and, unless the submission is made electronically, be signed by each person who made the submission
  • be received during the notification period (18 Feb 2016)
  • state the name and residential or business address of each person who made the submission
  • state the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on in support of the grounds, and
  • be made to the assessment manager.

Thomas Street Park

The latest design for the Thomas Street Park from our local landscape architects, translating the 1000 ideas of consultation from over 330 people.

Thomas St West End - New Park-20151210

Please make a submission to Council about their draft proposal - the key requirement for an open green space for multiple purposes is not delivered in the Council plan. There are many pathways and structures that cut up the space so that it is not well used. Here is a template letter for submissions for you to use as well.

West End Urban Common Project submission generic

The submission email address is news-contact@brisbane.qld.gov.au

 

 

Thomas Street Park Submission

This new park is West End's only chance to create a truely public green square big enough to support the life of the main street. WECA has worked with local landscape architects and volunteers, and conducted over 30 hours of community consultation. People shared with us over 1000 ideas for the Thomas Street Park. Here are the key themes, a draft concept plan, and our critique of council's proposal.

West End Urban Common Project submission letter
Thomas Street Submission

WECA AGM

It is that time again - the WECA AGM. A great time to reflect on the year that has been and to discuss plans and ideas for 2016. Our AGM meetings are short, sharp and we also have time for some lively discussion.

WHEN: Saturday 5 December

PLACE and TIME to be confirmed - we are awaiting response on the venue. We plan to have the meeting at Souths so that you can do some shopping and drop in for the AGM.

Members of WECA are eligible to vote at the AGM and also to nominate for positions on the Management Committee.
This year we are very sorry that some of our long serving amazing MC members need to retire due to personal and professional reasons. Darren Godwell, David Bratchford and Jacqui Walters will be standing down. Vashti Bland also stood down earlier in the year. They have been amazing members of the WECA team who have given so generously to the community - they will be incredibly missed. It is hard to thank them enough for their contribution and for generally being fantastic to work with. One of the things that is so amazing about WECA is the fantastic vibrancy of the team to achieve amazing things for the community. It happens from the "make it happen" attitude and creativity of the team.

We have a number of nominations however we are also interested to hear from you - Do you have some specific skills and interests in one or more of these? These are some skills we are (especially) keen to have in the team:

- do you have financial and admin experience ? Are you happy to provide a couple of hours a month towards some admin and finance tasks? Our Treasurer has good systems in place and will provide handover.
- planning and urban design experience or knowledge and a deep sense of care and vision for the peninsula? There are some big DAs and it is very beneficial to have in house expertise in this area.
- events planning and passion to create vibrant events that build the sense of community? The West End Festival, Kurilpa Derby, West End Festival as well as some smaller events and community building is core to WECA celebrating Kurilpa.

Please email or call Erin on 0448848016 - we would love to hear from you!

General Update

There has been lots of actions with the Little Streets Action Group on traffic and transport action. We will update our website shortly. Also come to our AGM to hear more, contact us if you are in the East of Montague Rd area to be part of this group.

Liquor and Gaming
There has also been a lot of action on licensed venues to address license applications -
The Montague Hotel licence for liquor and gaming

Gaming Regulation to grant a Commercial Hotel Licence and Gaming Machine Licence (for 10 machines) for a new hotel to be housed in a refit of the existing commercial building at 363 Montague Road, West End (on the corner of Kurilpa St). Proposed licensed hours will be from 10am to 12midnight - Sunday & Saturday, with an addition half hour allowable for gaming machine operations after midnight in line with State Government policy.
We are strongly opposed to a gaming licence on the peninsula and have contacted Jackie's Trads Office to call on a response to this. We are awaiting a reply.
The Pig N Whistle hotel in the former Era bar has made an application for extended trading hours from 9 am- 3 am. We do not support the extended trading hours and have met with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) to voice our concerns.
Follow up to the Boundary Hotel Sunday night issues: meeting with West End Police, OLGR and members of the Liquor Accord to come to agreements to implement improvements over the coming weeks. We have had discussions with the Boundary and they are making changes to the Sunday sessions. This is a very welcome change.

We will be hosting at Community Forum with The Westender on 8 December on nightlife in West End.

Developments
We have been looking at the new DA on the Distance Education site by Pradella - a very poor outcome for the community. Where is the park? This really highlights how important it is that all of the 7 parks in West End that we campaigned for be zoned for - if it is zoned for then it is locked in as a space to be provided. The lack of zoning means the greenspace in the area is being "lost" - not provided or handed over to the developers to provide public space that is privately owned and managed. In Pradella's case this is largely accounted for by a hard surface lane, and footpaths. it is absolutely appalling that this can pass off as public space.
More to come on this one. Today's updates are already very long.

Community Consultation – Green Space Strategy and new Thomas Street Park

During the West End festival we hosted community consultation by WECA volunteers and design professionals.  We were at the kiosk on People's Park all week and did 30 hours of consultation.  We spoke with over 330 people and gathered 1000s of ideas on
- West End hopes and fears and what you want for your area
- The Greenspace Strategy
- The Thomas St Park

We collected an amazing array of ideas - please see our poster on the Thomas St Park ideas.  We are working with local landscape architects to get a design for this park as it is the first and only park in 20 years to be given to the community.  It is central in West End and a publicly owned public space.  We want to make sure that the ideas and planning incorporates the richness of community ideas as well as the professional expertise of our local architects.  This is a huge opportunity for the community.

Green Space Strategy - we launched during the West End Festival. It is a peninsula wide study by local landscape architects who have developed a plan that re purposes 11 hectares of green space.  We are calling on support of this strategy in this petition: Maximise Green Space in West End.  Please sign this.  We also have a couple of hundred signatures that we gathered during the festival.

Have you heard about the Kiosk/toilet block plans on Boundary St?  See the attached plans to this document.  We are not in support of $200K+ being flushed away for a street facing toilet block in the middle of our main street - the design looks like it belongs in a prison.  This design also removes the street front Kiosk that is used traditionally by aboriginal groups and other groups with minimal resources to provide them with a place on the street.  It was designed with the local community in 1992 and is the only of its kind in Brisbane and greatly adds to the character of the place.

Please support the petition to Save the Boundary St Kiosk on BBC e petition site.  (again we took many signatures during the festival and also keen to have more signatures).

The petitions close on 23 November 2015
http://www.epetitions.brisbane.qld.gov.au

 

Planning for People Rally

Thanks to all who came out last Sunday for the Brisbane Residents United Rally that we have been heavily involved in leading.  Hundreds came to the streets and walked united We had residents and resident action groups from over 40 areas across Brisbane as well as Redlands, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.  We also had environment and transport advocacy groups with us.  The Greens and Labor were also at the event to walk with and listen to the community.
This event has led to even closer relations with surrounding areas - the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast group leaders also lead networks of 15-20 groups under their umbrella.  There is a very strong recognition that change will happen by being united.  This represents a huge network based on aligned values and trust - and a shared aim to collaborate for better planning and development outcomes. This was one of the most important outcomes of the Rally.  We are in discussion about the Candidate Forum for February and also key issues for the upcoming council election as well as response to the state government planning bill. Please see the Brisbane residents United website www.brisbaneresidentsunited.org and facebook and twitter @bneresidents to follow us.