Plan for “Walmer Plaza”

Scroll for plan, model, and council opinion.

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^^ Simplified plan sent in by reader.  Salta plan below.

Bike ramp gone. Long, narrow and circuitous two-way shared pathways, sharp switchback turns, path partly underneath building.  Note bank is not flat as shown in plan, but steeply sloping. Closest building is only 22metres from river. Planting plan submitted by Salta proposes unsuitable plants. Space allotted for planting is exaggerated in drawing.

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^^ Model shows steps, detour under building, bike/disabled ramp gone.

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^^Remaining space in “Plaza” for pedestrian/cyclist thoroughfare. Bicycle parking shown is NOT public bicycle parking. The statutory bicycle parking on-site requirement  is for 167 spaces : 111 resident/staff and 56 visitor spaces. The 56 visitor spaces are located in “Walmer Plaza”and “Davidson Plaza”(other side of development).

What the Council said about the  proposed pedestrian and bicycle access:

“The proposed configuration of the ramps for cyclists and pedestrians to share is also in my view excessively tight in its configuration and less than intuitive or direct on its organisation.
Logically the proposed western graded zone of the Walmer Street plaza should lead directly into the pedestrian and cycle ramp down to the river, rather than to a planter zone as currently proposed. The ramp should extend further to the west and have more generous landing zones at the switchback points at its eastern and western end to accommodate the fact that cyclists are turning at 360 degrees and sharing this zone with pedestrians. Ironically the path is shown at only the same width as the proposed bicycle access path to the private bicycle store despite its significant regional role and shared use.”

(a) It appears that only around a third of the upper Walmer Plaza area is proposed to be a dedicated pedestrian precinct. The main area fronting Victoria Street is largely proposed for vehicular access/egress,hard stand paving and some bicycle parking. This is not a satisfactory resolution of the plaza space.”

and:

“The number of hairpins/switchbacks/bends dramatically reduces the accessibility and ease for cyclists (and other who need to use the ramp) from Victoria St onto the Walmer St Bridge  and the shared path next to the river
166. The proposal also dramatically increases the distance that cyclists and others will need to traverse compared to the current arrangement
167. The arrangement of the switchbacks doesn’t indicate which legs have right of way, which could lead to conflict considering the number of cyclists using the Main Yarra Trail and the ramp grades
168. It appears that the trail is being deliberately re-routed for the benefit of the development rather than the existing users resulting in a lower level of service. ” (source: IDAC City of Yarra website).

The Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) states:

Clause 21.06-1 – Walking and cycling
The relevant objective and strategies of this clause are:
(a) Objective 30 To provide safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle environments.
(i) Strategy 30.1 Improve pedestrian and cycling links in association with new
development where possible.
(ii) Strategy 30.2 Minimise vehicle crossovers on street frontages.
(iii) Strategy 30.3 Use rear laneway access to reduce vehicle crossovers.

Just how many planning rules don’t seem to apply to Salta?

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