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					DED10       MAJOR ROAD SHOPPING STRIP IMPROVEMENT WORKS
            (D10/43875)
Director Economic Development
Place Design & Strategy

Executive Summary
Council has established an objective to upgrade its small retail strips through the Mayor’s
Speech 2009 and Council Plan 2009-2013. Following an audit of all the retail strips, the
Major Road, Fawkner shopping strip has been selected as a pilot project to be upgraded in
the current financial year.
A design concept has been prepared for an upgrade of the Major Road shopping strip to
improve traffic and parking management, improve pedestrian amenity, and generally lift the
character of the area.
Two phases of community consultation have been undertaken regarding this project. The
first in December 2009 to assist in identifying issues that the upgrade should address, and
the second in early March 2010 to seek feedback on a proposed design concept.
This report details the results of the consultation, and the features and financial implications
of the proposed design.
Recommendation
Council resolve:
1.    To endorse the design proposal for the redevelopment of the Major Road shopping
      strip.
2.    To reallocate $30,000 to this project from Capital Works funds un-spent in the current
      financial year (Refer Council Report DCI17 – 14 April 2010).
3.    To allocate an additional $85,000 to this project from Shopping Strip Renewal Program
      funds referred for consideration in the 2010/11 Capital Works budget.
4.    To notify the local traders and the community of these resolutions via a mail out and
      inform them of the implementation program.




Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                   1
                                         REPORT

1.    Policy Context
      A key strategic objective of the Council Plan 2009-2013 is to facilitate the
      development of the local economy and jobs through a range of initiatives including
      enhancement of shopping areas.

      A commitment to this initiative is also highlighted in the Mayor’s Speech Council
      Priorities 2009, City Development:

             Uphold and improve the amenity and appeal of local shopping centres with
             practical measures such as clear parking signage, appropriate levels of
             cleaning and rubbish facilities, provision of bike racks, seating and other
             beautification.

      The Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy 2010 emphasises improvement of
      pedestrian and traffic safety around busy streets and shopping strips including
      provision of seating and shade trees.

      Council’s Access & Inclusion Policy 2010-2014 Action Plan aims to ensure that
      Council’s public areas provide good access to people of all abilities.

      Council’s Street Landscape Strategy 2004-2009 outlines the value of street trees and
      a vision to create a vibrant, harmonious and environmentally balanced city, using
      street landscapes as one means of achieving this.

2.    Background
      Following the creation of the new Economic Development Department, work has
      commenced on preparing a program for renewal of Council’s smaller shopping strips.
      A preliminary audit of 52 strips has been undertaken and presented to Councillors at
      the Issues & Discussion Workshop on 23 November 2009.
      Following the I & D workshop, the shopping strip at Major Road, Fawkner was
      identified as the pilot project to be upgraded in the current financial year, and to
      inform future work on other centres. The selection of this strip integrates well with a
      current proposal to install a signalised pedestrian crossing at the eastern end of the
      shops. Approval for this crossing has been received from VicRoads and signalling
      works are due to commence in April.
      The Place Design & Strategy Branch undertook a consultation exercise with the
      community and traders in December 2009 to identify the issues to be addressed in
      the area. A petition requesting improvements in parking and traffic management in
      the area was tabled at the Council meeting on 27 January 2010. A response to the
      petition from Manager Transport & Engineering is included in this report as
      Attachment 1.
      A proposed design has been developed to respond to these issues, and a second
      phase of community consultation was undertaken to seek feedback on this proposal.
      A summary of the feedback received and responses to the issues raised is included
      at Attachment 3 to this report.
      After final revisions to the concept plan, detailed documentation of an integrated
      design has commenced in order to enable construction to commence in this financial
      year.




Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                    2
3.    Issues
      The following table outlines the issues currently affecting the Major Road shopping
      strip, identified through analysis and consultation, and the features of the proposed
      upgrade that address these.
                   Issues                                   Response
       1.   High speed of traffic      -    Installation of signallised pedestrian crossing
                                            on the east end of the retail strip
                                       -    Installation of raised pedestrian platforms at
                                            both ends of the strip
       2.   Poor pedestrian amenity    -    Raised pedestrian crossings on both ends and
            and disability access           creation/extension of kerb outstands
                                       -    Reduction in level difference between shops
                                            and footpath
                                       -    New pram crossings at junctions as required
       3.   Lack of trees and shade    -    Large canopy trees to be planted to provide
                                            shade
       4.   Uneven and slippery        -    Reconstruction of entire footpath in an even
            footpath                        surface and installation of tactile indicators
                                       -    Use of anti-skid finish on the surface to
                                            prevent slipping
       5.   Parking                    -    Wider parking bays to allow greater room to
            - conflict between              manoeuvre reversing vehicles
               vehicles reversing      -    Formalisation of parallel parking on the south
               and vehicles parallel        side of the street
               parked on the south     -    Designated disabled parking bay and shop
               side                         loading bays for controlled time periods
            - lack of enforcement      -    26 bays on north side + 8 parallel parking bays
               of parking controls          on south side = a loss of 6 spaces within strip
               results in overstays
               and a reduction in
               trade
       6.   Poor quality of street     -    Installation of new seats, rubbish bins and bike
            furniture                       hoops
       7.   Dumping of rubbish and     -    Pot holes to be fixed in the rear laneway
            graffiti in the rear
            laneway
       8.   Drainage                   -    Drainage improvements as required


      Features of final design
      The proposed concept plan is included to this report as Attachment 2. The feedback
      from the community and a response to each of the issues raised on the proposed
      plan is documented in this report as Attachment 3.
      Following the feedback from the community revisions have been made to the draft
      concept plan in order to add three parking spaces back to the shopping strip. This
      has been made possible by relocation of speed hump on the western end of the
      shopping strip side and removal of one tree in the parking area.




Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                  3
      Parking
      A parking occupancy and duration survey was conducted on 4-5 December 2009.
      This survey indicated that the car parking within the strip is typically fully occupied
      around the middle of the day, and that approximately nine spaces are occupied for
      long periods. It is likely that the cars occupying these spaces are owned by traders
      and their staff, and hence the loss of six parking spaces can be accommodated if
      these cars are parked in adjacent streets. The behavioural change necessary to
      achieve this outcome is likely to require increased enforcement of the 1P parking
      controls.
      Maintenance Implications
      Council’s Street Cleansing Unit provides the following level of cleaning within the
      Major Road shopping strip:
         Mechanical sweeping of the kerb and channel is undertaken daily
         Manual sweeping of the footpath is undertaken weekly
         Emptying of litter bins is undertaken daily Monday to Friday
         Dumped rubbish is attended to as reported
      The construction of new kerb outstands and planting of trees will preclude any
      mechanical sweeping of the kerb and channel from being undertaken effectively.
      Accordingly the sweeping of the kerb and channel will then need to be included in the
      weekly manual sweeping program. This will reduce available manual sweeping time
      at other smaller centres to enable sweeping at Major Road to occur.
      The additional time available to the mechanical sweeper will be utilised in other areas
      including the growing residential areas of Gowanbrae and Pentridge.
      Timing
      The project as currently proposed, if endorsed, will proceed for tender in April for
      construction to commence in June. The pedestrian crossing works, however, will
      begin mid April. The estimated time frame for completion of all other proposed works
      at the shopping strip is six weeks from commencement.
      Permits
      Advice has been received from Council’s Urban Development Branch that a Planning
      Permit is not required for the proposed improvement works.
      Approval for the installation of the pedestrian crossing has been received from
      VicRoads.
      Environmental Implications
         The improvement of pedestrian amenity in the shopping strip would encourage
          more people to walk to the centre and minimise the use of a car.
         Planting of trees in the strip would provide shade and have an effect on the
          energy usage of shops in the strip.
         The proposed concept plan for the centre incorporates Water Sensitive Urban
          Design (WSUD) features.
      Social Implications
         The physical improvement works including installation of pedestrian crossing,
          reconstruction of footpaths and installation of a designated Disabled Parking Bay
          would improve the access and safety for people, including the large number of
          elderly in the surrounding area.
         Also, the installation of street furniture and trees would make the strip more
          appealing to people and have a positive effect on social cohesion within the
          community.




Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                    4
      Economic Implications
         The improvement works would serve economic benefits of minimising the use of
          a car by encouraging more people to walk to the centre.
         The renewal program aims to improve the viability of the shopping strip and have
          a positive effect on strengthening local jobs and economy.
      Strategic Implications
         The Major Road project is a pilot project under the Shopping Strip Renewal
          Program and will inform the approach/strategy for future projects to be
          undertaken.
         The project would also contribute to better connection with the community and
          enhance Council’s presence in the north of the municipality.
      Human Rights Consideration
      The implications of this report have been assessed in accordance with the
      requirements of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
4.    Consultation
         Councillors have been consulted about the overall program at the Issues &
          Discussion Workshop held on 23rd November 2009.
         A briefing session was held with the North East Wards Councillors on
          11 February 2010 to appraise them of the developments on the project and of
          the next steps (minutes of this briefing are included at Attachment 4).
         Advice was sought from officers across Council in the Transport & Engineering,
          Cleansing, Open Space, ESD, Engineering Operations, and Arts and Culture
          Branches.
         Two phases of community consultation have occurred through meetings with
          traders and residents. These were held on:
          -   Phase 1 – Issues consultation on 14 and 15 December 2009
          -   Phase 2 – Draft design proposal 5 and 9 March 2010
         On both occasions letters were sent to traders, landowners and the surrounding
          residents inviting them to the consultation.
         Consultation with the bus company operating on Major Road has also been
          undertaken and their concerns regarding safety and punctuality of bus services
          incorporated.
         It is important to note that a petition requesting the installation of a pedestrian
          crossing and improved pedestrian amenity was presented to Council on
          27 January 2010.
5.    Financial and Resources Implications
      $150,000 is allocated in the current capital works budget for Shopping Strip Renewal.
      The proposed works have been estimated to cost a total of $280,000 including
      consultant fees and a 15% construction contingency.
      It is proposed that the shortfall in the funding for the project be met by the
      re-allocation of $30,000 in the Capital Works budget in the current financial year, and
      the allocation of an additional $85,000 from the Shopping Strip Renewal Program
      funds referred for consideration in the 2010/11 Capital Works budget.
      The following table outlines the budgetary considerations for the project:
                                 Item                                    Amount ($)
       Estimated total project cost (excluding pedestrian signal
       works funded under separate item in Capital Works                280,000
       program)
       Existing budget allocation for Shopping Strip renewal            -150,000



Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                5
       Potential funding from Melbourne Water for WSUD
                                                                         -15,000    (approx.)
       initiatives
       Shortfall                                                         115,000 (approx.)


      In addition, it is anticipated that the improvement of the Major Road shopping strip
      and other strips in the future will require increased maintenance and law enforcement
      regimes. The new streetscape infrastructure created – footpath, street trees, and
      street furniture - will require increased resources to improve frequencies and
      methods of cleaning and maintenance (e.g. manual cleaning of street and footpath in
      front of retail strip). Similarly, additional resources may be required to enforce parking
      controls and other laws for public safety.
      The report intends to highlight to Council the concomitant budgetary implications and
      the need to commence a process to address them.




Council Report 14 April 2010                                                                    6
                               ATTACHMENT 1




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                               ATTACHMENT 2




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                               ATTACHMENT 3




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                               ATTACHMENT 4




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