Council's Shopping Strip Renewal Program focuses on infrastructure and activation improvements to streetscape and public spaces on public land, working to make the immediate areas more enticing for locals to visit, shop and socialise. The project area is indicative at this stage.
Council’s investment in this Neighbourhood Centre can:
- Improve the experience for people who walk, cycle, drive or catch the bus to West Street Shops.
- Create a greener and more attractive destination to shop, meet and enjoy the local offerings.
- Protect and enhance the local environment, by removing pollutants from stormwater, increasing biodiversity and supporting sustainable modes of transport.
The Shopping Strip Renewal Policy directs Council investment toward shopping strips within Neighbourhood Activity Centres; where future communities would spend the most time.
The Policy focuses on 4 aims:
- Enhance the local economy and increase local employment
- Improve the physical condition of the local shopping strip
- Build partnerships and participation in the community
- Leverage Council infrastructure and investment
Council's 2021-2031 Community Vision describes a community that is:
- Regenerative community.
Investing in our Neighbourhood Centres in vitally important to achieving this vision.
In 2013 we consulted the local community about a plan to improve the intersection of West Street and Glenroy Road. The project did not proceed due to community and trader feedback that the associated loss of car parking would impact the viability of the shopping strip.
What has changed?
In 2021 community concerns were raised about traffic, pedestrian and cyclist safety through the intersection. With new residents and business opening, it is time to refresh our understanding of what matters most to the community. We understand that parking is still a high priority, so this is an opportunity to test new ideas for the intersection, and the shopping strip that balances the needs of all users.
What we heard
Below is a sumary of what you told us would most improve the West Street Shops. You can also see our interactive map with feedback we received during the engagement.
We heard that slowing down traffic was a key priority , particularly for families with young children and older visitors. We also heard that the West Street and Glenroy Road intersection is difficult to navigate for all users.
To respond to what you told us, Council is proposing to:
- Install five (5) new speed humps on West Street and one on Glenroy Road to help slow traffic.
- Council is also proposing as part of a suite of works to ban cars from making a right turn from Geum Street on to West Street. Traffic experts advise that this would help relieve congestion for drivers queuing to access the West Street service road, and moving through the West Street and Glenroy intersection.
- Apply to the State Government’s Department of Transport and Planning for a speed reduction on all local roads, including Geum Street, Eileen Street, and Middle Street, from 50km/hr to 40km/hr, and to investigate a reduced speed limit from 50km/hr to 40km/hr for the shopping strip section of West Street. The reduced speed limit would help reduce risks to pedestrians crossing busy West Street and Glenroy Road.
We heard that retaining car parking was a key concern for the community and for traders. The project has been designed to realise essential pedestrian safety measures in a way that minimises car parking loss to the greatest possible extent.
It is necessary to remove a small number of carparks to make essential improvements to pedestrian safety within the West Street service road. In the Draft Concept Plan we have retained as a priority as many car parks directly in front of the shops as possible.
- 1 parallel car park space would be removed on West Street to improve safety by ensuring clear visibility of the approach to the pedestrian crossing
- 6 car park spaces would be removed from the service road, to make existing pedestrian crossings safer.
- 3 new car park spaces would be created within the service road – this helps offset the loss of other spaces . These 3 new spaces would be achieved as follows:
- 2 new car park spaces created by closing an exit point from the service road that isn’t used often
- 1 new car park space created at the north end of the service road
This would limit the total net loss to 4 car parks in total within the entire shopping strip.
Attractive and safe pedestrian environments encourage people to walk more often and spend more time in shops. The proposed changes to West Street would support more locals to walk to the shops, thereby freeing up some carparks for those who need to drive. A recent parking study shows that the service road (57 car parks) and Woolworths car park (80 car parks) are often full at peak hours, but that there is free parking available within the side streets (180 car parks), just a short walk from the shops.
We heard that improvements to pedestrian crossings and footpaths are needed to make the shops safer and more inviting. To respond to what you told us, Council is proposing to provide new and upgraded crossings in the following locations:
The busy crossing on Geum Street connecting Woolworths and West Street Bakery would be upgraded to a raised pedestrian crossing.
It is proposed to upgrade the crossing on West Street which connects to the Chemist, to include a zebra crossing, flashing lights and wider pedestrian refuges.
It is proposed to provide a new raised crossing of the service road, aligned with the existing traffic signal to provide safe and direct pedestrian access to the shops.
It is proposed to install a new raised pedestrian crossing on the service road next to Middle Street. The crossing would be more direct and wider footpaths would provide more protection to pedestrians.
It is proposed to install a new raised pedestrian crossing to help connect the shops either side of Eileen Street.
It is proposed to widen the raised crossing connecting to the bus stop to improve access. There would also be more space to move around the bus shelter.
Council proposes to make the footpaths wider on either corner of Eileen Street and the service road. This would make more space for public seating and pedestrian access. It is possible to convert road space to public space without changes to vehicle turning movements in this location.
We heard that some of the existing trees have low branches that obstruct footpaths and sightlines. An independent arborist has assessed the health of the existing street trees, and many trees are stunted due to lack of irrigation and growing space.
In the Draft Concept Plan, existing weeping mulberries and figs would be replaced with more suitable species that have a higher, wider canopy for more overhead shade.
It is also proposed to encourage tree growth by:
- Using stormwater to irrigate trees
- Providing healthier soil for tree roots
Future street tree planting opportunities would be subject to discussions with service authorities. Further investigations would be part of the next design phase, as there is a gas main running through the shopping strip.