Sold on shopping plan
Council to vote on $2m New Town retail precinct revamp
NEW TOWN residents and traders are overwhelmingly supportive of a $2 million revamp of its retail precinct, which Hobart City Council will vote on tomorrow night.
Bike lanes, kerbside seating, better pedestrian access, heritage panels and more trees and flower beds are part of a plan to revitalise the New Town shopping area.
Three years ago, New Town Greenstore owner Kathy Wilkins started a petition call- ing for a small crossing from her shopfront to the Salvos store across New Town Rd.
“It’s snowballed into something much bigger, which is really exciting,” she said.
“I think many years ago New Town was a really exciting area and I think this plan will revitalise the area.
“Somewhere you can walk, ride your bike and have places to sit.”
The council’s project team has involved New Town residents through direct mailouts to 2500 households, a com- munity survey and a workshop.
In March, the council invited residents and business owners to view a pop-up exhibition of the New Town draft streetscape concept plans and have their say.
A report will be presented to the council showing an online survey of 145 people found 69 per cent were satisfied with the plan, 22 per cent were dissatisfied and 9 per cent were equally satisfied/dissatisfied.
City infrastructure chairwoman Alderman Helen Bur- net said the feedback had been overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal.
“Having that pop-up display where people could look at the plans really helped,” she said.
The plan includes the potential for public art and revamped bus shelters.
Concerns have been raised about car parking and bicycle lanes.
The plan outlines short sections of a bicycle lane along New Town Rd as opposed to a long continuous bike lane, to avoid creating pinch points for riders on New Town Rd travelling uphill towards the city.
“Some people wanted dedicated bike lanes all the way down,” Ald Burnet said.
“The design team looked at that and there was consultation with Bicycle Network and Cycling South.’’
Ald Burnet said the plan tried to minimise the loss of parking spots while creating a pedestrian-friendly spot.
If approved, work is expected to begin in the 2018-2019 financial year.