Sold on shop­ping plan

Coun­cil to vote on $2m New Town re­tail precinct re­vamp

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JIM ALOUAT

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.

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