The Victorian Planning Authority and the City of Yarra have spent years actively engaging with the local community to provide a roadmap for the Cremorne precinct. The plan outlined individual strategies to support ongoing development whilst maintaining the unique and vibrant atmosphere characteristic of Cremorne. The plan revealed opportunities for repurposing existing land for public open space, and to improve streets by offering better access to public transport and improving the safety of travellers.
Public and Open Space
A key theme highlighted in the Cremorne Place Implementation Plan was to increase open space catering to the growing community, including a pocket park on the Stephenson Street/Gwynne Street intersection. The project aimed at upgrading and expanding the existing open space at the intersections of Stephenson Street with Dover Street and Gwynne Street ‒ two locations that see thousands of workers and residents pass through every day.
Three key themes were identified as part of the pocket park project:
- Trees and greenery – the need for shade and greenery, including a mix of trees, including a focal Jacaranda tree, and native planting.
- More useable space and more facilities – a place to sit, relax and meet, with facilities including bins, sheltering and open space.
- Improved pedestrian path connectivity – places that feel safe which include appropriate lighting, signage and buffering between vehicles and vulnerable users. This saw footpaths widened, extended and appropriate ramping included to cater for all road users.
These themes help encourage active transport users, increased pedestrian use of open space and improve the safety of all road users.
New infrastructure is accompanied by a wealth of construction, traffic management and disruption to road users so the safety of vulnerable users, particularly pedestrians, needs be closely observed.
Where footpaths and pedestrian crossings are impacted, appropriate measures, such as those outlined by AustRoads should include (but are not limited to):
- Traffic management workers to ensure the separation of pedestrians and vehicles
- Provision of temporary footpaths with a minimum width of 1.8 meters
- Temporary kerb ramps and road crossings as near as possible to the original crossing
- Appropriate surfacing to allow for prams, wheelchairs and mobility aids
- Illumination of temporary paths to the same level of lighting on the original paths
- Safety fences or cones to provide a barrier between pedestrians and worksites
- Where pedestrians must be diverted onto existing roadways, pedestrian paths should be separated from other traffic with appropriate mesh fencing with a separation of 1.2 meters between pedestrians and other road users provided where speeds exceed 40km/h
These measures are to ensure the transport network can continue to operate safely and efficiently for all transport users.
While of a much higher standard than many construction sites elsewhere in Melbourne city, some examples of missed opportunities during the Stephenson Street / Gwynne Street pocket park are as follows: