Update 24 June 2014: Council Adopted This Proposal titled “No pedestrian Link” for the Yaacaba Extension at a Council Meeting on 29 June 2014.
Margaret Sec TRRA says:
How do You Cross Victoria Parade from the proposed Yacaaba Street extension?
The option approved by Councillors on 24.6.14 was not one put out for public exhibition or comment. Whilst the business community and TRRA are pleased to see the “Reserved for Future Building” (Commercial zone) (see map attached) taken out and turned into public open space (for now), there has been no provision made for pedestrians to cross Victoria Parade in this plan.
Yes, it’s close to a roundabout but there’s no accounting for people’s behaviour when it comes to crossing roads. Council is dreaming if they think people are going to walk up to the traffic lights to cross the road when they are heading directly for the foreshore and the children’s play area. More thought needs to go into planning this.
Examiner 01 July : Green Space Win For Nelson Bay’s Yacaaba Street
We would agree that “All parties walked out happy with the progress on the street extension after the Port Stephens Council meeting on June 24.” for the present. Ms Carmel Foster has retreated in the face of major opposition to a commercial building on the site and calmed the natives by saying that there is “no immediate plan to build on the site as the market was not ripe for commercial space.” How long will it be before we are revisiting this argument? We will be “watching this space” in the future with great interest.
Update 24 April: TRRA Inc members attended the Business Chamber Breakfast today and heard their concerns with the Councils latest proposals for the Yacaaba Extension and on closer examination of the drawings and material on exhibition we have written to Councillors expressing our view. Letter below.
More Site Images: HERE
To: East ward Councillors John, Sally, John
You have probably already been alerted to this issue by other interested parties.
TRRA is concerned that the current proposal would ‘lock in’ an unacceptable constraint on the view corridor and fail to deliver the visually attractive link between town centre and foreshore that we all agreed, through the Nelson Bay Strategy, as essential objectives for the future of the town.
I attach the submission that we will be formally sending to Council before the end of the Exhibition period (oddly, a (next) Sunday)
While there remain different views in the community about the traffic elements of the design and the extent to which any commercial development is acceptable, there is a clear consensus amongst all those individuals and groups we have talked to that all of the options put to Council in February, including the preferred Concept 5, reserve an unacceptable area of the site for potential commercial development.
We strongly urge you to ensure the current proposals are not adopted and instead provide for a further period of public consultation on a link that meets the objectives of the Nelson Bay Strategy.
Update 14 April: Plan on exhibition Now: HERE
Latest News – Proposed Yacaaba Street Extension – 14 December 2013
The Nelson Bay and District Business Association held a breakfast meeting on 12 December at which this proposal was discussed following a presentation by Bruce Petersen, the Council Planning Officer responsible for the project. The meeting was attended by some sixteen people including four TRRA members.
Bruce summarized the objectives for the extension and advised of the options which were under consideration including:
- A two-way road with footpath
- A one-way road in a northerly direction with footpath
- A one-way road in a southerly direction with footpath
- A shared access including a slow one way traffic calmed roadway, pedestrian and cycle access
Retail use ( two-storey, extending 8 metres from the eastern boundary ) is being considered for each of the above options.
The business community expressed a range of views. The main points raised were:
- The importance of preserving and increasing parking spaces in the CBD, including the need to redevelop the Donald Street East car-park.
- There was a view that traffic congestion was a serious problem at peak times and that the Yacaaba Street extension should be seen as a means of relieving this. Those of this view advocated a two way thoroughfare and if a one lane option was adopted, that there be flexibility to go to two lanes in the future.
- There is need for much clearer signage to direct traffic through the CBD and to the available car parks
- Some were concerned by the prospect of additional retail space competing with an already difficult retail viability. Others felt that the market forces would resolve this.
- Concern was raised in relation to the impact on the CBD of the impending closure of Coles and a possible 2 year construction time for the Woolworths replacement. Without the attraction of a supermarket for such a long period, retail customers may by-pass Nelson Bay to Salamander Centre.
TRRA took the opportunity to draw attention to the objectives for the extension stated in the Nelson Bay Town and Foreshore Strategy:
- The need to provide a view corridor from the town towards the water and vice versa.
- The need to encourage a free interchange (especially of pedestrians) between the foreshore and the town centre
- The conclusion of the GHD Consultants Traffic Study that the Yacaaba extension is “not seen ascritical to the road network in Nelson Bay”.
- The possible negative impact if the extension developed into a through route bringing non local traffic along Yacaaba Street. The Traffic Study nominated Dowling Street as the preferred interim through route, with the Fingal By-Pass as the long term solution.
Bruce Petersen reported that PSC Planning and engineering staff are tending to favour the option of a one way road access in a northerly direction (limited to 10 KPH) together with a shared pedestrian and cycle access and retail development to two-storeys on the Eastern boundary. Councillors had a site inspection earlier in the week and also were tending to see this as the preferred option. It has been acknowledged that increased pedestrian traffic will require consideration of a strategy to facilitate safe crossing of Victoria Parade to the foreshore.
Council has in the last two days installed a temporary bitumen footpath linking through to the roundabout on Victoria Parade. Since the demolition of the house fronting Victoria Parade, a steady flow of pedestrians across the cleared site has demonstrated the potential of this route to enhance the linkage from the CBD to the foreshore. Congratulations to Council for recognizing the opportunity to trial a new linkage route especially over the forthcoming holiday period.
A report to Council on the whole project is now intended for the 3rd week in February 2014. Any further comments from stakeholders will need to be received by late January.
No details were provided on sources of funding except that development of any retail component may be at least two years away.
Geoff Washington – TRRA committee (Tourism)