This week Mosman’s Pedestrian and Mobility Access Plan (PAMP) goes on public exhibition. This is a very welcome development. Over the years much attention has been paid to meeting the needs of drivers but this is the first time Council has attempted to systematically address the needs of pedestrians in Mosman. The fact that Mosman consists of a number of ridges that fall way to foreshores mean that most pedestrian traffic will either be along the ridges (where the majority of ‘trip attractors’ are) or from ridge to theforeshore.
The PAMP rightly focuses on the three ridge routes with greatest pedestrian traffic – Spit Rd from Parriwi Junction to Spit Junction, Mosman Junction to Spit Junction and Cremorne Junction to Spit Junction. Investment in these routes will give the maximum return in terms of increased amenity. These routes are not only the easiest ways for most people to get to the shops and they also provide access to the majority of Mosman’s bus services.
The idea is to make these routes comfortable and connected. Comfort will be achieved by paying attention to flatness, width, shade and freedom from obstacles. Connectivity will be enhanced by providing continuity across side streets via raised thresholds or wide kerb ramps and generous build-outs and refuges. Sections of Chappel St in Melbourne are not unlike Military Rd and provide an example of what could be achieved. It will be quite a challenge as the space between the kerb and the property boundary is highly contested. But even if a straight path is impossible given the utility clutter, a meandering path of constant width (wide enough to accommodate passing prams or mobility scooters) should be achievable.
The PAMP has also identified a number of laneways around Spit Junction that could be developed to expand the very successful Myahgah Mews pedestrian zone into a fully interconnected network – useful input for the ‘Peoples Junction’ planning exercise. A similar network is proposed for Mosman Junction.
One thing the PAMP makes clear is that when the current contract comes to an end Mosman’s advertising supported bus shelters are going to need to be replaced by slimmer models moved back close to the property boundary. The advertising, instead of being on side panels visible to motorists will need to be restricted to the back panels. This is the norm for shelters just about everywhere in the world where footpath space is scarce.
You can download the PAMP and make a comment until March 30 here. Once the final version is adopted by Council the recommended works will be folded into MOSPLAN and undertaken at whatever rate funding allows. Most Mosman addresses have a good walkability score. Getting the ridge routes of a high pedestrian quality and then connecting these with the many pedestrian step paths down to the foreshores will enhance that score even further. A high walkability score is something that prospective home buyers are increasingly seeking.
I am taking a great interest in pedestrian facilities in other municipalities. Here you can view my photo gallery of crossing treatments, unobstructed footpaths and bus shelters. If you want to check out your own favourite route for walkability you can download a walkability checklist from the National Heart Foundation website.
And I am trying to find out just what powers councils have in terms of ‘development’ in the area between kerb and property boundary. I am particularly alarmed at the spread of green electricity stubs.