29 November 2012
Greenways Project Clarification
For many people this worthwhile project has been left to one side as the Goodwood Junction project has been more immediate and obvious. However, this project still has some improvements that can be made and DPTI have listened to at least two residents on this matter just this week. Hopefully they will take on board the comments and offer the residents of Cromer Pde and improved outlook and a dedicated bike lane. The letter written after the meeting follows;
Thanks to you and your colleagues for coming to our home on Monday to discuss our concerns regarding the impact of the rail electrification project on Cromer Parade and our thoughts for improving the amenity along our section of the corridor.
As promised I am attaching the three photo posters that we were looking at on Monday. These illustrate our concerns with the current situation as well as some ideas for alternative ways that would actually improve the environment experienced by local residents.
To again summarise our concerns briefly. They are:
• Visual environment. There are approximately 32 houses along Cromer Pde that overlook the train line. The existing appearance of the rail corridor is appalling. The fence is disintegrating. Weeds are overgrown everywhere. All houses have a view of the ramshackle back fences on the other side of the train line. The new electrical posts and wires will add to the visual mess.
• Community amenity. The is a extremely large number of cyclists who use this part of the cycle route from the city. It is currently proposed that the Cromer Pde road will continue to be the path for cyclists. We see this as inadequate and possessing several problems. No provision has been made for walkers. It also fails to provide continuity with the Greenway shared path project plan.
• Noise. The existing level of noise when trains are passing is extremely high. While the electric trains are likely to be quieter they also will be very much more frequent. There currently appears to be no proposal to provide a sound barrier to protect residents in the rail electrification project. Other DPTI projects such as the Northern line project appear to have done so.
As we discussed at our meeting, our proposal is that these visual and community amenity issues be resolved by:
• keeping the existing tree line adjacent to the curbing on Cromer Parade.
• constructing a 3-metre wide bicycle/walking pathway on the inside (i.e. on the rail corridor side) of the tree line
• constructing a significant, visually attractive (and preferably effective sound barrier) fence on the inside of the bicycle/walking pathway to create continuity with the Greenway project.
We also discussed the need to improve the view Cromer Parade residents have of the ugly back fences on the other side of the rail corridor and while we don't have an easy answer to this problem it is of great concern if a sound proof (and opaque) fence is not possible on our side of the corridor. We would appreciate hearing DPTI's proposal on how this problem is to be addressed.
As we have noted previously we were pleased to see that in its submission to the Development Assessment Commission, DPTI states that the Goodwood Upgrade project offers an opportunity to ‘create an opportunity to physically enhance the rail corridor and its immediate environs through ... new vegetation and screen landscaping in adjacent streets. These are positive changes directly related to the project that will enhance the outlook of neighbouring properties and the general appearance of the areas as a whole’ (p37). We assume the same aspiration applies to the rail electrification project as well.
The three photo posters attached illustrate the proposal outlined above:
• Photo Poster 3 of the Glenelg tramline shows the sort of construction we are proposing with a 3-metre wide dual bike/walking pathway between the tree line and the fence
• Photo Posters 1 and 2 of Cromer Parade and Canterbury Tce demonstrate that such a construction is possible in Cromer Parade as what we are proposing for Cromer Pde is already scheduled for Canterbury Tce and the entire distance between
Clarence Pk and Emerson stations. The photos demonstrate that the space available along the two corridors between the tree line and the rail tracks is virtually identical.
So thanks again for engaging with us about these matters. We are keen to hear the result of your discussions with your colleagues about these issues and ideas. You may be aware that the inaugural meeting of a newly formed Goodwood Junction Rail Project Resident’s Action Group will be held on Tuesday 4 December and we would like to report any progress to that meeting. We will also of course continue providing information about developments to other residents in Cromer Parade.