NOTICE OF Council MEETING
AGENDA - A
An Ordinary Meeting of City of Parramatta Council will be held in the Cloister Function Rooms, St Patrick's Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta on Monday, 14 September 2020 at 6:30pm.
Note: Members of the public will not be able to attend the meeting in person but will be able to view the live stream video on Council’s website.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
17.4 LATE REPORT FOR APPROVAL: Popup Cycleways.............................. 3
18 Notices of Motion
18.1 NOTICE OF MOTION: CBD Parking Strategy........................................... 15
18.2 NOTICE OF MOTION: Phillip Street Smart Street.................................... 18
18.3 NOTICE OF MOTION: Activate, Regulate and Create Safe Underpasses................................... 20
19 Questions on Notice
19.1 QUESTION WITH NOTICE: Willow Grove.............................................. 27
ITEM NUMBER 17.4
SUBJECT LATE REPORT FOR APPROVAL: Popup Cycleways
REFERENCE F2019/04433 - D07622259
REPORT OF Senior Project Officer Transport Planning
To seek the endorsement of Council to support the delivery of Transport for New South Wales Popup Cycleways on Wigram Street, Harris Park and Thomas Street, Parramatta, as part of Government’s response to COVID.
(a) That Transport for New South Wales be informed of Council’s support for popup cycleways on Wigram Street, Harris Park and Thomas Street, Parramatta to provide safe cycling access to the existing CBD network.
(b) Further, that it be noted that Transport for New South Wales are to cover all costs relating to the detail design, installation, monitoring, evaluation and removal if necessary of the popup cycleways.
1. In response to the challenges of COVID19, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is fast-tracking popup cycleways across Sydney. The requirements of physical distancing is impacting the capacity of public transport and subsequently the road network. TfNSW is working with 7 other Councils and Parramatta Park to deliver safe cycling routes to access work and school, exercise, as well as essential services by March 2021.
2. The safest way for people to ride a bicycle is physically separated from traffic. These locations have been identified as missing links in the existing off-road network. Once paths are completely separated from vehicles, it allows all users (typically female, and older or younger) to see cycling as a viable choice. This was demonstrated in Parramatta when Subiaco Creek boardwalk opened. Completing the off-road path on the River resulted in a doubling of riders to 20,000 per month.
3. This initiative aligns with the Parramatta Bike Plan endorsed in 2017 that was informed by more than 3,000 points of contact with the community. It identified routes that were safe and this need was particularly acute for accessing the CBD.
4. Popup cycleways use low cost measures that are quick to implement and easily removed if required. These measures include bolt-down plastic barriers, road paint, cyclist lanterns at traffic signals, as well as minor concrete works such as short sections of path and kerb ramps. An example is provided at Figure 1.
Figure 1: Recent popup cycleway.
5. In Parramatta, counters along the River have demonstrated an increase in cycling activity for commuting and recreation since COVID, with an average of 20,000 cyclists per month in 2019 increasing to 30,000 cyclists per month since COVID as per Figure 2.
Figure 2: Counts on the river path under James Ruse Drive 2018, 2019, 2020.
6. Two routes have been identified by TfNSW for popup cycleways in City of Parramatta, in addition to a route through Parramatta Park between Queens Road and George Street.
Figure 3: TfNSW Cycleways Finder – existing bike path and shared path network in green, Wigram Street and Thomas Street highlighted in Red.
7. Wigram Street north of Allen Street is identified in Council’s Bike Plan as a cycling route. To connect the M4 Cycleway to the CBD, the Bike Plan identifies Alfred Street and Marsden Street as alignments for long term physically separated bike paths, however these will require significant capital investment. Wigram Street is the shortest connection into the existing off-road CBD network that could be delivered quickly, with the least impact. This street is currently used by cyclists, with the counter at the bottom of Wigram Street averaging 1,500 cyclists per month in 2020 as per Figure 4.
8. The proposal is to install a two-way cycleway on the western side of Wigram Street between the M4 Cycleway and Cambridge Street in line with the high level concept plan at Appendix 1. A shared path would be constructed on the southern side of Cambridge Street between the railway line and Wigram Street. The existing raised pedestrian crossing of Cambridge Street would be widened and a cyclist priority crossing added. The posted speed limit is proposed to be reduced to 40km/h and speed cushions installed in Wigram Street south of Allen Street.
9. South of Allen Street, parking can be retained on both sides of Wigram Street with current parking restrictions. Approximately 4 spaces would be required to be removed on the western side between Allen Street and Cambridge Street. One tree would be removed on the southern side of Cambridge Street to enable the shared path, however it is directly below power lines and has been heavily pruned by the energy provider.
Figure 4: Wigram Street counts 2018, 2019, 2020.
10. Thomas Street is identified in the endorsed Council Bike Plan for physically separated bike paths, as the alternative to the already congested river foreshore path. The closest counter connects Thomas Street to the river under James Ruse Drive, and has averaged 6,000 cyclists per month over the last 6 months as per Figure 5. At the western end it joins to the Elizabeth Street Footbridge over the river, connecting cyclists onto Phillip Street, one of the quieter streets in the CBD.
11. The proposal is to install a two-way cycleway on the southern side of Thomas Street between James Ruse Drive and Elizabeth Street in line with the high level concept plan at Appendix 2. A two-way cycleway on the eastern side of Elizabeth Street is proposed between Thomas Street and Robertson Street. The design and priority of side street crossings will be subject to detailed design by TfNSW. The posted speed limit is proposed to be reduced to 40km/h and speed cushions installed in Thomas Street west of Macarthur Street, and Elizabeth Street south of Thomas Street.
12. West of Stewart Street, parking would be retained both sides of Thomas Street and along the short section of Elizabeth Street. Between Stewart Street and Macarthur Street the design is yet to be confirmed due to the presence of school pick up and drop off, as well as bus zones either side. It has been requested that TfNSW lead the detailed design and consultation with the School and bus providers in this section.
13. East of Macarthur Street the road is narrower and vehicle volumes higher, therefore parking is proposed to be removed on the southern side. It is proposed that the 4P (residents excepted) restriction is switched to the northern side, with the current ¼P parking provision retained between Gore Street and Wandsworth Street. A recent review of parked vehicles east of Macarthur Street showed low utilisation of current on-street parking, and that there is adequate parking spaces in and around Thomas Street to meet the current demand.
Figure 5: Thomas Street path counts 2018, 2019, 2020.
14. TfNSW has committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the popup cycleways. Should the popup cycleways prove successful, they could be installed permanently. Should they not be successful, they can be removed.
CONSULTATION & TIMING
15. Stakeholder consultation will follow a decision from Council on whether to proceed with the proposed popup cycleways. This would include required statutory notification, local residents, interest groups, the Cycleways Advisory Committee and Parramatta Traffic Committee. TfNSW have indicated the delivery by March 2021 could be accelerated if required and resources are available.
16. The following Councillor consultation has been undertaken in relation to this matter:
Council Officer Response
Briefing note informing all Councillors of the proposal
Consultation with the community is essential.
Popup cycleways are not needed.
Popup cycleways are needed.
Demonstrate why these routes were selected?
Can they be delivered by March 2021 and therefore respond to COVID?
Can they be removed?
No one will use them.
Consultation will follow a direction from Councilors.
By providing a path separate from traffic, Popups are a viable alternative to driving and public transport.
Routes based on current/potential patronage, missing links, low impact.
TfNSW have indicated the program could be accelerated.
They can be removed, only bolted to road surface.
Routes have been selected to “close gaps” in the network that will enable cycling for a wider range of users, as per Council’s endorsed Bike Plan.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATION FOR COUNCIL
17. TfNSW will 100% fund the entire popup cycleway program, therefore there will be no capital or operating cost impact to Council.
Senior Project Officer Transport Planning
Transport Planning Manager
Economic Development Manager
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Executive Officer
High Level Concept Plans
ITEM NUMBER 18.1
SUBJECT NOTICE OF MOTION: CBD Parking Strategy
REFERENCE F2017/01420 - D07614881
FROM Councillor Zaiter
(a) That Council urgently review and revise its CBD Parking Strategy to ensure that the following circumstances are considered:
1. Parramatta Light Rail;
2. Metro West;
4. Impending closure of Riverbank Carpark;
5. Impending closure of Horwood Carpark;
6. Uncertainty around Fennel Street Carpark;
7. Existing council owned parking stations;
8. Existing and future private parking availability;
9. Wayfinding and activation from parking stations to encourage walking to the CBD;
10. Potential for current long day parking for workers in outer CBD areas, including Rosehill Racecourse;
11. Potential for shuttle buses from outer CBD parking areas to the CBD to encourage more workers to use such outer facilities; and
12. The age of Council’s parking technology, the upgrading and replacement of said technology.
(b) That Council consult with local businesses and the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders to gather appropriate input and feedback.
(c) That the Council report include any proposed budgets, timeframes and schedule of works to address matters raised.
(d) That Council consult with and seek input from Transport for NSW, Parramatta Light Rail, the local state Members of Parliament and any stakeholder as required.
(e) That Council staff prepare a draft report to be brought back to a Councillor workshop for discussion, before the final report is presented to Council.
(f) That the draft report be brought back to Councillors at the workshop no later than 6 weeks from adoption of this motion and the final report back to Council no later than 8 weeks from adoption of this motion.
1. While it is the intention to move to a walkable and cycling friendly city in the longer term, in the short to medium term, business owners in particular, and visitors to the city are particularly concerned, with the impending demolition of Riverbank Carpark and Horwood Place Carparks, and construction of Parramatta Light Rail. Due to the impending construction of MAAS and Metro West as well as other construction within the city, it is feared that there will be a lack of available short and medium stay parking within the city. Whether that be for visitors to shop, dine, or visit, business owners fear that with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, visitors will be deterred from coming back to the city and will go elsewhere.
2. Business owners and the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce are also concerned that there is a lack of all day parking for staff and with the current health concerns that may deter staff from returning to work in the city and thus spend money in the city shopping, eating and using the city services, which will affect the sustainability of business in the CBD.
DIRECTOR, PROPERTY & PLACE RESPONSE
3. Council officers are preparing a draft CBD Parking Strategy, which is taking into consideration the items identified in the Notice of Motion. Specifically:
a. Parramatta Light Rail (PLR) and the impact on on-street parking supply;
b. Metro West and the program for the closure of Horwood multi deck and surrounding road networks;
c. COVID-19 and the potential scenarios relating to return to work and pressure on parking infrastructure;
d. The Riverbank Carpark and the timing of the closure and the capacity of the existing infrastructure to absorb the loss of parking;
e. The Horwood Carpark and the timing of the closure and the capacity of the existing infrastructure to absorb the loss of parking;
f. Uncertainty around Fennel Street Carpark and ongoing discussions with PLR in respect to the return of Fennel St Carpark to Council;
g. Existing Council owned parking stations;
h. Details of existing and future private parking availability;
i. Wayfinding and activation from parking stations to encourage walking to the CBD has not been undertaken as yet. It is anticipated that the Smart Parking tender will incorporate advice on latest wayfinding technology;
j. Preliminary investigation of the options for potential for current long day parking for workers in outer CBD areas, including Rosehill Racecourse;
k. The potential for shuttle buses from outer CBD parking areas to the CBD to encourage more workers to use such outer facilities has not yet commenced and will be initiated;
l. Council has prepared a Smart Parking tender to be issued to the market, to understand what the latest technology is to upgrade the existing software and infrastructure and the capital required to implement an upgrade or replacement of technology. Funding necessary to implement any technological / software upgrades has been identified, with a budget yet to be allocated, pending the outcome of the tender.
4. Council officers have commenced consultation with local business and held preliminary discussions with the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce in respect to CBD parking and will expand these discussions to incorporate their feedback.
5. Council officers are also in consultation with Transport for NSW, Parramatta Light Rail with respect to the CBD Parking strategy and will consult with the local State Members of Parliament and additional stakeholders that could contribute to the CBD Parking Strategy.
6. Council officers have formulated a budget for the Smart Parking tender. Additional budgets are to be formulated for the draft CBD Parking Strategy.
7. Council officers will arrange a workshop to discuss the draft CBD Parking Strategy in the timeframe outlined in the NOM, however a final report will not be available until the Smart Parking tender has been received and actions arising from it incorporated within the Strategy. Council Officers will consider consult with Councillors on what is believed a realistic timeframe to complete this.
FINANCIAL AND RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS
8. Council has allocated resources from PDG and Paid Parking to work on the preparation of the CBD Parking Strategy.
9. A budget of approximately $3.4mil has been identified in relation to the Smart Parking tender.
There are no attachments for this report.
ITEM NUMBER 18.2
SUBJECT NOTICE OF MOTION: Phillip Street Smart Street
REFERENCE F2016/07579 - D07614949
FROM Councillor Zaiter
That Council provide a briefing note regarding the Phillip Street Smart Street project outlining the following:
(a) Progress of stage 1 of the project, including project completion schedules and costings. That the briefing note be provided to Councillors within 4 weeks from adoption of this motion.
(b) That Council draft a report setting out stage 2 of the project. This report should include draft concept plans, project schedules and associated funding models and the benefits to the city for undertaking stage 2.
(c) That the draft report be discussed with ward Councillors and any other interested Councillors to seek input before the final report is submitted to Council for consideration.
(d) That the report be brought before Council no later than 8 weeks from the adoption of this motion.
1. No background was provided for this notice of motion.
DIRECTOR, PROPERTY & PLACE RESPONSE
2. The construction of ‘Stage 1’ of the Phillip Street ‘Smart Street’ project commenced in May 2020. The project is currently on track for completion of the streetscape components in November 2020. The majority of the underground services works are complete and the bulk of the new kerb and gutter are poured. Laying of the new concrete slab and pavers is currently in progress. Tree planting and landscaping will follow. The installation of the ‘smart city’ elements will be finalised following the completion of the streetscape upgrade component of the project. A briefing note including project completion schedules and costings will be provided to Councillors within four weeks from adoption of this Notice of Motion.
3. A draft report setting out ‘Stage 2’ of the project (including draft concept plans, project schedules, associated funding models, and the benefits to the city) can be brought to Council within 12 weeks from adoption of this Notice of Motion. An additional four weeks is requested to enable a supporting Business Case for ‘Stage 2’ to be drafted.
4. Officers will present draft concept plans, project schedules, associated funding models, and the benefits to the city to Parramatta Ward Councillors and any other interested Councillors.
FINANCIAL AND RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS
5. There is no anticipated financial impact for drafting the briefing note, preparing the report, and briefing Councillors beyond staff time which will be absorbed as ‘business as usual’. There will be a financial implication for Council if, in the future, Council resolves to proceed with ‘Stage 2’ of the Phillip Street ‘Smart Street project. Estimated costs and funding sources for ‘Stage 2’ will be outlined in the report to Council.
There are no attachments for this report.
ITEM NUMBER 18.3
SUBJECT NOTICE OF MOTION: Activate, Regulate and Create Safe Underpasses
REFERENCE F2019/04433 - D07616491
FROM Councillor Pandey
(a) That Council work with TfNSW to develop an MoU, with a multiyear outcome, that sets out the basis to keep the space under the railway bridges clean, well lit, safe and allows Council to regulate and activate the underpasses.
(b) That, subject to approval/formalisation of an MoU from TfNSW, Council include these spaces in its activation programs, including through the Council’s Street Activity Policy or other means available.
(c) That Council look at the financial implication and benefits of leasing the two shop-fronts under the Church Street rail bridge with a view to activating that space.
(d) That Council explore open space and other grant options towards activating these underpasses, subject to MoU/approval from TfNSW.
(e) That, acknowledging that the MoU could take some time, Council write to TfNSW that TfNSW Officers be requested to include frequent scheduled monitoring of the areas where TfNSW has ownership, control and maintenance responsibilities including the railway underpasses and regulate them in line with councils’ regulatory approach. In the event if TfNSW is not supportive of regulating the underpasses, this responsibility be delegated to Council.
(f) Further, that a report be brought back to Council by December 2020.
1. Sydney Train has been investing heavily in recent years to build state-of-the-art train infrastructure to improve safety, better management of stations, to meet the growing needs among others. All these investment and focus has been above the underpasses. Below, presents a completely different story – several underpasses are dirty, filled with graffiti, unwelcome posters, lack of proper lighting among others.
2. Most of these areas look unloved and holds our CBD in a poor light. These rail underpasses lead to the centre of the CBD and currently presents a very grim entry to our CBD. The Church Street underpass given it’s critical role as a gateway to the Parramatta Square / Centenary Square area also presents additional challenges where Council cannot regulate the area, this results in unauthorised, unregulated use under the railway bridge.
3. Thousands of people drive and walk by these underpasses each day and we would like those pedestrians to enjoy the walk and view rather than to walk faster and get away from these eyesores.
4. The proposed MoU will allow Council to regulate these underpasses and could better activate that space through the Council’s Street Activity Policy or other means.
5. It should also be noted that, I earlier moved a similar motion for an MoU for clarifying cleansing roles at the Parramatta Bus/Rail Interchange in September 2019. In spite of the best efforts of Council officers, this matter is yet to be resolved by TfNSW. I also note that Sydney Trains missed to include the cleanliness of laneways around interchange in its contract earlier this year. TfNSW needs to work closely with City of Parramatta to create a welcoming, innovative and activated space wherever it has ownership, control and maintenance responsibilities.
6. The pictures attached were taken over the last few months and reinforces that we need to do a lot more to create a welcoming, world class city and not resemble some long forgotten industrial back alley.
DIRECTOR, PROPERTY & PLACE RESPONSE
7. The rail bridges, abutments, and the land under the rail bridges is under the ownership, control and maintenance of TfNSW due to (a) their critical function, and (b) a range of other matters such as contracts relating to the assets (e.g. advertising contracts). The advertising/posters on or under the bridges are wholly the responsibility of TfNSW.
8. Rail underpasses in the Parramatta CBD, and particularly the Church Street underpass given it’s critical role as a gateway to the Parramatta Square / Centenary Square precinct, are the subject of ongoing staff concern as improved curation of those public spaces could better support the strategic vision of Parramatta as the heart of the ‘Central City’ in the Greater Sydney Region Plan.
9. At present, street performers, charity collectors and others operate in the space under the Church Street underpass either via permission from TfNSW, or sometimes without permission as TfNSW is not in a position to provide a rapid regulatory response and ‘move on’ unlawful activities. As TfNSW is the landowner, Council’s Community Safety Officers are unable to intervene. Further, those street activities are not curated by TfNSW in a manner consistent with the desired outcomes of Council’s adopted Street Activity Policy.
10. Council’s Group Manager - Regulatory Services supports Council taking-on the activity of regulating the underpass areas to ensure consistency in regulating Council’s land and Sydney Trains land, and has twice previously attempted to have Council’s regulatory officers authorised to regulate these areas. In both instances, TfNSW advised that no authority and or delegations will be approved for council officers to regulate these areas.
11. If it were possible for Council to regulate certain aspects of land usage in the areas under the rail bridges, then Council could better activate some of those spaces (again, particularly the Church Street underpass) through Council’s Street Activity Policy, and better regulate street activities. Council officers support making this request of Sydney Trains pursuant to this Notice of Motion.
12. In 2014, Council sought information regarding the leases of the two shop-fronts under the Church Street rail bridge with a view to potentially activating those shopfronts. Given the primacy of that gateway to Parramatta Square / Centenary Square, Council officers consider it appropriate to investigate the financial implication and benefits of leasing the two shop-fronts under the Church Street rail bridge to assist Council making any future determination in the context of Council’s current budget. It is noted that in recent weeks, fit-out of one of those shopfronts has commenced for what appears to be a food and beverage retailer. The Place Services business unit had previously worked with the lessee of those two shopfronts to design a new, more attractive, shopfront façade with a view to that lessee participating in Council’s Retail Frontage Improvement Program.
13. Council is currently working with representatives of Sydney Trains to progress a Memorandum of Understanding relating the cleansing of the Parramatta bus/rail transport interchange. A kick-off meeting occurred in June 2020 between Council officers and representatives of Sydney Trains, with additional correspondence since that date. A second meeting was scheduled for July 2020 but this was postponed at the request of Sydney Trains as they are seeking to engage a representative from TfNSW to participate in discussions, and would like to include Parramatta Station in a proposed Interchange Management Plans (IMP’s).
FINANCIAL AND RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS
14. No additional operational budget requirements are anticipated in order to progress this Notice of Motion as drafted. There will be a staff time component for investigating the financial implications and benefits of leasing the two shop-fronts under the Church Street rail bridge, drafting a letter to the Deputy Secretary - Greater Sydney at TfNSW, and additional staff time if TfNSW are agreeable to progressing discussions for a MoU. This staff time will be absorbed as ‘business as usual’ activities. In the event that an MoU eventuated as conceived by this Notice of Motion, it is noted that Council’s Community Safety Officers already pass through rail underpass areas as part of their daily duties, and the Street Activity Policy already has an officer co-ordinating applications to activate city spaces. It is also noted that relevant Council officers already explore open space and other grant options for activating city spaces, an example being Council’s recent successful ‘Streets as Shared Spaces’ grant for Phillip Lane in the CBD. There would be an impact on Council’s operational budget if, in the future, Council resolved to lease the two shop-fronts under the Church Street rail bridge. The financial implications for that element of this Notice of Motion will be outlined in the report due back to Council by December 2020.
15. Officers are able to report back on the progress of the items raised in this Notice of Motion by December 2020.
16. Council provides cleansing of the footpath and roadway at these sites except for the underpass to Parramatta Park. Activation of the sites will result in a higher service frequency for general cleansing that will result in lower service levels in other areas of the CBD. There would be an increased requirement and cost to ensure the walls or structure are kept clean and free of graffiti. The underpass to Parramatta Park would be a new site requiring further assessment including drainage investigation and works to action the ponding of water that occurs, along with lighting and possibly cameras for safety.
17. There will be significant recurring operational costs though until specific details of the MOU are available, they cannot be quantified.
Pictures of underpasses over past 12 months
ITEM NUMBER 19.1
SUBJECT QUESTION WITH NOTICE: Willow Grove
REFERENCE F2019/04433 - D07616334
FROM Councillor Davis
What was the date the restriction that no building or structure of any kind whatsoever shall be erected, or permitted to remain on over or under; the reason for lodging or placing on the title of the Willow Grove property this restriction as to use; the date any restriction on use on the said property was lifted or removed and the reason why this occurred?
DIRECTOR, PROPERTY & PLACE RESPONSE
1. The restriction on the title of the property known as Willow Grove was removed from title as a pre-condition of the Contract for Sale of land to the NSW State Government which settled on or around April 2019.