Footpath Madness in Coolbinia

Carnarvon Crescent, Coolbinia

STIRLING COUNCIL MUSINGS XV

Aaah, Carnarvon Crescent, Coolbinia; a beautiful street designed in accordance with the Ebenezer Howard Garden Suburb Movement of the first half of the 20th century.

You might then think that positioning a footpath would be fairly straightforward for this unique garden suburb – place them along the edge of parks… If only it was that simple.

A chance encounter by one Carnarvon Crescent resident with a City worker opposite her home late last year led to the discovery of a proposal for a footpath to be installed across 30+ reticulated verges and driveways.

The resident could not understand why the City would not put the footpath on the park side of the street where there are only 5 crossovers, 3 of which are secondary, or why the City would not first consult with the residents.

26 residents of circa 30 impacted households agreed and submitted a petition to Council at its 7 December 2021 meeting.

The petitioner was not directly responded to and residents were advised in March 2022 that the footpath would be going ahead as planned within 2 weeks.

By chance, the City’s annual elector’s meeting was scheduled for 28 March 2022, so a motion was moved and carried by a number of residents at that meeting NOT TO PROCEED with construction until after a review of the footpath policy and further consideration of the location.

Sounds fair enough and surely the local ward Councillors would provide support…. well not in the Lawley Ward…as you will soon discover.

The City’s current footpath policy requires footpaths to be placed adjacent to the kerb and affected driveways dug up and replaced with the standard white concrete for the length of the footpath.

A number of residents of Carnarvon Crescent made a very good case that the footpath is safer, more environmentally sustainable, not impacted by bin collection day and likely to attract greater use on the park side of the street by picking up residents from the side streets. They also pointed to Meenaar Crescent as a built example.

At last week’s Council meeting (5 April 2022), the electors’ motion was considered by Council.

Residents received Councillor support from across the City, particularly from Cr Re of the Doubleview Ward. Cr Re was in fine form as you can see on this video link: – Cr Re Backing the Community

So much so that if the Lawley Ward Councillors, (Cr Joe Ferrante and Cr Suzanne Migdale) backed the residents, then the motion to proceed with a footpath in a location the majority of residents opposed would not have passed.

Unfortunately for the residents, the Lawley Ward Councillors were successful in their push for the footpath to be built across 31 driveways, be it slightly narrower, rather than on the park side of the street.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *