31 January 2016

West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation

Regular blog readers may remember our last update on traffic and road safety issues in West Hobart (10 November).  Council asked consultants MRCagney to investigate the issues the residents were raising and to provide a report.

The MRCagney report “West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation” [22 December 2015] was included in the agenda for the City Infrastructure Committee meeting of Wednesday 27 January, together with some recommendations in response from Council staff.  

You can find the agenda and print out the report (pp41-69 of the full agenda) from this link.  We strongly encourage you to take a close look at the analysis and recommendations of these Melbourne-based urban planning and transport consultants.  There are some important findings and recommendations made. If you have trouble printing the report, contact us as we may have some hard copies available.

Following approaches from WH residents, the City Infrastructure Committee agreed to defer consideration of this report until the next meeting of the Committee, which will be on Wednesday 24 February.  Between then and now, they will seek to have the principal consultant involved, Steven Burgess, present and explain his findings to all Aldermen.

The report’s main recommendation aimed at making it safer for residents of all ages to cross  busy Hill St is to install traffic signals at two points:  at the Hill and Arthur St intersection, and at the Hill and Patrick St intersection (currently a roundabout). Importantly, the signals will provide inviting, formalised crossings at the signalised intersections themselves, “where current pedestrian outcomes are poor”.

In addition, establishing these two sets of signals would break up the flow of traffic into “platoons” along both major and minor roads.  Breaking up the continual flow of traffic would offer quiet periods in which pedestrians could cross Hill St more easily, especially during peak times.  The mid block crossing points could also be improved to become more attractive and feel a lot safer than the current “pedestrian refuge” crossing points.

Installation of the traffic signals would also create a safer environment for cyclists in West Hobart.

The consultants provided guidelines used in Victoria and Queensland for installation of zebra crossings.  Interestingly, the report identifies that there are intersections along Hill St that approach the pedestrian demand levels required for a zebra crossing at peak periods (MRCagney Report 3.3.2). This issue deserves greater consideration as an interim solution during peak hour traffic.

Strangely, the consultants do not appear to agree with the residents’ view that West Hobart is a residential area and should not have a connector route running through it and a general speed limit of 50kph. Given that Council has undertaken to look at reducing speed limits in residential communities across Hobart, in line with regular practice in communities in Melbourne for example, this advice should cause some concern.  

It is also of concern that the report does not agree with the Council’s decision to reduce speed limits in the vicinity of Caldew Park.   We are a little alarmed that this decision may be reviewed and retracted.

Another disappointment was the failure to support the inclusion of a bikelane around the relatively level transit line through Cavell/Hill/Lansdowne/Hill Streets.  Similarly, there is no advice that improvements to the pedestrian crossing points should not be to the detriment of bike riders by forcing them into pinch points with the faster moving traffic.

If you have some concerns when you read this report, please share them as comments here or be prepared to contact your Aldermen to make representations.  You can also get in touch with WHEN via whenvnet@gmail.com.

18 January 2016

Sparrows - what do you know?

WHEN received an email on behalf of Elizabeth Sheldon from the Bird Behaviour Research Team from Macquarie University. 

Brief details of this research project:

''The Bird-behavior research team from Macquarie University is currently researching invasive birds in Tasmania, and we are asking for your help! We are asking you to answer 10 quick questions about the birds in your garden. Your insights will help us understand how introduced species are effecting native birds in Tasmania, and what landscapes they thrive in. 
We are trying to get an insight into how sparrows interact with people and the environment and thought a quick questionnaire could be very helpful. The questionnaire is about garden characteristics and bird-life in gardens. 

mobile phone: 04-5153-2403'

If you would like to participate in the survey, you can download the questionnaire from here
Please send completed questionnaires to elizabeth-louise.sheldon@students.mq.edu.au.
Contact Elizabeth directly for more information if you would like.

09 January 2016

Gardening notes - January 2016

Apologies for not posting this earlier!

Here are Margaret's gardening notes for January, it's not too late to get stuck in.

There's lots to do in the vegie garden. I'm harvesting the first of the scarlet runner beans and tomatoes (Stupice, which ripen early). The raspberries are over and the black currants are mostly in jars of black currant jelly. The boysenberries are still gorgeous and prolific - there is a big jar of boysenberry 'country wine' bubbling away on the kitchen table awaiting bottling (and pretty much immediate drinking).  Lots of brassicas going copiously to seed.

Enjoy the warm and the New Year.  Planting notes below.


JANUARY Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
French Bush Beans (last chance) x

Swedes (last chance) x

x x x
Shallots/Spring Onions x x

Lettuce (last chance to grow to decent size) x x x
Cauliflower   P to G x

Cabbage  P to G x

Brocolli  P to G x

Cabbage (direct seedlings small style cabbages) x x x


Cauliflower x

Lettuce - last chance before winter x x

01 December 2015

Gardening notes for December

My asparagus is finished and the broad bean glut is abating thank goodness. My garlic crop is drying off in my garden shed (officially the laundry but I haven't seen the troughs for decades under the gardening stuff).The potatoes are growing so high I suspect they aren't making much below the ground but we will see. I hope your garden is giving you as much joy as mine does.

Now here are the Gardening Notes for December: Lots of planting joy!

DECEMBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Silverbeet - punnet, pot to ground, or direct seeding x x x x
Brussel Sprouts - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding x x x
Kale - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Cabbage - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Brocolli - for March
x x
Swedes x x x x
Shallots/Spring Onions x x x x
Lettuce x x x x
Kohlrai x x x x
French Bush Beans x x x x
Climbing Beans - Last chance as on the limit. x

x x x
Sweetcorn - last chance as on the limit. x


Lettuce x x x x
Brocolli - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cabbage - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cauliflower - punnets or pots for winter
x x

Best wishes

23 November 2015

People's Climate March, this Sunday 29 November 1pm

A reminder - don't forget the People’s Climate Marchthis Sunday at 1pm on the Parliament House lawns in Hobart.
On the last weekend in November, world leaders will be gathering in Paris on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit. Meanwhile, across the globe, millions will gather in their cities to create the biggest climate event the world has ever seen.

Join us at 1pm on Sunday 29 November for the Hobart People's Climate March!  

Parliament Lawns will be full of colour, creativity, music and Tasmanians from all round the island as we come together for the rally of the year in a vibrant show of people power.

18 November 2015

TFS Fuel Reduction Unit Forum at Fern Tree, 29 November

Want to know about burn-offs planned for 2016 for the Mount Wellington foothills? Yes? Then this is for you.

West Hobart residents are invited to a free public forum:
"Prescribed burning in the kunanyi/ Mount Wellington foothills"

You will hear about activities to date, and plans for 2016, for the Hobart Fire Management Area Committee and the TFS Fuel Reduction Program.

Fern Tree Community Centre
Stephenson Place, Fern Tree
10:30am Sunday 29 November, 2015

Please RSVP for catering purposes.  RSVP by 23 November to 1800 000 699 or fru@fire.tas.gov.au

And after that meeting it would be great to see you at the Rally for the Climate, 1pm, Parliament House lawns!

10 November 2015

Update on our campaigns on road safety in West Hobart

Just a quick update.

1.  Caldew Park - safety of children using the park
Council and State Government have agreed to reduce the speed limit in the vicinity of the train park to 40kph.  This will be applied in a small zone next to, and on the approaches to the park.  So drivers approaching on Hill St or Warwick St will have to reduce their speed about half a block away.

At the point where the speed limit changes, there will be advisory signs to alert drivers, and a kerb bulbout as a physical reminder on the road itself.  We expect that these works will take place any day now.

2. The Hill St rat run
Since our most recent update,  your community reps have been successful in lobbying the General Manager of the City of Hobart to engage external consultants, as a matter of urgency, to provide the report requested by Council on 7 September.

On 28 October, several residents met the consultants and showed them the local issues via a walking tour of the area.  The consultants met parents and staff at Lansdowne Cres Primary School, and then met residents of Lawrenny Court.  While on the walking tour, a number of passers by worked out what we were doing and came and shared their concerns with the group.

We expect that the report will be going to Council soon.

3.  Hill St Grocer corner
Council's infrastructure services staff are continuing to monitor the issues here.

On a recent walking tour with Aldermen Helen Burnet, we suggested that a No Parking line be painted on Burnett St on the Lawrenny Court side, from the intersection down to the first driveway.  This is to improve the sightlines for drivers and pedestrians turning and crossing here.  Alderman Burnet arranged for the line to be painted.  The line was started, but could not be completed due to cars being parked there at the time.  We are still waiting for this to be completed.

04 November 2015

Knocklofty Open Day


Knocklofty Open Day will be held on Sunday 15th November from 10am - 2pm.

Activities include orienteering, a free picnic lunch and opportunities to explore with Friends of Knocklofty Reserve and Lansdowne Crescent Primary School.  You can even dig for the Knocklofty Dinosaur!

As well, the City of Hobart wants to find out about community connections with Knocklofty Reserve including its special features or places and any stories or memories that are associated with it. You are invited to come along and tell your stories to Heritage Consultants who will be attending.  So please come along if you can help identify the cultural values of this beautiful reserve.

Click here to view a flyer about the event.

There is no cost and bookings are not required.  Meet at the gravel car park at the top end of Forest Road, West Hobart.

For more information, or if you would like to participate in sharing your stories about Knocklofty but cannot attend on the day, please contact the City of Hobart Bushcare Coordinator on 6238 2884 or bushcare@hobartcity.com.au

Here's hoping you find a dinosaur!

21 October 2015

Heat pump bulk purchase

Sustainable Living Tasmania is offering an amazing deal on high-quality heat pumps - which are by far the most efficient and cost-effective form of heating.
"By partnering with local specialists Sackett Services and pooling our purchasing power, we are providing a special bulk buy price of $1,499 on the Fujitsu 6kW heat pump (other units are available at discounted prices too). The offer ends on 15th November 2015, so get in quick".

Find out more at this link.

And attend an information session on 5 November.

If you mention that you heard about this offer through West Hobart Environment Network, we'll get a reward to support our ongoing activities to promote a sustainable community. That would be nice!

12 October 2015

Lansdowne Cres School Fair - Friday 13 November

What other school fair will have food on offer from the likes of :
  • MONA - Museum of Old and New Art
  • Smolt
  • Vermey's Quality Meats
  • The Italian Pantry- Hobart
  • Hill Street Grocer
  • Urban Bounty
  • Bury Me Standing Coffee Co.

 ++Twilight Fair: Nov 13 - 5-8pm++

Spooky, Superstitious and best of all, Sustainable.


03 October 2015

In the garden - October 2016

It was back to winter during the week but this weekend is to be hot.
I called in to Eve's Garden for some tomato plants on Sunday - they look very beautiful but I'm resisting the temptation to put them in the ground now! (10 - 3 pm every Sunday 14 Petty St - you can't get more local than that).

I'm still harvesting asparagus and collecting eggs every day from the bantams. The leeks are in.
Blackbirds are causing havoc in the seed beds as is their Spring style. I always forget to protect the beds until too late!

Here, are the October notes, from Greg's long experience of growing in West Hobart:

OCTOBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Beetroot - large direct sowing for winter Feb to Oct.

Carrot - large direct sowing for winter Feb to Oct.

Shallots/Spring onions x x x x
Sweetcorn - pregerminate then sow direct x x x x
Lettuce - Direct seeding and punnet to ground. x x x x
Runner Beans 
x x x
French Bush Beans

Kohlrabi x x x x
Tomatoes - outdoors punnet to ground

Zucchini- pots to ground. Put juice bottle over plants
x x x

 - pregerminate then plant in glasshouse in protected area

Radish x x x x

Lettuce x x x x
Basil x x

Leeks - for harvesting Feb to October. Plant a lot. x x x
Zucchini - pregerminate and plant in pots in propagator. x x x x

Best wishes

25 September 2015

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes....

It is that time of year again and Eve's Garden, 14 Petty St, is selling tomatoes and other vegie and flower seedlings this Sunday 27 September and each Sunday until further notice.

There will be a wonderful array of varieties. I can't wait to get tomato planting!
Elizabeth will have the plants for sale from 10 am to 3 pm. Might see you there.

Best wishes


12 September 2015

Hobart Council to seek reports on safer roads

It's been a month since our last update on our campaign to make our local roads safer for old and young, for pedestrians and bike riders.  You'll be pleased to know that your fellow residents and neighbours have been working hard to make some progress on this.  

The six monthly West Hobart Local Area Traffic Committee held in August had a very large turnout, with a strong contingent of residents including reps from Lawrenny Court, Lansdowne Crescent Primary School, WHEN, and Island Tyres.  Three Aldermen (Reynolds, Ruzicka, Thomas) attended to hear our concerns.  A strong resolution was agreed, to be put to the City Infrastructure Committee meeting the following week.

The City Infrastructure Committee received a strong deputation from West Hobart:
 - Margaret Steadman (West Hobart Environment Network)
- Michelle Cunningham (Lansdowne Crescent Primary School Community Association)
- Cynthia Archer and Bill Dalton (Lawrenny Court).
Additional Aldermen also attended this meeting to hear the issues and to contribute their views.

The Committee's primary agenda item concerned traffic issues around the intersection of Hill St and Arthur St, following the opening of the new Hill St Grocer.  Aldermen Reynolds and Ruzicka moved an amendment on behalf of the residents to propose, as part of the solution for this traffic problem, our proposal for a safer West Hobart (with a blanket speed limit reduction to 40kph and installation of a number of pedestrian crossings which would give pedestrians real priority).  
After a long debate, a recommendation was drafted to put to the full Council meeting of the following week.

On 7 September, Hobart Council passed the following motion:

1. A review of the traffic issues identified in the report attached to
Supplementary item 13 of the City Infrastructure Committee agenda
of 26 August 2015, in relation to the new ‘Hill Street Grocer’ store in
Hill Street, West Hobart, be conducted in six months time.

2. A report be prepared on options for safer pedestrian crossings in Hill
Street, West Hobart.

3. The Council investigate a 40 km per hour speed limit for all
residential areas within the Hobart municipal area.

4. The following notes of discussion arising from the West Hobart
Residents’ Traffic Committee, meeting conducted on 19 August 2015
be received and noted:-

(i) Recognising that pedestrian safety is the priority, the West
Hobart Local Area Traffic Committee (LATC) ask Council, as a
matter of urgency, to develop a safe traffic plan for West Hobart
based on the “West Hobart safe traffic zone” map produced by
the West Hobart Environment Network, as tabled at the LATC
meeting, including:
      (a) A suite of traffic calming measures that include defined and
safe pedestrian crossings (such as wombat and zebra
designs); and
      (b) A reduction in speeds to 40 km per hour for Lansdowne
Crescent, Hill Street and Arthur Street.

(ii) The LATC also requests that such a plan be developed in
consultation with relevant community groups, including on-site
consultation with residents at Lawrenny Court. The LATC also
recognises that the development and implementation of such a
plan within a reasonable timeframe, will require additional
Council resourcing.

5. That the report on these issues also consider a traffic roundabout or
traffic signals at the  Hill St /Arthur St intersection and other alternatives
including bike lanes.

As WHEN, the Lansdowne Cres School and Lawrenny Court have been presenting these issues to Council for several years now, and not (in our opinion) having our views respected and acted upon, we are not now sitting back to wait for these studies to be done and reports to be compiled and presented back to a committee meeting.  Reps of these groups are seeking to meet with the General Manager of the City of Hobart next week to discuss how the Council's resolutions can be implemented efficiently and effectively.