After hearing from the community I've decided to support City of Ballarat plans for Warrenheip Street and not advocate to move the bus stop due to safety and amenity concerns raised by the community. Also I believe that many of the reasons raised as to why the bus stop should be moved were met by Council’s plans.
I asked the community whether the V/Line/PTV bus stop on Warrenheip Street should be decommissioned as part of the Buninyong Streetscape Project and relocated 100 meters to the north at an existing PTV bus stop. This would potentially create more space for car parking, outdoor seating or green spaces but have an impact on bus users.
84 people participated in the online survey with 70% saying yes to moving the bus stop and 30% saying no. All participants were required to list their home addresses to ensure we had locals commenting and having one vote each.
I also had a number of people contact my office directly by phone or email to raise their concerns.
The issues raised to move the bus stop included that it intruded into local businesses and moving it would create more space for parking, landscaping and outdoor seating.
The issues as to why the bus stop should not be moved included local school students using the pedestrian crossing next to the stop to cross safely and people using the V/Line bus, which often comes late or early, need shelter. People also raised concerns about the elderly and disabled who use the bus stop to access the post office and shops.
The concerns raised were serious and could not be ignored.
The City of Ballarat developed plans for the streetscape and are in the final stages after community consultation. The plans include reducing the size of the bus stop to 35 metres, approximately half its current size, adding additional parking and a garden bed with trees to replace the large section of concrete at the stop, leaving a smaller disability friendly section of concrete.
The plans would see a beautification of the area with landscaping and amenities such as seating and improved paving along Warrenheip Street.
I want to thank everyone who participated and hope they understand why I’ve decided to support the City of Ballarat plans for the area.
I’ve put all the feedback and the council plans below.
|Keep the bus stop and create marked parking bays and a crossing to the north.|
|It shouldn't be decommissioned at all. It's the most convenient bus stop along this stretch of road, with the crossing right there beside it and the park across the road and is close to not only the post office etc but other shops. Just the amount of school students who get on and off there alone, and can then safely use the crossing to meet parents at the park should be enough for it to be kept. Getting rid of this stop is a terrible idea.
I would love to see the rest of the street along the front of the post office fixed though. The asphalt and nature strips are all uneven, the mud and leaves from the nature strips spills onto the asphalt because of the odd levels, making it terribly slippery. I slipped over on it out the front of Maggie and Kate last year after leaving the butcher and walking to my car out the front. I have a spinal cord stimulator and slipping over there caused the leads in my spine to move, requiring surgery to fix. Made a complaint to Ballarat city asking for something to be done there (even just an edge on the nature strip to keep it contained) and didn't even get a response. My husband said he has also slipped over there before tio and I often see slip marks along the edges of the nature strips so I'm definitely not the only one.
|Why would you ask this question if you haven’t decided to move it.
Parking of course as this area is now busy with people shopping. For those older people who do not have a car and walk everywhere it needs to stay where it is.
|This is madness. It either stays where it is or moved CLOSER to the centre of town. Try and have some empathy for a person with a disability who caught the bus, and now this proposal is asking them to walk another 100 meters. Are you proposing to move the pedestrian crossing too? If not you are now asking the less abled person to walk even further to safely cross the road.
The 15 minute parking in front of the shops is adequate - they are rarely full - only school pick up/drop off times.
|Since I would prefer to keep the bus stop where it is, I have no views on this.|
|This bus stop has worked well in the 32 years I have lived in Buninyong. If its not a bus stop have parking for the park.|
|No of the above, as my grandchildren get off the school bus there every school day. It is a very safe area for them to get off the bus. Also there are traffic lights there for them to cross the very busy, and dangerous Warrenheip St.|
|Parking is entirely adequate in and around the location of the existing bus stop, and de Soza Park already offers a wonderful, family-friendly green space. The pedestrian crossing near Pig & Whistle serves the nearby shops well, and the bus stop provides a central, accessible public transport option. If it ain't broke, don't (pretend to) 'fix' it! There is a uniqueness & warm charm to Buninyong as is. Tourists & locals alike appreciate its cottage feel, no need for modernising it. A bucket of money shouldn't be the primary cause for 'transformation', good or bad.|
|Currently the traffic lights in close proximity to the bus stop is why our children disembarked here. Will you get traffic attendants to get the children across the roads? 3.30-4pm is a dangerous time of day. Many near misses with Buninyong PS children walking/riding and many never look. Needs traffic management at this time of day. If you move the bus stop ensure there is traffic management|
|I would be appalled if the bus stop was decommissioned. Surely we need to encourage public transport, provide a stop close to post office and main street access (it is already a block's walk to town for anyone disembarking from the post office stop).|
|Nothing. It needs to stay as a bus stop to promote the use of public transport as well as to cater for the volume of people currently using public transport.|
|Public transport is very important & this stop is heavily used by many school kids taking lots of private vehicles off the road. Please don’t move it. Definitely do not replace it with car parking.|
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on whether the bus stop in Warrenheip St should be retained. I believe it should be retained for the following key reasons:
Access for all
The bus is largely used by students, people with disabilities, and the elderly. It is important that these people are not denied easy access to the centre of Buninyong with its shops and services which are enjoyed by everyone else. Placing the bus stop further from the centre of Buninyong for the sake of a few car parks would unfairly disadvantage these people, some of whom are least able to walk the extra distance.
An ideal of urban planning is the “ten-minute neighbourhood” where shops, parks, schools, walking and cycling tracks and social opportunities are all available within a ten-minute walking radius. We are very fortunate in Buninyong to have this. Moving the bus stop would take away an important element of what makes Buninyong such a great little hub for EVERYONE.
At a time when action to reduce our carbon emissions is critical, I believe it would be counter-productive to discourage the use of public transport. Factors that influence the uptake of buses include frequency of service as well as convenience of routes and location of stops close to home and amenities.
|There is sufficient available space to do this currently. The service should not be de-commissioned to satisfy commercial expectations. The bus stop is conveniently located at present.|
|Do not decommission this stop. It promotes safety and care being in a high public view area.
There are public toilets & amenities less than 50 metres away.
There is defibrillator access less than 50 metres away.
It is the closest stop for what is considered the centre of town.
Too many public service amenities are being pushed further out or hidden to serve a select private view of car parking & eating.
|I am 84 years old, and whilst the new bus stop would be closer to where I live, it would not suit me as I have no one to assist me should I need help.
|The bus 🚌 comes in early in morning and late at night I think it needs to be somewhere central for safety of people and people use this service as it’s a direct service to Geelong as some people can’t drive and rely on the service rather than catching train and heading to deer park and across how about looking into getting a public bus service that comes directly from Sebastopol to Buninyong and back again to cater for all the people in Buninyong|
|Fit with local recommendations as proved by community members. Suitable landscaping.|
|Please do not move the current bus stop. It is a vital component of our public transport system and heavily used by people both accessing the shopping centre and those wanting to travel to or from the chain of of small towns on the way to Geelong. To lose this shared facility to a few car parks would be a totally retrograde step.
Ballarat Council and many other groups have worked for three years to come up with a viable well thought out project design that balances functionality with integrating the strip aesthetically with the rest of the township. There is no need to revisit all that good work just to appease a few individuals who have come to the debate at the last minute intent on getting their way at what ever cost to the community. Please allow Buninyong to move forward, not remain forever locked in car centred world of the 1970s.
|This bus stop intrudes badly into this small business/people/services strip.The bus stop MUST be moved to enable people friendly spaces to replace the horrible strip of concrete|
|green space, outdoor dining and/or disabled parking opportunities|
|It's a decision that should be left to the planners, although note THERE HAS BEEN NO SYSTEMATIC COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON THIS PROJECT, seeming to be at odds with the LGA 2020 which makes significant statements around "deliberative engagement practices." Council's mySay is not consultation... just a survey tool like this question!|
|Turn the road into parking and demolish the dangerous sloping hunk of concrete|
|Combination space, green and dining with maybe extra parking|
At the minute the possibility for tripping is v real
|Combination of green space|
|Grass - which can be used for seating outside the cafes or just plain grass. Please do not create more hard surfaces in this area. We don't need more parking there and we do need the shady, established trees left alone to continue to create shade & beauty. The new bus stop is ugly and impractical - far too steep for most people to use. Thank you for asking the residents!|
|As described in the plan, without net loss in street parking (hopefully a slight increase)|
|As per a previous submission, the process of streetscape development should be driven by a vision for Buninyong articulated through a sense of place. The current process is guaranteed to produce more ad hoc outcomes for the town.|
|Convert to green space and seating dining area|
|Green space, seating and dining preferred.|
|Whatever best suits the overall plan, so long as it’s attractive community space, including dining/seating/green space, preferably not parking. Thanks|
|Grass is not practical.
Revert to short term parking
Not safe for seating or dining
|Parking, parking, parking|
|green space with seating &parking|
|I used to own a business along that strip in Buninyong. I feel that a more communal area such as seating for the restaurants, green gardens - even the grape vines like on the other shop fronts to make the Village looks more the same. Extra parking along that area would be good as well. There are 2 other bus stops 100m away in each direction. It seems like there are way too many bus stops in that area and taking the bus stop away would not affect people catching the bus. It shouldn't be in the middle of that strip at all.|
|The site of the removed bus stop would be rehabilitated within the landscape plan for Warrenheip Street east.|
|Green Spaces and provision for outdoor dining.|
|Additional parking is preferable|
|Dining/seating and patking|
|I would like to see the area developed with more outside seating for local cafes.|
|Just good old nature strip is sufficient. We all talk about keeping green spaces and then add extra paving (etc) to allow for 'outdoor dining areas' and other things that are only used at certain times. It would be great to see the extra car paring spaces this would give in front of the shops and more 'green space' would be welcomed.|
|Parking as in front of Community House and private residence. However, external eating area could be improved from Red Door to Pug and Goose creating an al fresco environment.|
|Initial need is for parking, but a combination of the above would be ideal - e.g. parking, green space and seating|
|The existing bus stop is taking up valuable community space, for such a low patron use. It's position is a safety problem for bus users, particularly school children, as it blocks vision of the ped. lights crossing, and people using it. Also the traffic at the Forest St adjacent intersection is a conflict issue too, with the bus so close.
The area can be much better used for more car parking, (extra 10 bays) landscaping, out door dining areas.
The PTV should not dictate to our Community what they think is best for us!! They need to LISTEN and be flexible to the Community wishes for their village.
|This bus stop is absolutely not necessary considering the over-supply around. It absolutely should be moved. Please make this happen and common sense prevail.|
|Parking would be preferable|
|convert this area to mainly parking to service the nearby businesses - there are a lot of older local residents who can drive but arent particularly mobile - they appreciate good parking near the businesses they visit regularly, such as the post office, butcher, coffee shops. The new landscaping on the nature strip areas should allow plenty of space for outdoor dining, there is no need to eliminate car parks.|
|Lift the area from Pig & Gosse to the Red Door Pizza restaurant and make it all level with a mix of dining and gardens areas. Make the area more people friendly.|
|Improve streetscape by landscaping, more parking, safety at pedestrian lights for elderly and school children, ( bus blocks sight distance), safer intersection with Forest St.|
|Definately move it North..My only concern is to ensure a new one will be compliant and have access for the disabled , complete with wheelchair access.. A member of my family has previously been denied travel to Geelong, but able to return safely to the stop opposite. I would be be very pleased to see the area replaced with green space , seating, etc.|
|Extra car parking at street level ,seating and dining areas at footpath level|
|More out door dining for the cafes. Level it and make suitable for tables and seating|
|Re-Warrenheip St Redevelopment
The key drivers for this project have been well defined as safety (both vehicular & pedestrian) and economic development.
In terms of safety, the depth and breadth of this aspect needs to expand beyond the levelling of road and footpath pavement. The major safety concern that needs to be understood is how a bus parked in the stop outside Pig & Goose and the Community House impacts upon the sight lines of south-bound traffic as they approach the street crossing. Having stood outside 407 Warrenheip St between 3.30pm-4pm on Thursday Feb 18th, I was able to witness for myself the dangers that school children face in using this crossing at this time whilst a school bus (or any bus for that matter) is parked at this stop. I observed a significant number of Buninyong primary school students walk down the East side of Warrenheip St to use the crossing. At the same time, a significant number of PTV buses pull into this stop to offload large numbers of secondary school students from Damascus, Mt Clear College and other schools.
In the majority of cases, the students alighting from the buses predominantly ran to the crossing and even in front of the bus to cross. The danger stems from the fact that the bus stop almost sits on top of the pedestrian crossing and the sight lines to the crossing for any driver travelling south on Warrenheip St are significantly impacted by any stationary bus at rest in this stop. The fact that the lights are dormant until activated gives no indication to a driver unused to this part of Warrenheip St that the crossing even exists. I observed any number of cars and heavy vehicles roll through the crossing after the lights went yellow even with a significant number of school children massing around the lights and on the road pavement itself.
In my honest opinion and without wanting to sound alarmist, I honestly felt that this situation is an accident waiting to happen. Sadly, I could only conclude that at some point in time a child will either suffer significant injury or die on that crossing. I would imagine a driver’s only defence will be that they did not see the child due to the presence of a bus at that stop impacting their ability to see the crossing before it was too late. I cannot underestimate the seriousness of this issue and it underpins all of the efforts of the community members of the CoB Warrenheip St Strategic Advisory Group to include the decommissioning of this bus-stop within the scope of works for the project.
As the seed-funder of this project, I do not want a child’s death or even significant injury on my conscience because the planning failed to understand the major risks. The argument therefore is that the full safety ramifications are not being addressed unless the bus stop is decommissioned and removed from this part of Warrenheip St. In all honesty, that fact that there are 5 bus stops on both sides of Warrenheip St (10 in total) all within the space of 750 metres beggar’s belief and points to the need for some rational thinking about this issue.
In addition, the issue of vehicular traffic doing hook turns at Eyre St and that of cars parallel double parking outside the businesses along that strip increases the danger levels and demands a review of what safety options could be best applied to mitigate this dangerous behaviour.
In terms of economic development, I know from previous business experience that customer convenience parking is the key to driving business growth. As a community member of the SAG, I have been led to believe that there is capacity for upto 16 carparks within the space of the defined project. It is a given that the Bank sits at the very northern end of this strip and would derive some benefit from increased parking, however the main traffic generators are the Post Office, cafes and butcher. The best way to drive business growth is to make it easy for customers to use. Business growth leads to an increase in jobs which leads to an increase in spend which leads to an increase in the economy of the local area. I can only advocate support for the traders in this area with a plea to pay due regard to addressing the best infrastructure design that will contribute to achieving the goal of driving economic growth and business development.
In addition, the Community House at 407 Warrenheip St plays a role in the vibrancy and liveability of the strip. It is a well utilised community asset that will come under increasing community use as we return to some form of post-Covid normality. The House has been developed by the Bank for the purposes of allowing community groups and organisations to meet in safety in a secure environment at no charge. The inconvenience of having to park away from the building and even across the road primarily in the evenings is something I would like to have addressed by those in charge of designing this project. I would be extremely pleased as Chair of the Bank to think that our efforts may lead to the provision of car-parking immediately in front of the House for the improved amenity and safety of community members and that of their vehicles.
Thank-you for the opportunity to respond to this survey through the Buninyong Streetscape portal. I trust my input will provide value and balance to the discussion.
|Parking and outdoor eating|
|Combination green space, seating, dining areas|
|Green space & dining|
|Parking and green space|
|I think seating/ dining and parking are a great idea|
|Yes. Green space, seating and dining.|
|Green space and seating|
|More street parking and dining areas. The bus stop is a waste of previous car spots and is silly where currently located.|
|Extra car spaces for access to Butchet,Bank,cafes ,hairdresser and post office.|
|More car spaces near Post office,Butcher and cafe plus Bank|
|If the bus stop goes, or even if it stays, the ground /nature strip in that area needs to be level. The area is a high use pedestrian area. I frequent the area (post office mainly) and need to be so careful where I place my feet. Additionally, the area is a meeting place of sorts, so seating of some sort would be useful. Furthermore the road rules are often ignored in that section of the street so a medium strip or something to prevent cars doing U turns would add to safety of the area. (It is strange 'the lengths we need to go to', to make people aware of [and to obey] road rules.|