Sunday, December 13, 2009

St Kilda Triangle

Isn't this a victory for the common people over developers who propose inappropriate large developments in areas unsuited to such things.

It all started so long ago, I now forget where urls and links might be to coverage of the matter. I know I wrote a bit about the St Kilda triangle site development in the past. It is costing us City of Port Phillip ratepayers $5 million to get out of it. Money well spent really.

St Kilda is a prime destination for tourists. I doubt any visitors to Melbourne from overseas don't end up at St Kilda at some point. Everyone ends up at St Kilda. There are so many people ending up at St Kilda that it is traffic jammed at weekends, and also tram jammed too. Fortunately trams are separated from cars in the major tourist area of St Kilda, so the can move vast numbers of people quickly and efficiently to St Kilda, from one end to the other. If you combine the tram services to St Kilda, it is probably around a three or four minute service at weekends. It is needed. The number of people trams carry to St Kilda is almost unimaginable.

Back to the triangle development. The proposed development was to be a restoration of the Palais Theatre, some good open space, and many shops, most of which would be chain stores, and some large nightlclub venues. Like St Kilda needs any more of those. Actually, most of St Kilda nightclub type places are smallish.

I only visit St Kilda on weekdays when it is not so frantic. Even so, best to go there early in the day.

Ah, personal is interfering with this post.

I am not sure why, but the shabby Palais Theatre seems to be doing great business. I see it lit up from here at night, indicating it is well used.

Here is my proposal. 1/4 state government money. The Palais sits on Crown land. 1/4 City of Port Phillip ratepayers money. 1/4 Palais operator money. 1/4 private investor.

The Palais gets a makeover. The large areas of bitumen are turned into a people place with grass and trees. There is a small development of retail, one for local people. Look around our city, you can never go wrong with grass and trees.

Significant loss of car parking with the bitumen area turned into a park, but hey, I think that would not be a bad thing.

I don't feel at all sad for previous councillors who were tossed out at the last election over their approval of the proposed development. Dick Gross, a previous mayor and long term councillor is playing the dying swan. Dick Gross now has a good job as head of municipalities. I was not impressed when he said that the St Kilda triangle development met council criteria and so he was obliged to go along with it. Not so Dick. You were out there in the media singing praises and promoting and making very positive noises. Dick was elected to represent the people and he made a bad call.

That the St Kilda triangle plan was dropped was due entirely to the educated elite Not In My Back Yard residents of St Kilda.

NIMBYs aren't always right, but in this case they were.

2 comments:

  1. What do you reckon about banning cars from St Kilda on weekends and making it a pedestrian precinct with only trams as transport?
    Thank goodness the triangle plan didn't pass under a certain State planning minister's nose or we'd all be stuck with it for eternity.

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  2. I like the idea Jayne, but it would not work. The traders in Acland Street revolted when the council tried to close that to traffic on Sundays I think. The traffic is generally very slow moving. In spite of the numbers of people visiting, I think it might have an empty feel without the traffic.

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