Survey for feedback on Avalon Beach Shared space opens as six month trial begins - closes four months prior to trial end
The survey is available now at: yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/streets-shared-spaces-avalon-beach
The webpage for the same states final touches are still being installed and despite the notice that the survey will close on May 31st residents can write to council to provide your feedback at any stage during the six-month trial.
Council's webpage also states, 'We are working closely with local resident associations and the wider community to seek on-going feedback during the six-month trial through surveys.' and 'We will also undertake traffic counts and pedestrian observation studies.'
During the first week of the Autumn school holidays fencing has been erected along the section between the beach and village centre on Barrenjoey road:
photos taken April 9 2023
On May 4th 2022 The Hon. Rob Stokes, now retired MP for Pittwater, announced funding for a pedestrian shared space trial within the Avalon village.
The NSW Government allocated $500,000 to support Northern Beaches Council’s proposal for a shared pedestrian and vehicle zone at the northern end of Old Barrenjoey Road (between Avalon Parade and the car park adjacent to the Barefoot Boulevard building).
'The trial shared space was to enable greater pedestrian opportunities through expanded footpaths, new landscaping and additional seating areas. Northbound vehicle access was to be removed during the trial and southbound traffic will be limited to one lane only, 10km/h.' a release from Mr. Stokes office stated
“This is all about supporting the vibrancy of the Avalon village, creating more open space and improving connectivity for pedestrians,” Rob said.
“This concept has been talked about for decades – but the funding hurdles have always been prohibitive in seeing it launched.''
In fact, the northern section of Old Barrenjoey Road had once been closed for a while and earlier residents recall a stretch of green all the way, view wise, to the beach prior to the installation of the carpark adjacent to the Metro store now run by Woolworths.
Research compiled for a history page on Dunbar Park showed a letter to Warringah Shire Council over 60 years ago, the Members of the Avalon Beach Beautification Scheme, (letter dated 21.11.61) were advising Council the Committee;
''views with alarm the decision forced upon the Council by a Court decision to open Old Barrenjoey Road at the north section of Old & New Barrenjoey Roads opposite the Fire Station, as the planning of the layout of amenities and beautification of this area was on both beauty and safety for adults and Children and it is felt that the opening of this-road has produced a safety hazard, as this area contains a Village Green, Scouts Hall, Girl Guides, Kiddies Playground and proposed Baby Health Centre and public tenets. They added the Committee trusts that every effort will be made by Council to have this decision rescinded.''
The shared space was a part of the Avalon Place Plan the Council passed at its June 2022 Meeting with an Artists impression of the initial design:
Draft Avalon Place Plan illustration of the Shared Space
In October 2022 Council presented an updated design and Artist montage.
The main changes include:
- 10km/h Shared Zone at Old Barrenjoey Road North
- Introducing one-way traffic flow in a section of Old Barrenjoey Road (south bound)
- Removing nine on-street parking spaces to provide safer pedestrian access
- Improving pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Old Barrenjoey Road and Avalon Parade
- widening footpaths to create more space for pedestrians
- additional seating and plants
- adjusting bus and taxi services
- relocating loading zones.
Avalon Beach village shared space trial - Artist's Impression. Image: NBC.
However the works, scheduled to be completed prior to Christmas, then ran into problems. By early December residents and adjacant business owners, along with the Avalon Preservation Association, the local residents group, were calling for a halt to the works as flooding problems were occurring.
In its Monday December 19th Bulletin APA stated;
Delays in commencement of construction of the One Way Shared Zone has resulted in significant disruption to Avalon Village. The delay has meant construction work has been pushed into the busy Christmas holiday period. Retailers are angry. Drivers are angry. Residents are confused. In an effort to have this work completed expeditiously the re-established Avalon Chamber of Commerce has been in direct contact with Council CEO Ray Brownlee.
Despite early assurances that the number of contractors would be increased and work finished quickly Council recently had to update the schedule again. The bulk of the works were to be completed by 14th December. As of 15th December this current deadline has also not been met.
The following Works have now been deferred until February:
- south eastern footpath upgrade;
- formalisation of eastern crossing;
- shade structures in Old Barrenjoey Road.
Despite our best efforts, APA have not been given any indication of when the surface in the Shared Zone will be coloured to delineate the difference between the Pedestrian Only areas and the 10kph Shared Zone of Pedestrians and Cars. No date has been given for the installation of planters and planting.
APA is extremely disappointed with the delays in construction and, the trial has not yet begun!''
'''Thirty or forty sandbags were still sitting in that environment after the downpour on Monday December 12 around 11.15am.'' the APA states.
On Tuesday December 20th Councillor Miranda Korzy stated, ''I'm calling for a halt to work on Avalon's shared zone.
I have just asked the council's CEO to immediately halt work on the Avalon shared roadway project and to carry out an emergency assessment of it and emergency measures to decrease the flood risk - increased by the road works - to businesses in Old Barrenjoey Road. This should include provision of sandbags until the work is done.
I believe the project has been marred by multiple problems, including several requiring remediation and revisions, that have caused enormous inconvenience to Avalon residents, businesses and visitors.
Some of these include:
Disastrous timing - meaning that work has impacted on the Christmas trading period in Avalon. The project was not finished let alone bedded down before traffic increased from holiday visitors. This has undermined residents’ confidence in the council.
Inadequate publicity and signage at the beginning of the road works - given they took many residents by surprise. Small signs, on posts near pedestrian crossings, were not seen by most people - especially when they slid to the ground.
Lack of traffic controllers when the northbound lane on Old Barrenjoey Road was first closed and during roadworks and work on pedestrian crossings, leading to traffic chaos. I also saw for myself children, after leaving school at 3.30pm, crossing the road in amongst the confusion.
Large queues of traffic forming on Avalon Parade, past the Bowling Green Lane Car Park particularly at peak times - such as school drop off and pick up.
Moving of a bus stop to Barrenjoey Road with a traffic island in front of it and in close proximity to the driveway of the Shell petrol station. This encouraged school students to cross in front of buses with cars unable to see them, and poor visibility for motorists leaving the Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club (which is almost directly across the road).
To fix this problem, the bus stop was moved again in front of the traffic island.
Installation of pedestrian ramps that are too steep for pedestrians using walkers on Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey Road. Staff have told me that the one ones on Avalon Parade are compliant with road standards, however, I've seen an elderly woman crossing the road there, with her walker running away from her as she negotiated the slope and she then got stuck at the ramp at the other side - and had to be helped by two other people to walk up to the footpath.
Visibility at the relocated pedestrian crossing on the northern side of Avalon Pde, near Barefoot Boulevarde, is restricted by plants so that pedestrians can still be seen choosing to cross at the corner where the old crossing was located.
Mistakes with laying bitumen on Old Barrenjoey Road, that led to flooding over the footpath and close to shop entrances.
Delays to remediation of the roadway caused by unavailability of a machinery to do the work.
New laying of bitumen on Old Barrenjoey Road has resulted in flooding of the roadway and inundation of a pedestrian ramp over the past weekend and today.
I have had a phone call today from a resident who said he had seen a disabled person trying to cross at the pedestrian ramp on the north-east corner of Old Barrenjoey Rd and Avalon Pde get stuck in the water - and was then helped by another person with a disability to get out.
Throughout this work and while these problems continue, Sydney Water has also been digging up the roads in the centre of Avalon village. They have also sprayed paint across the footpaths in multiple colours which is still there.
A section of the council carpark next to Woolworths Avalon store was closed off during the work, at a time that the village has lost in excess of nine parking spaces due to the work.
Similarly, Woolworths closed off the footpath at both ends of its shop two weeks ago, during the day, to work on their eaves - blocking access to pedestrians during the period before school started, so that children and parents were forced into the path of traffic in the carpark during the busy period.
The local business chamber, via councillors, requested all work stop by December 13, in preparation for Avalon’s pre-Christmas late night shopping night on December 15. Pittwater councillors, however, emphasised to staff that we needed work to reduce the increased risk of flooding to shops as quickly as possible.
Work was scheduled to be carried out between 10pm and 5am - to avoid disrupting businesses, especially cafes and restaurants. Councillors have asked on multiple occasions for this to be enforced with contractors. However, work has started before 10pm on multiple nights.
Having spoken to the business chamber and business owners, they are nervous that with further rain their premises will be flooded.
Throughout December, the start of Avalon’s peak trading period, the village has looked like a construction zone and residents have avoided it because of the traffic problems.
Given this extensive list of issues, I’m now requesting that:
1. Work be halted and an emergency assessment be carried out of the design, planning process, and compliance with agreed schedules, including start and finish times.
2. Emergency measures be taken to prevent flooding occurring in business premises in Old Barrenjoey Road. ''
In Streets As Shared Spaces Work To Pause In Time For Thursday Night Xmas Shopping by Miranda Korzy, Pittwater Greens Councillor, Ms Korzy went to the work site late into the evening as the night works were in progress. The workers explained a milling machine works gouges into the road surface to provide a channel for drainage.
Cr. Korzy stated;
''Frustrations for residents and shop owners alike were exacerbated when contractors laid bitumen incorrectly last Sunday night on the new shared zone on Old Barrenjoey Road. The surface was meant to have a 2 degree slope from both sides towards the centre of the road, designed to drain rainwater into the stormwater pipes below Avalon Parade, at the north-west corner of Old Barrenjoey Rd. However, the bitumen was spread so that the whole road surface was flat - creating a potential flood hazard and alarming nearby shops.
Pittwater councillors then met with council staff on Thursday afternoon to nut out the best way forward. The following points were made:
- Councillors passed on the business chamber’s concerns as well as describing the community’s frustrations and anger about the timing of the project, with Avalon’s influx of holiday visitors already arriving.
- The dangers of the positioning of the pedestrian island on Barrenjoey Rd in front of the new bus stop were discussed and that it appeared to be encouraging kids to cross the road dangerously. Today I noticed that the bus stop has now been moved in front of the island.
- We also mentioned that residents using walking frames were finding the new ramps onto Avalon Pde and Old Barrenjoey Rd too steep - and staff have said that they’ll see what they can do to fix them.
- The schedule of work to December 13 includes removing the top layer of bitumen where it is too thick with an asphalt milling machine, so that the road has the planned profile. The three trucks were to work through Thursday night removing loads of bitumen to Rose Hill, where it is recycled. Another layer of coloured bitumen will then be laid on top of this milled surface, and a pattern stamped into it like paving. (The colour for the top layer of bitumen and pattern were previously chosen by Avalon Preservation Association.) The final pre-Christmas work will include installing chairs, tables, benches and potted plants in the pedestrian zone, along with bollards to define the roadway for vehicles.
- Staff pointed out that it won’t be until the shared zone is finished that businesses will really see the benefits, especially cafes and restaurants, of the wider footpaths and new chairs and tables.
- Councillors agreed that we could not leave Old Barrenjoey in the state it was in, given the possibility that it could cause flooding to businesses. Also that as long as nightwork really did not interfere with shops or cafes and restaurants, it would be better to finish the roadwork and install the planned furniture, if it could be done by December 13.
- On Avalon Pde, further seating outside cafes and restaurants will be created next year when work recommences, by moving the footpath out another lane’s width.
- Staff agreed to improve communications with all concerned - the community, businesses and councillors.
- Trial evaluation will be carried out both on an ongoing basis and at its conclusion. Data from before the trial for traffic volumes and waiting times at intersections will be compared with later records. Staff plan to liaise with the community and businesses on an ongoing basis and later plan to hold a feedback forum.
- We asked staff to keep work within the 10pm to 5am time frame that we had previously been told was planned, although work on Thursday night commences earlier to try and finish the milling in one night.
- Staff said Sydney Water had told them that it would not carry out any further work in the village until the second half of next year.
Work recommenced on Thursday night, with the milling machine breaking down the surface of the road near the library and starting on the southern side. This continued on Friday, and no work was planned for Saturday.
Milling Machine. Photo: Cr. Korzy
The workers explained how the milling machine works - there's a big drum, two metres wide underneath. They fit a band of metal teeth over it, that then gouges into the road surface. The long arm out the front directs the dug up asphalt into the truck.
Close up: - you can here there's a little ledge that sticks out the side - they use that to set the level. Then they program how deep they want to go:
The shoulder for the pedestrian crossing outside Ecodownunder was completed.
Fixing the pedestrian shoulder. Photos: Cr. Korzy
Also on Thursday night, staff were surprised to see Sydney Water out digging holes in the road.
Sydney Water joining in on the action. Photo: Cr. Korzy
However, this was not successful at this location, with pooling where vehicles pass and flooding now impacting on the businesses adjacent to the Shared Space section.
Avalon Beach Shared Space after Monday's downpour. Photo: RA
The section has always been prone to flooding, as instanced since the commencement of the Avalon Beach subdivisions under A J Small, who donated what became Dunbar Park to Warringah Shire Council on the proviso that the flooding was fixed with adequate drainage.
This photo was taken in 1974 by John Stone and shows the same location where the two footpaths were recently “joined” between Stapleton Arcade and Ecodownunder at 2/74 Old Barrenjoey Rd.
Drainage remediation was undertaken after this photo was taken.
Photo courtesy ABHS
Further back, for this same section of Avalon:
Department of Public Health, Sydney, 23rd May, 1934.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACT; 1902, SECTION 55.
Unhealthy building land at Avalon, fronting Barrenjoey-road, Old Barrenjoey road, Avalon-parade and Central-road, Shire of Warringah.
THE Board of Health have reported that after due inquiry, they are of opinion that it would be prejudicial to health it certain land situated in the Shire of Warringah, and described in Schedules hereunder, were built up on in its present condition.
The Board of Health hare further reported that in order to render such land fit to be built upon it is necessary that:—
(a) the land be drained by properly constructed storms water channels of capacity sufficient to carry off all water passing over the area;
(b) The surface of the land comprised in Schedule be raised with clean soil or sand to conform to the following grades—
1. at Barren joey-road and Old Barrenjoey road to the height of the adjacent crown of those roads, rising therefrom 011 a grade of one in 100;
2. at the drainage easement or lane to a height 3 inches above the natural surface of the land, rising therefrom on a grade of one in 100;
(c) the surface of the land comprised in Schedule 2 be raised with clean soil or sand at the watercourse to a height 3 inches above the natural surface, rising therefrom on a grade of one in 100;
(d) all floors be laid on joists, the undersides of which shall be not less than 18 inches above the surface of the land when raised;
(e) the whole of the work be done to the satisfaction of the Board of Health.
Now, therefore, in pursuance of the power and authority vested in me by section 55 (1) of the Public Health Act, 1902, I hereby declare that such land shall not be built upon until the measures above referred to which are also specified in a document deposited in the office of the Local Authority (the Council of the Shire of Warringah) and open to, the inspection of any person, have been complied with, or until this notice has been revoked by me.
R. W. D. WEAVER, Minister for Health.
Schedule No. 1.
Commencing at a point of the north-western side of Old Barrenjoey road, being the southernmost corner of lot 10, d.p. 9,151; and bounded thence on the south-west by the south-western boundary of Jot 10 north-westerly to lane; thence by that lane north-easterly to Avalon-parade; thence by a line north-easterly to the westernmost corner of lot 13; thence by lane north-easterly to the northernmost corner of lot 20; thence by part of the north-eastern boundary of lot 20 south-easterly to a point 135 feet along that boundary north-westerly from Barrenjoey-road; thence by a line north-easterly to a point on the south-western boundary of lot 22, being 70 feet along that boundary from Barrenjoey-road; thence by that boundary south-easterly to Barrenjoey-road; thence by lines bearing consecutively 37 degrees 185 feet, 47 degrees 310 feet, 122 degrees 125 feet, 189 degrees 250 feet, 196 degrees 0*50 feet; thence by a line southwesterly to the easternmost corner of lot*8, d.p. 13,975; thence by the south-eastern and south-western boundaries of lot 8 to the westernmost corner of lot 8; thence by a line south-westerly to the southernmost corner of lot 13, d.p. 12,047; thence by lane south-westerly to the*southernmost corner of lot "21; thence by the south-western boundary of lot 21 north-westerly' to Old Barrenjoev road; thence by Old Barren joey road north-easterly to the westernmost corner of lot 13; thence by a line northwesterly, to the point of commencement.
Schedule No. 2.
Commencing at a point on the north-eastern side of Avalon-parade, being the westernmost corner of lot 33, d.p. 9,151; and bounded thence on the south-west by Avalon-parade north-westerly to the westernmost corner of lot 52; thence by the north-western boundary of lot 52 north-easterly 80 feet; thence by a line parallel to Avalon-parade north-westerly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 60; thence by a line north-westerly to the north-western boundary of lot 66, beings point 190 feet north-easterly along that boundary from Avalon-parade; thence by that boundary north-easterly 430 feet; thence by a line south-easterly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 37, being a point 30 feet north-easterly from the southernmost corner of lot 37; thence by a line parallel to the south-western boundary of lot 36 south-easterly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 34; thence by a line south-easterly to the southernmost corner of lot 33; thence by a line bearing 116 degrees 160 feet; and by a line north-easterly to the northernmost corner of lot 20; thence by lane south-westerly, to the point of commencement. PUBLIC HEALTH ACT, 1902, SECTION 55. (1934, May 25). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 2030. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223060059
Department of Public Health, Sydney, 11th January, 1935.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACT, 1902, SECTION 55.
Unhealthy building land at Avalon, fronting Barrenjoey-road, Old Barrenjoey road, Avalon-parade and Central-road, Shire of Warringah.
IN pursuance of the provisions of the Public Health Act, 1902, I hereby notify that I have amended in the following manner, the notice regarding the abovementioned land published in the issue of the Government Gazette No. 97 of 25th May, 1934:—
By the deletion of the following words contained in Schedule No. 1:—
thence by a line south-westerly to the easternmost corner of lot 8, d.p. 13,975; thence by the south-eastern and south-western boundaries of lot 8 to the westernmost corner of lot 8; thence by a line south-westerly to the southernmost corner of lot 13, d.p. 12,047;
and the substitution therefor of the following words:—
thence by a line westerly to a point on the south eastern boundary of drainage reserve, being 125 feet north-easterlv along that boundary from Avalon-parade; thence by that drainage reserve south-westerly to Avalon-parade; thence by a line south-westerly to the northernmost corner of lot 10; Whence by the north-western boundaries of lots 10 and 11 and the south-western boundary of lot( 11 south-westerly and southeasterly to lane.
__ R. W. D. WEAVER, Minister for Health. PUBLIC HEALTH ACT, 1902, SECTION 55. (1935, January 18). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 273. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224745510
When it rains these water flows through the land and old creek would flood the flat area. Avalon camping ground campers, established in the early 1930's beside Careel Creek and behind the Avalon Beach dunes, was often the site of flooded tents with residents recalling even into the 1950's seeing people catching 'floaties' along the creek to Careel Bay and the surf life saving clubhouse being called into duty to house those who suddenly found themselves without any shelter in the middle of the night.
Despite the problems the Avalon Shared Space works recommenced on February 20th 20233 and are now relatively complete in installation terms and proving a boon for the eatery businesses alongside it.
There are still some ongoing problems with people still using the old crossings - which may be a problem for those turning the corner expecting people to not be there:
Avalon Shared Space: New crossings - Spotted: Still using old crossing ....March 2023
new crossings are tucked away from edge of street corners at Avalon Parade-Old Barrenjoey Road intersection. The old:
And residents are still wondering why a new bus stop was placed immediately after the main traffic lights when the one prior to these seemed safer:
But the space is being used and has certainly made the area adjacent to Dunbar park a lot less hectic.
Has become this:
And then this:
And is now this:
Council's Avalon Beach Streets as shared spaces webpage lists a timeline for the consultation on the changes as:
- April to Sep 2023 - 6 month trial
- Apr to May 2023 - Community survey
- Oct 2023 - Review community feedback
- Dec 2023 - Report to Council
The survey closes 31 May 2023. Visit: https://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/streets-shared-spaces-avalon-beach
No advice on where to residents can write to council to provide your feedback at any stage during the six-month trial is listed. However other consultations or invitations for feedback on council proposals advise emailing email@example.com or writing to Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655.
Perhaps make it clear from the outset your feedback is on the 'Avalon Beach Streets as Shared Spaces 6 month trail' as an opener/subject line and cc' in yourself if sending via email, and keep a copy with the date if posting in.
Government Printing Office d1_45760 - Avalon [From NSW Government Printer series: Government. Insurance.] Contents Date Range 01-01-1948 to 31-12-1948 NSW State Records and Archives Items: FL3814496, FL3814346, FL3814324 - and enlarged section from to show detail: from Avalon Shops: Some History
- Residents, Business Owners, Pittwater Councillor Call For Halt To Avalon Shared Space Works: Flooding Caused - APA States It Is 'Extremely Disappointed'
- Streets As Shared Spaces Work To Pause In Time For Thursday Night Xmas Shopping By Miranda Korzy, Pittwater Greens Councillor
- Avalon Beach Village Shared Space Timeline For Works Made Available
- Shared Spaces For Avalon Beach Village: Works To Take Place Over Spring To Be Ready For Summer
- Avalon Place Plan Passed By Council: Shared Space Trial To Go Ahead - Terracing Avalon Beach Greenspace Still On Agenda
- Avalon Place Plan Open For Feedback