Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cyclists past a point in March

With the weather being so cold, I am spending more time inside delving into data.
Bicycle Victoria conduct a bicycle count on major cycle routes in March each year called Super Tuesday. The results help with planning for cycling.
The monitored site in Port Melbourne is at the junction of the Bay Trail and the Sandridge Bike Path near the Beacon Cove tram terminus.
The count showed that 259 cyclists went past this point between 7 and 9 am on 2 March.
1,795 cyclists passed through the Swanston/Flinders intersection between 7 and 9 am, a 25% increase on 2009.
To get an overview of cycling in Melbourne, and to look at all the results for Port Phillip and other councils, click here

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who are we and how do we live?

Over 90,000 people live in the City of Port Phillip. The biggest age group is the 25-34 year olds (28.1%) closely followed by the 35-49 year olds (25.5%). Residents in the 60+ age bracket make up 12.5% of the population. The number of young people from the 5-17 age group has declined slightly in recent years; however, the 0-4 age group has remained constant representing just over 4% of the population.
To find out more about Port Melbourne's particular population profile and whether this sign in Bay St still reflects our neighbourhood, click here

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Paula Havelberg from Port Melbourne is developing her business growing and selling seedlings around Port Phillip via cargo bike.

Here she is preparing for the 'Eat Your Balcony' event that will be held at the Port Phillip EcoCentre on Saturday 26 June from 12.30 pm. Booking essential. Click here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lighting up the pathway through Garden City Reserve

Security and 'dark patches' were raised as issues by residents in the consultation on Garden City Reserve.
The new lights that have been installed are partly powered by the energy generated by the solar panels on the roof of the Sandridge Trugo Club. The new lights are more discreet in appearance, and cast a good light on the path.
The green light poles in the foreground will be re-used at other sites where similar poles have rusted in harsher environments.
In an earlier phase of the project the path was widened to further strengthen its importance as a shared pedestrian and cycle route between Bay St environs and Garden City.

Keeping the pedestrian zone clear

Revised Footpath Trading Guidelines have now been adopted by Council. The most important part of the guidelines from my point of view is the emphasis on accessibility. We are fortunate in Bay St to have wide footpaths which generally allow space for pedestrians and cafe tables.
Here are the formal words:
'The pedestrian zone must include an unobstructed pedestrian corridor along the footpath immediately adjacent to the front of the building line to ensue a continuous accessible path of travel. No items of furniture, including planter boxes, plants, advertising signs, chairs and tables, etc., are permitted within this zone.The pedestrian zone will depend on the width of the overall footpath in accordance with the Footpath Trading Guidelines.
Footpath width: 4.1m - 5.0m Pedestrian zone 2.3m
Footpath width: 5.1m - 6.9 m Pedestrian zone 2.5m'
There is further detail in the guidelines about umbrellas, blinds, heaters and other mattters.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More work on the Rotunda

The Port Melbourne Rotunda has been sealed off.
Recent repairs to brick work uncovered significant termite damage in the upright supports. They will be replaced. (see post of 21 May)

Painting the Port

Down at Sandridge this very cold afternoon ...

Down by a point at Preston

The Borough went down by one point to the Bullants on Sunday!
Bullants 13.10 [88] PMFC 12.15 [87]

The Colts were decisively defeated by Spotswood at Murphy's Reserve - see how cold it looks.
Spotswood 28.14 [182] Port Colts 10.12 [72]

How about coming down to the Borough's next home game at North Port Oval at 2pm on 3 July.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Safer cycling

Following a safety audit of the foreshore bike path from Elwood to Sandridge, a range of improvements have been made.
This horizontal fence at Sandridge has been painted to show up in the dark to indicate that the path veers to the right at this location.

Moving on

Genesis gym moved from Waterfront Place to Bianca (the curvy building on Bay St) at the weekend. This has led to increased speculation about the site at 1 - 11 Waterfront Place.
There has been no further notification to the Council about what is planned for that site.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back to work - council meeting on Wednesday at Port

The Council meeting will be held this Wednesday 16 June at the Port Melbourne Town Hall.

Items of particular interest for consideration include:

  • public submissions to the draft 2010-11 budget and draft council plan 2009-13

  • return of the 2010 general valuation

  • final report on Footpath Trading Review

  • proposed road closure of Foote St, Albert Park

  • proposed lease agreement to Port Melbourne Football Club Ltd of North Port Oval

To view the whole agenda and supporting reports go to

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tourist in our own town

Took the opportunity of the long weekend to do things in Melbourne, and tried out the new bike share scheme. Slightly anxious at first about whether and how everything would work - but it did. The verdict?
The bikes are extremely comfortable to ride with three gears, lights front and back and a place to prop a briefcase or basket at the front. The wheels are well protected so there is no danger of getting clothes caught in the chain.
We took helmets with us. There was quite a bit of interest in the bikes as we made our way around.
For more on prices, terms and locations go to

What navy ship is that?

HMAS Sirius approaching Station Pier on 7 June. The Sirius is a replenishment ship, originally a commercial product tanker.

To read all about the ship on how it comes to bear this name go to
photo John Bone

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Innovating the Cities: Design, Planning and Architectural Solutions in the Urban Environment

Saturday's Deakin lecture on climate change focused on cities, recognising that cities must change as they generate around 70% of all greenhouse gases and use about 75% of the world's energy.

All speakers agreed that there was an urgent need to densify the city to reduce environmental impact. The debate was more about how this was to be achieved.

It set me to thinking about Port Melbourne and the change it has been undergoing for the past twenty years. Imperfect though that change process may have been, Port Melbourne has many of the attributes cited by the speakers as important for sustainability - or as David Owen puts it 'Living Smaller, Living Closer and Driving Less'

  • a range of housing sizes and types - family homes to one bedroom apartments

  • housing for a range of income levels - public and social housing, private owner occupiers and renters (though a shortage now of affordable housing)

  • mixed use - a range of services and facilities available within walking distance

  • access to most community services - childcare (though not enough), schools (though needing more)

  • public transport - well served by the 109 and the bus along Bay St giving access to the metropolitan public transport network

  • open space - a great open space network that is improving in quality year by year

  • alternative ways to get around - bike paths, and an improving footpath network

And the ultimate test - people report that they love living here.

Do you share the assessment above?

To watch the lecture and panel discussion go to

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reminding drivers of their responsibilities in local areas

The City of Port Phillip is supported by Road Safe Inner Melbourne in deploying this speed trailer around the municipality at locations where residents have raised concerns about traffic speeds.
It is currently working on Todd Road near the Boulevard, where the display shows that the vehicle which has just passed was travelling at 57 kph.
It seems to be news to some drivers that 50 kph is the default speed limit unless otherwise signed.

Looking good at Garden City Reserve

Turf is being laid on degraded and damaged areas of Garden City Reserve as the works to deliver the masterplan come to completion.
Lights remain to be installed and damaged pathways will be repaired.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

21st century townhouses

The development at 15 Beach St, designed by SJB, was a finalist in the Port Phillip Design and Development Awards in the category Best new development of 5 units or more.

The edited citation says:
'The proposal is reflective of the terrace typology that characterises large parts of Beaconsfield Parade. The rhythm is expressed architectually through the vertical massing where steel panels are used to notate the dwelling entrances, enhancing sense of address and legibility. ... The apartments to each end of the devleopment activate the corners. The individual dwellings clearly connect with the streetscape, each with an entry at street level. ... The dwelling utilises a balanced mix of natural materials in neutral colours, including stone cladding, timber panels, rendered upstand concrete balconies and zinc cladding.
Overall this is a resolved architectual response with a strong conceptual premise.'

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Small job makes a big difference

The scoreboard at Lagoon Oval has just had a
welcome paint job. It had looked tatty for a long time.

At last!

After several years work seems to be underway at this high profile site on the corner of Nott and Bridge St.
Anybody know the story?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Postcards from Port

At a recent workshop on tourism and Port Melbourne, the facilitator asked a teasing question:
'If you were to send a postcard of Port Melbourne to someone, what scene would you use to project Port Melbourne?'
The responses were varied. This is not my preferred image, but I do like that sense of Port Melbourne in the foreground and the city in the background, and the sunset effects on the Rialto.

What image would you choose?

Route 109

Riding into town, I observed the aftermath of an accident between two trams on the city side of the Montague stop near the tram depot around 11am.
It appears passengers were shaken up with ambulance officers in attendance.
As a consequence, many people were walking into town.
see for more.

Inside the fence

The most significant of all the grasses found at Perce White Reserve is zoysia macrantha or prickly couch.
It is the only record of its occurrence between Cape Otway and Westernport Bay.
Zoysia is one of several salt grasses found at the Reserve which recall the time when the Yarra River did not have the shape and form it has today. What is Perce White Reserve today would once have been part of the estuarine opening to the Yarra River - a salty marshy area.
To find out about the other salt grasses found at the Reserve go to

Fencing goes in at Perce White Reserve

Significant fencing is being put in place at Perce White Reserve to protect the regionally significant grasses that are found there.
This Reserve is on Port of Melbourne Corporation land managed by the City of Port Phillip. A recently adopted plan for the Reserve includes new pathways through the Reserve.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Port Melbourne from far and near

I've been away for a few days. I can't believe that after only three days, I would be so glad to see Port Melbourne again. I love the way the red of the Spirit stands out when you look across from St Kilda.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kyme Place carpark closes

The carpark on 121 Liardet St, commonly known as Kyme Place, is now being closed to allow the building of the rooming house that has been the subject of much discussion and debate in the community.
The carpark will re-open on completion of the project.

Engineering aspect of the Zinc apartments

'A notable aspect of the six level structure is the diaphragm walls employed in the three level basement which are believed to be the deepest used to date on a Port Melbourne project.
Relatively new to Melbourne constuction sites of this size, diaphragm walls give lateral support by providing a reaction to horizontal forces from earth and water pressures on sites where excavation descends below the water table' [source Buxton construction insite Edition 1 2010, p4]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

St Kilda Centric or Port Focus-ed?

Ok. So what is a picture of the St Kilda Town Hall doing on Port Focus?
Well, as I made my way to the Town Hall this evening for yet another meeting, the Town Hall seemed to be saying 'look at me, look at me'. So I felt compelled to take this photograph.