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Open Forum

by Willoughby Admin, over 7 years ago

The 'Open Forum' has become a very popular area for our Online Community Panel Members as well as the local community to have their say on a wide range of local issues.

Please feel free to talk about any local issues in this forum. Ask a question or suggest a topic for discussion. All of your comments will be passed on to the relevant Council staff member for consideration.

This consultation has concluded.

  • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
    It is great to encourage cycling. However, please do not cycle into Chatswood CBD, the roads can ill afford cycle lanes.
    • SP! over 7 years ago
      I would have thought that Chatswood could ill-afford more congestion and parking from the alternative (cars)! I appreciate that cycle lanes might not be the answer here though...
    • ashamazz over 7 years ago
      We need fewer cars in the Chatswood CBD. More bikes & more pedestrians. More public transport users.
    • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
      My apologies. I dont mean no cycling. I just dont see now cycle lanes could work in Chatswood CBD. Perhaps cycling to the fringe and walk the last 100-200 meters.
      • Joe over 7 years ago
        If cars and buses can work in Chatswood CBD, I see no reason why bicycle as a mean of local transport cannot work, given the fact that bicycle takes up less space than cars; one more bicycle means one less car on the road, which also means one more parking space reserve for people with need.The first 600 meters of Victoria Ave starting from Anderson Street have 6 traffic lights and it's creating heavy congestion in most of weekdays, not to mention each time the hold up of the traffic by buses which stop to pick up and drop off passengers near the Concourse bus stop. Imagine the amount of toxic gases the pedestrians have to breathe in on both side of the road each day.It's time for us to rethink our car dependent way of life, and give people an alternative choice of local transport; a freedom of choice that has been denied to us by the car-centric urban planning.
        • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
          Yes, I can see your point of reducing car dependency but there are also many people who are unable to cycle. It is a pity council shuttle on certain routes do not have enough patrons. Instead of council spending money on running its own shuttle, how about using the fund to subsidy bus passes to local residents travelling within Willoughby. That will encourage more patrons, then bus run more regularly and then attract more patrons.
  • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
    Traffic issues. I lke to see yellow checks on pacific highway at the junction of centennial ave. During peak hours, motorists on pacific highway queue across the junction. This makes it difficult for cars coming out from centennial to get onto pacific highway at times despite having a traffic light. As many motorists are not conscientious, the yellow checks will remind them that a fine is possible. When the Thomas Street carpark is replaced by antoher giant development, where are the replacement parking spaces? The apartment will create more traffic into pacific highway into the junction I mentioned in the preceding paragraph. What is council's plan ?What is the target for additional residential dwelling for the council each of the next 5 years? Do we really need another giant residential block ?
    • Eddy over 7 years ago
      Yellow markings on the Pacific Highway/Albert Avenue intersection are sorely needed too. Cars frequently get stuck in the middle of the intersection for a variety of reasons, leaving pedestrians to thread their way through (difficult verging on dangerous with prams).I would request that Council views the Thomas St car park redevelopment as an opportunity to improve the road network around here. Cars from both sides of Albert Lane frustrate traffic and pedestrians alike. And yes, Adviser 169, there is a new car park mooted for the development, which has the potential to exacerbate the problems of this little section of Albert Avenue.There are a lot of pedestrians moving between the 2 schools and high density residential area on the western side of the Pacific Highway (locality 'J') and the train station/Chatswood. Lots of commuters, lots of people with prams, lots of school children. There needs to be significant improvement of both Centennial Avenue and Albert Avenue approaches to the Pacific Highway to reduce pedestrian / car conflict.The very first thing you can do is replace the big, shady trees on the eastern side of the Pacific Highway/Albert Avenue intersection. To avoid baking in the sun in front of 6 lanes of traffic, waiting for the green walk sign, I will often jump in my car for local errands - contributing to Chatswood's traffic woes.A big thank you for widening the pedestrian strip along the southern side of Albert Avenue. Looking forward to those trees maturing too. Moving the substation or whatever it is certainly reduced a very dangerous spot, though more needs to be done to slow down cars speeding up Albert Lane to that intersection. Again, Ive had some nasty near miss moments pushing a pram.Finally, I am grateful to be an able-bodied 30-something that can happily get around anywhere in sneakers or thongs, but a while back I had an eye-opening few months, heavily pregnant and pushing a pram. All of a sudden, the streets are that more difficult and dangerous to get around. Im not looking forward to old age, I tell you. The next time you walk down Albert Avenue towards Chatswood and go under the bridge, take a look at the steep gradient, the camber of the new footpath and where the handrail stops (a State Government project, not Council). It took a lot of effort to stop the pram from falling on to the road.This area needs a lot of attention. I would look forward to seeing some plans drawn up to encourage safe, efficient walking of our streets.
      • BruceF over 7 years ago
        Interesting EddyWhile on the subject of Pacific Hwy/Albert Ave, I've witnessed many close calls and have nearly been hit by cars running the red lights (1) travelling on Hwy south and (2) right turns from Hwy into Albert. Stand there for a while and watch the numbers of cars running these red lights.I've spoken to Chatswood Police and been referred to the Highway Patrol who told me they don't have the manpower to blitz this intersection.Whilst it is not a Council responsibility, could a serious attempt please be made to increase pedestrian safety there?Thanks.....BruceF
    • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
      Hi Adviser169Thanks for your post. Hopefully the information below can help answer some of your questions:' The Roads & Maritime Services (formerly RTA) is responsible for the management of the Pacific Highway and for any signalised intersection. In the past Council has requested that cross-hatched markings be introduced at signalised intersections where there are problems with vehicles queuing across the intersection. The RMS does not however believe those markings are appropriate so does not install them. Council has raised concern about problems at the Pacific Highway/Centennial Avenue intersection with the RMS on a number of occasions. The RMS’s most recent advice is that the matter has been reviewed and the phasing optimised to allow for greatest throughput of traffic. The RMS acknowledges that the close spacing of the two sets of traffic signals (at Centennial Ave and Albert Ave) creates difficulties in efficiently managing traffic movements into and past the intersection but considers that it has done all it can to ensure the intersections operate efficiently. The redevelopment of the Thomas St Car Park will incorporate a 250 space public car park to be owned and operated by Council. It is noted that there are currently 151 spaces in the existing car park.Willoughby’s current population of approx 68,000 people reside in 28,000 households (dwellings). Our population is expected to increase by just over 6,600 people to 73,500 by 2021. This is based on an increase of almost 3,480 households during that period.This growth rate is consistent with the NSW Government’s Metro Strategy and Subregional Plan which provides a target for Willoughby of a an additional 6,800 dwellings by 2031.'
    • charlie over 7 years ago
      Yes I agree with better indications that drivers are doing something wrong at intersections. We have the same problem trying to either turn into Oliver Road from the north and when we enter Oliver Road from Albert Avenue.
  • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
    News Update:According to this article in today's Daily Telegraph, the Willougby Council area is in the top ten for recycling across Sydney. But we can do better with your help! The aim is to recycle 66 per cent of waste by 2014.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/councils-not-green-but-mouldy-on-their-recycling-rates/story-e6freuzi-1226286675694
  • Greenrider over 7 years ago
    I have been cycling in city traffic for 30 years in both Brisbane and Sydney. My experience can be summed up as follows:* Building separate cycleways is very expensive relative to the apparent current patronage.* Most cyclists are problably similar to me. We ride whether or not the cycleways exist. The sustainabilty of It empowers you in a strange sort of way. The fitness is a side benefit.* Many cycleways are like footpaths, with gutters etc., (e.g. Epping road cycleway) which prevent riders from riding fast for longer distances. Many riders will ride with the car traffic so they can ride at a reasonable speed and with less interruption.* Cycleways are often congested with parked cars, removalist, trade and council vehicles etc.* Some nasty people smash bottles on cycleways leaving glass to puncture bike tyres.* Cycleways are not often cleaned and soon become an obstacle course.* I use cycleways only because riding with the traffic has become too dangerous.* I use footpaths (illegally) where cycleways don't exist which is most of the time. This does annoy those pedantic pedestrains who know you are not supposed to and I do get accosted by them occasionally.* Riding on footpaths is rough, very slow and tedious.* I don't think building special cycleways (separate from the street) is the answer. The expense will make solution delivery too slow and therefore inhibit the uptake of cycling by those less dedicated then myself.* Maybe an answer lies in much more highly visible bike lanes marked on streets, like bus lanes, where those lanes give proper clearance on the left for the parked car to open its door. * Many bike lanes on streets I see today do not make enough allowance for this and the rider is forced to get too close to passing cars.* Motorists must not enter these lanes within certain clearance distances behind or in front of any rider(s) in the lane.* Make the rules clearly visible to motorists with signs.* Make it known to cyclists they must obey traffic rules to. Book them if they break the rules and make this information publicly available so that motorists know something is being done about it.
    • Trix over 7 years ago
      Why do the same bike riders talk loudly as they ride past my house at 6 am in the morning?
    • Joe over 7 years ago
      Hmm.... building a separate cycleway is expensive and a road is not? Not the mention the continuous investment of public money into road maintenance each year, as oppose to cycleways which require little or no maintenance; a 12kg bicycle will always do less damage to the road compare with a 4 tonne car. And I'm sure that an old lady or a child will find it much safer to ride on dedicated cycleways; not all cyclists, or potential cyclists, are masculine racer cyclists and can ride at 60km/h speed.
  • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
    A lot of people have expressed their praise for the Concourse in the Open Forum including myself. However I have also heard people talking about budget over-run, conflict of interest, mis-use of resources. Since the Concouse has now been completed, I would encourage the Council to advise all the ratepayers by public display about the finance of this project. Budget over-run is not uncommon, what is important is transparency. This will put to rest all unncessary suspicion/rumour. Lets not forget ratepayers are the boss, council officers are the employees, councillors are our medium. There is no reason why the boss is not fully informed on big issues/projects.
    • Anton over 7 years ago
      A transparent and forward looking council will win support of ratepayers. The best way to remove doubt is providing evidence. Quite a lot of companies are going for open management, perhaps one day this should be applied to local council as well. At least we have the Open Forum in the meantime.
    • Darius over 7 years ago
      Hi Adviser169Thanks for the comments on The Concourse and your thoughts on how Council should provide feedback to community members such as yourself - we will take this on board. You can find financial information on The Concourse in some of the later reports dealing with project expenditure which are listed below and available on Council’s website in the Council Meetings/Agendas and Minutes section. http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Council-Meetings/Agendas---Minutes/In particular the report to the 2 May 2011 Corporate and Transport Committee detailed the variations to the Main Works Contract. In addition the report included details of other works required to complete the site prior to the opening, eg footpath works etc, that were outside the Main Works contract.You may also find the following reports of interest:Corporate and Transport Committee – 4 April 2011, Agenda Item 9.1, 2 May 2011 Agenda Item 9.1. General Council meeting 11 April 2011, Agenda Item 18.1Thansk again for the feedback
  • Caroline over 7 years ago
    Does anyone living in the Sebel, Regency, Chelsea of anyone on Victor Street like hearing the loud buskers on Thursday nights with their repetitive tunes?
  • John F over 7 years ago
    Online Service RequestThe search function for looking up the status of an online service request appears to be broken on the council website.I have tried a number of times to retrieve the status of a request using: https://epathway.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/ePathway/Production/Web/CustomerService/CustomerServiceEnquiry.aspxIt always comes back with a error without any further details.The submission of a request works fine, just it might be a black hole as I have never had any feedback.
  • laurel+squark over 7 years ago
    On Call Clean Up Service and Hard Rubbish:There is currently a huge and growing pile of hard rubbish on Barton Rd. It is almost comical the way it grows each night but in some respects can understand why... Is it possible to make the on call clean up service available online? I have used it once before but the filling out of the form and the having to go in an pay in office hours was very difficult when you have a job somewhere else. Posting the form isn't much better. The process was difficult and time consuming and makes it hard for people to do the right thing with additional rubbish collections. I would think this is something that would be ideally suited to booking and paying online?
  • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
    I would like to know why Council is spending a fortune replacing footpath slabs in Beaconsfield Road . I note they have tried out concrete grinding in Eddy Road which must be infinitely cheaper and less wasteful .I note many councils have been using a grinder for many years and presumably saved their ratepayers a mint.The tonnage of concrete wasted per year around here must be staggering .
  • Darius over 7 years ago
    Tomorrow (Friday 16th March) we will be having an information stall in Chatswood Mall. We will have a laptop set up with the Have Your Say Willoughby site on screen ready to take comments from the community. If you are in the area please come up and say hello! The stall will run from 10am – 3pm.
  • charlie over 7 years ago
    I want to thank WCC for the recent Chemicals Cleanout weekend. It was obviously both well patronised and needed. This is the first year that I have been able to access the service and get rid of stored paints and chemicals safely. I know that this is something done by many councils but it needs the support and backing of each council. Much appreciated and certainly better for our environment to have paints and chemicals disposed of safely.Is it possible to pass thanks on to the men and women who were on duty all wekend at the park in Small Street Willoughby? Everyone was polite, efficient and friendly.
    • Kathryn over 7 years ago
      Hi Charlie,Thanks for your feedback and for being part of the weekend.I can advise that the take up rate for the Cleanout weekend was very high. We had 1,323 households utilising the service over the weekend of 10 and 11 March. More than 56 tonnes of material was collected. We will make sure your comments are passed onto the team in charge!
  • charlie over 7 years ago
    Albert and Archer intersection: While I have roads in my mind, can someone look at the intersection of Albert Avenue and Archer Street?There is a curve in the lanes on Albert as you approach Archer from the west to allow a right turn south into Archer. The lane markings are not clear enough for many drivers who keep going straight ahead, ignoring the curve to the left. This is particularly dangerous when it is a car in the kerbside lane that keeps going straight when we are veering left to stay within our lane beside it.The lane marking should either show the start of the curve or there should be cats' eyes along the whole of this section fo both lanes. I would be amazed if there has been no accident here: it is only because, after we have been almost hit several times, we therefore exercise caution when driving that we have not been hit.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    I am enjoying seeing the water features/fountains working again eg Currey Reserve behind the Westfield car park. Thank you Willoughby City Council for maintaing the beautiful fountains in the area. The drought has broken.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    I have noticed on several occassions that residents of the high rise accommodation block between Broughton & Francis Rds, west of Hamden Rd, Artarmon, mistakenly think that they can turn right from the car parking exit into Hamden Lane (they turn south). This is a one way lane going north, but they seem unaware. This is DANGEROUS!! Maybe the Council could talk to the Body Corporate or do a letter box drop or Install a no Right turn sign or arrows on the lane way road surface?
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    The Concourse Perfiorming Arts Centre programme is fantastic.Will the Councill be providing security attendants along the road ways &pedestrian mall after all shows (late at night). The Belmnore Theatre is great afeer a show. Lots of security to prevent pedestrain accidents.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    RecyclingColes have recipe videos with Curtis Stone.http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/1661/basa-fish-cakes-with-tomato-avocado-salad/http://www.coles.com.au/I think this idea could be applied to Recycling education. It could be available in several languages & geared to all age groups.A picture is worth a thousand words.People do not understand how they can increase their recycling, by washing trays, cutting plastic tubes & washing them eg tubes of suncream, drinking straws, metal & plastic lidsWilloughby Council could work in conjunction with other councils & state governments to share the cost, or they can sell their videos for other Councils.
    • Darius over 7 years ago
      Hi ashamazzHere is a repsonse from our Waste Co-ordinator:'Yes, videos are a great way to educate, but they are also very costly to produce. Several years ago, we collaborated with a number of Councils to produce a recycling advertisement that was screened at Hoyts Cinemas. It featured the adventures of 'Steel Can Steve'. It was a successful campaign. One of the reasons we now have standard recycling lid colours is so that the State Government could start producing TV ads and educating our residents about recycling. I have not heard any updates from the Government about this recently. With regards to meat trays, these are made from polystyrene and are not acceptable in our recycling bins, please place them in the garbage bin. We also cannot recycle drinking straws or toothpaste tubes, these also must go in the garbage bin. Our recycling system is only designed to accept containers, such as bottles, jars and cans as well as paper and cardboard. Plastic lids removed from bottles and containers are not recyclable. They must be removed and placed into the garbage bin. I will suggest the idea of sharing the costs of producing recycling videos with other councils in this region to gauge their interest.'
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    WeedsMorning Glory is going mad. Sydney is the tropical rain forest of the south!The ground is too wet to mow! The staff could hand pull vines & woody weeds in this wet weather. What do the staff do on wet days & when the ground is too boggy to mow. I think Willoughby Council needs to seriously rethink thier gardening budget allocation. The horizons & skill sets of the staff need to seriously be expanded. This is not rocket science!
  • davidvsgoliath over 7 years ago
    Should be an easy one to solve: the two damaged yellow signs "Changed traffic condition ahead" on the foot path of small street across the Incinerator Art Space at Willoughby have been languishing there more than ONE year after the traffic condition has changed. I think they looked bored and will do very well with a new job someroad else in the council
  • Grilled Bear over 7 years ago
    I note that my comment on 13 March re the waste of money on footpath slabs has not been replied to by Council . I am convinced it is a cynical exercise to use up the ratepayers money so more can be demanded next year.I have no faith in our council.
    • Darius over 7 years ago
      Hi Grilled BearThanks for following this up and my apologies for not getting back to you earlier. Below is some information on Council's concrete grinding program:'Concrete grinding or “trip grinding” is a solution to trip hazards where two adjacent slabs move between 10 mm to 30mm which could cause a pedestrian to trip and fall. Trip grinding will leave a 45mm thickness of the existing footpath which is originally built on average 75mm in overall thickness. But, any footpaths lifting over 30mm are not recommended to grind as the left over thickness is not sufficient to perform over the long term for two reasons: firstly, the thin section is likely to crack. Secondly, a larger grinding will introduce a ramp effect causing prams/trolleys or wheel chairs to move unsafely. When Council receives complaints from residents and the public about footpath condition failures such as joint lifted as steps, damaged or lifted due to tree roots, slabs with block cracks, bad surface texture due to aging and old asphalt or brick paved footpaths which require upgrades, Council will assess every individual situation independently and take necessary rectification actions. Also in some instances where major service authorities such as Ausgrid, Water Board or Telstra leave major footpath restorations to council, after their system upgrades, Council may expand the area of restoration to a larger footpath section by incorporating restorations and a number of other existing maintenance issues in the area. Records over previous years indicate that we receive between 200 to 300 requests directly from the residents and the public for various footpath failures in each financial year. Also, Council staff identify critical work whic is required as a pro-active approach. These requests are inspected and residents are consulted and then Council prioritise a program to rectify problems effectively and in a timely manner. 'Thanks for the feedback Grilled Bear.
  • Darius over 7 years ago
    Hi everyoneThanks for all of the great feedback in March. We will be closing this forum for comment now, so please feel free to make your posts in the April 'Open Forum'. Thanks!