Acland Street yet again!
The latest Port Phillip survey about the upgrading of Acland Street is simply unnecessary, wasting both our time and our rates.
The Council and Yarra Trams have already decided where the tram is to stop, and although I don't think it was the best decision, a democratic decision has been made and has to be accepted. Of necessity most of the street will stay the same to accommodate the tram, so what I would like to see now is a proposed design for the tram stop and the new public space in order to comment.
I elect councillors to make decisions on my behalf and I'd like them to get on with doing just that without being asked yet again what I like and what I don't like about Acland Street and what I do when I visit! I'm an 85 years old man, my postcode is 3182 and I walk there to shop every second day, usually have coffee with a friend and chat to people I meet, doesn't everybody, what else can one do? There should be attractive paving, seats and deciduous tree(s), a stall selling fresh fruit and vegetables and public artwork.
If answering were compulsory and 75% of my fellow citizens wanted a fountain in the new public space I'd accept this as a democratic majority choice although I don't think it would be a good idea in such a relatively small space. But as it's entirely likely that less than 20% of the punters will respond to such vague survey questions, and any answers will be meaningless in terms of determining a majority public wish.
It's not rocket science and good designer will always make sure any design evolved is a loose enough fit to accommodate most likely future uses. A few power outlets included in an appropriate location, for example, would make some sort of future musical entertaining possible whether it's asked for now or not; there are already a couple of buskers without any help.
The detail design is a bit tricky because the stop is to be raised and the levels will have to marry up to the existing levels of the shop entrances without any steps or abrupt changes in level. And no doubt all the coffee shops bordering the new space will want to expand and the council will have to decide whether to allow this or not, it's not something the public can decide. This uncertainty should be discussed with the designer you choose, to see what she might make of it in a design sense.
Problems like this are best design led so what I want my councillors to do right now is select a good designer to start the design process so we can make responses to something real instead of waffling on in the abstract.
Don Gazzard LFAIA
It wouldn't be too bad if the questions could be answered in a few words