Parklets for Freo

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and Moore and Moore Cafe owner Simon Naber get cosy in the cafe’s urban garden in Henry Street. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and Moore and Moore Cafe owner Simon Naber get cosy in the cafe’s urban garden in Henry Street. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

Car bays to go

PARKLETS—those tiny, urban parks that take over city parking spots, which are all the rage in funky US cities—could be popping up in the nook and crannies of Fremantle.

Mayor Brad Pettitt has asked council brass to look at extending the idea here, which could see two kerbside parking spots excised for alfresco dining, bicycle parking or as pavement oases.

Moore and Moore Cafe in the West End’s Henry Street has been part of a trial for some time— and it’s been deemed a stunning success

Businesses would be expected to carry the cost of setting up and dismantling the temporary parklets, but wouldn’t be slugged a fee so long as there was “unrestricted public use”. Fees would apply if the space was used to extend alfresco areas.

Dr Pettitt says he experienced first-hand the rejuvenating benefits of parklets on recent trip to Portland and San Francisco.

“Parklets have the potential to bring life onto our streets in an inexpensive and creative way without expensive infrastructure and design works and enable to the city to flexibly adapt to changing uses,” he said.

“The vast majority of the businesses I have spoken to like the concept and several have expressed interest in doing one themselves.”

Dr Pettitt expects some traders might balk at giving up parking spaces, but, “I would expect that we will only see half-a-dozen or so of these pop up over the next few years so I don’t expect it to be a major issue”.

by BRENDAN FOSTER

 

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