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What do you think the number one priority should be in redeveloping the Mall space? Why?

by Maitland Your Say 26 Mar 2012, 04:30 PM

Good urban design aims to create productive, sustainable and liveable places for people. In developing plans for a refurbished Heritage Mall, good urban design will mean consideration of local businesses, the natural landscape, the existing built environment, community interaction and our future city needs.

The current pedestrian mall was opened in 1988, and it's clear that any changes we make will be long-lasting and require a significant public investment.

One challenge in developing our new Mall design will be the balance of spaces for various activities and uses. The stretch of the Mall to be refurbished is just over 400 metres long. The introduction of a one way flow of traffic means consideration of parking, access for public transport, loading zones, pedestrian movements, landscaping, street furniture, outdoor dining, lighting, play features, spaces for public gathering and events and much more.

Who or what is your number one priority in making a space for the next ten years and beyond? And why?

Bicycle Busker 30 Mar 2012, 09:46 PM
The open space within the Mall should be accessable from the Northern bank of the river. The Northern bank should be developed as parkland and be linked to the main street by a high level pedestrian bridge.
The park development would acheve three positive results
(1)provide asthetically pleasing outlook from the southern side river bank and (2) Allow access to the river bank at a lower more accessable level and provide much needed open space and amenities for the increasing town centre population and vistors (3) Provide a park and walk facility for vistors to the city centre from rapidly growing the northern suburbs
Johno 06 Apr 2012, 09:27 AM
Alanv 31 Mar 2012, 07:08 PM
Mall should have a wine tasting shop open permently with many lower hunter wines (particularly closeth ones to Maitland) for tasting and info on wineries.
Tourist bureau branch in mall. Tours of old buildings.
One way traffic 15kph speed limit but no parking inmall (parking at existing car parks but signs in mall saying where they are -visible to one way traffic).
More access from mall to river.
Johno 04 Apr 2012, 01:56 PM
Clear pedestrian links to other areas within the CBD and the extension of the river walk to link with Morpeth and Walka. I too like the the idea of park and children's play spaces on the Lorn side connected to the mall via walk bridge and viewing platform. The infrastructure needs to be unique and little more than opening the Mall to traffic.
SkyWind 27 Apr 2012, 11:12 PM
I believe the Mall could be redeveloped with a river theme with a one lane road and a few "bays" and "wharfs" to hold a few cars on a short term basis (say1 hr max). The Mall could also have meandering paths and cycleways to match such that the mall itself became an attraction. Space for "piers" and outdoor cafes and eating and connectings via lanes to the real river and river walk. I think the east Mall at Armidale is an example of what could be done and there are fantastic mall spaces in Napier in New Zealand. Traffic could come in from the post office and from Church street and both diverted out past the leagues club and K Mart entrance. The large shaded area could be kept in place with single lane traffic. A cycling circuit through to East Maitland and back over the new bridge then back through Lorn would be a great tourist attraction.
nanny_mk 03 May 2012, 09:12 PM
The mall and the nearby riverbank area should be made more attractive to 'active' people by making stronger connections to existing riverbank walkways and cycleways but also creating new pathways that can be used for runners, walkers and cyclist who could be attracted from Aberglasslyn areas or Morpeth/East Maitland areas. The pathways need to be safe for families to use and not shared with traffic. The mall needs to be integrated as a stopover spot on a round trip for a recreational cyclist or walker.
Paddlesteamer 09 May 2012, 03:58 PM
I would like to propose that council look at the possibility of resurrecting a river boat service possibly between Maitland City Centre and Morpeth .I offer this suggestion as a way of improving tourism to the area and further enhancing Morpeth's heritage tourism potential. I believe that looking at what this type of tourism has done on the Murray in towns like Echuca , Mildura and Renmark would be a positive for the area . There are several suitable flat bottomed steamers for sale which I believe are similar to boats that once used the Hunter river , in conjunction with the installation of floating docks I'm sure that it would only enhance both Maitland and Morpeth as tourist destinations.
Regards
Glenn Mitchell

tak 16 May 2012, 11:19 AM
Starting with the premise that there must be a one - way traffic movement is wrong. The term "Mall" should be dumped and replaced with "The Maitland High Street". The current Mall only works as a public space when it is full of activity - which is only when there are special events. For the majority of time you need to reduce barriers to entry and perceptions that the CBD is something you need to get around rather than go into. This would also make it more attractive to residential redevelopment.
SJM 16 Jun 2012, 05:58 PM
Please take part in my survey for my Geography School Assessment.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J3K55TM

Thankyou.
Maitland Your Say 18 Jun 2012, 11:39 AM
It’s great to hear from a local student with an interest in the Maitland Mall project. SJM if you would like any info for your assessment, including community priorities from our surveys or if you would like Council to come and talk at your school about changing the Heritage Mall feel free to email yoursay@maitland.nsw.gov.au
lukeyson 19 Jun 2012, 10:04 AM
Riverbank Access from Mall.
Mall open to one-way vehicle traffic, but closed during 'festivities'. Pick up and drop off stopping bays only.
More Dining and Cafe's on the River
Rate relief or funding grants to have buildings open up river-facing shop space.
Intermediate Staircases along riverwalk

Better Family-Friendly Bicycle access - Cycle links to Maitland Park, links to West Maitland that are not on the highway (I dare you to get YOUR 4 year old child to ride there -how about over the old Walka Rail Bridge, across the dam, over the floodway levy, across oakhampton road, and along the riverbank into town ), cycle links to east maitland. Link the tiny but well engineered Mall River Bank Cycleway to other parts of Maitland Safely.

I like the idea of riverboat 'ferries' between Morpeth and Maitland. How about a Bicycle track on the riverbank between the two. That would go some way to rivalling the Lake Macquarie path, and the waterfront around Newcastle Harbour. A cycleway on BOTH SIDES of the riverbank, with crossover at Morpeth and Lorn, would give an ideal fitness circuit. It would provide an opportunity for cycle rental companies to provide service to Morpeth visitors - which seems to be the main accomodation-centre for Maitland Tourism - and encourage them to experience the river and Maitland Mall.

Luke
Maitland Your Say 28 Aug 2012, 11:17 AM
Hi Luke,

Council are in the process of finalising the new Maitland Bike Plan and Strategy 2012. This document, among other things, lists and prioritises future cycleway links throughout the city.

Identified in the plan are links from Walka Water Works to Maitland, and from Maitland to Morpeth. The design, location and timing of the links are yet to be determined and it is likely there will be a significant cost involved.

The draft Maitland Bike Plan and Strategy 2012 is expected to be on public exhibition towards the end of this calendar year. If you wish to peruse the document you can provide comments or suggestions before the final plan is adopted.

Council is currently constructing the Maitland Park cycleway which loops the park and allows a progression from small children riding in the kid’s bike network near Maitland Pool to families around the park. I hope this is an area you and your young family will enjoy.
lukeyson 28 Aug 2012, 11:59 AM
That's excellent news. I have reviewed the 2005 strategy in the past. I look forward to reviewing the new strategy when it is released.

Regarding Maitland Park, ever since I saw a car break through the wire fence and miss kids playing on the new Bike Track by a few metres, I have not taken my kids back there, and don't plan to do so for the time being. In fact I'm just about scarred for life regarding Maitland Park after that. Hopefully a more robust barrier between the highway and the kids play area/the new bike trail is on the agenda.

Luke
Tina R 25 Aug 2012, 06:49 PM
These are all great ideas, but the most important thing to address first is public safety and security. Spending all this money on these great ideas will be a complete waste if people do not feel safe to use these areas, or if the work is vandalised and destroyed. (as it most surely will be)
theluckycountry 28 Aug 2012, 12:00 PM
Firstly, kudos to Council for setting up this excellent forum for seeking community feedback.

Some excellent ideas flagged here- but we need to remember that there will never be one ‘magic bullet’ solution to decades of social and economic change in the area. The expansion of Greenhills, growth in outer suburbs and changing consumer habits are only part of the story.

One day festivals such as the Aroma/ Taste events are a great start, as are the summer markets, but we need more compelling, long term initiatives to bring more people into the CBD and keep them coming in! Good to hear a reputable consultancy has been brought in to bring some fresh ideas and an evidence base to the table. There are numerous examples from here and overseas of good public spaces ‘done well’ and the massive social and economic flow on benefits so hopefully in the not too distant future the CBD precinct is a diverse public space that residents, tourists and businesses alike are happy with.

I don’t have all the solutions though I do have a few ideas about promoting a bike culture in Maitland’s CBD. Maitland has some very good standalone cycling paths (especially around the CBD riverbank), on-road paths (to East Maitland, to the Hospital via the Long Bridge) and roads (to Morpeth and Hinton via Largs; and Rutherford via Oakhampton). Clearly most people will travel to the CBD by car, yet positioning the area as a pedestrian and bicycle friendly place has a range of social and environmental benefits and will have flow on effects to businesses.

While more investment in bicycle infrastructure itself would be welcome, a small (potentially council-subsidised) bicycle rental outlet and the publication of a few simple commuter/ tourist maps may be another initiative to get people in the CBD/ mall precinct. A partnership with an existing business would be a viable lowest cost option, and provide a few synergies, including co-promotion opportunities. A vacant shopfront in the mall would be the ideal location for such a venture. Kids and less athletic users could do the riverbank and mall loop, ride to Maitland Park or go and see the farmland/ horseys behind the showground before heading back to the CBD and a post-ride treat at Lavenders or (insert other cafe name here). Those slightly more athletic could be tempted by a CBD-Oakhampton-Maitland Vale-Bolwarra-Largs-Morpeth-Raworth-East Maitland loop. This slightly undulating-turning-to-flat ride is incredibly scenic and could easily be done on rental hybrid bikes in no more than 2 hours at a leisurely pace (add 90 minutes for people seeking a layover at Largs Pub/ Morpeth cafe). There’s already many other cafes, pubs and specialty shops along this route that are practical and leisurely stop off points.

Also, I wonder: does Council have some sort of discretionary grants program / subsidies to help owners of heritage listed buildings fund renovations and facade improvements? We have some wonderful buildings both in and around the CBD. Clearly any long term solution/ marketing campaign needs to showcase our city’s heritage buildings. Bringing landlords into the tent through this reinvention process is critical.

Cheers

Theluckycountry
Maitland Your Say 31 Aug 2012, 09:04 AM
Thank you for your comment, it’s great to hear you see value in this forum, we’re always keen to hear people’s ideas and views relating to Council projects and services.

Council is undertaking a number of initiatives relating to the revitalisation of Central Maitland, the refurbishment of the Mall including links to the river and opening to one way traffic is a large factor of this project. Council have recently released a two year Marketing Plan for the CBD that was developed in conjunction with the City Centre Marketing Advisory Group. The Marketing Plan 2012-14 includes things such as branding, development of the maitlandcitycentre.com.au website and events. The plan can be viewed here http://maitlandyoursay.com.au/document/show/111

Council are in the process of finalising the new Maitland Bike Plan and Strategy 2012. This document, among other things, lists and prioritises future cycleway links throughout the city. Identified in the plan are links from Walka Water Works to Maitland, and from Maitland to Morpeth. The design, location and timing of the links are yet to be determined and it is likely there will be a significant cost involved. The draft Maitland Bike Plan and Strategy 2012 is expected to be on public exhibition towards the end of this calendar year. If you wish to peruse the document you can provide comments or suggestions before the final plan is adopted.

A very valid point regarding the importance of involving landlords in the process of revitalisation as they have a critical role to play in the presentation of our streetscapes as a whole, and in showcasing High Street’s magnificent architecture. Council manage a Local Heritage Fund which is available for a range of conservation works to heritage buildings, this includes grants for owners of listed properties. Applications are called once a year – contact Clare James, Council’s Heritage Officer for more information ph49349832 or clarej@maitland.nsw.gov.au