The City of Hobart is asking businesses, residents and visitors how access to North Hobart can be made easier and what people expect when they get there.
The great frustration with the North Hobart debate is that it almost always centres on car parking, or more accurately, increasing car parking.
This focus ignores the fact that the popular eating and drinking strip is on a high frequency bus route, is within walking distance of the city and residential areas and would be the perfect cycling link between the north-east and the city.
Elizabeth Street is one of the few north–south streets that is not a major arterial road jammed with cars. For this reason, it’s already a popular route for people riding and walking but when you get to the North Hobart shops you face a hostile, car-dominated couple of blocks and few places to park your bike.
There is great potential for the City of Hobart and state government to work together to transform Elizabeth Street between North Hobart and the city centre into Tasmania's first pedestrian, cycling and public transport priority street. Wider footpaths, 30 km/h speed limits, an uphill protected bike lane, more bike parking and larger, sheltered bus stops would create a people-friendly spine for the city.
The state government foreshadowed this vision for Elizabeth Street in its 2018 Infrastructure Tasmania vision for Hobart released, in which private vehicles have limited access to the street with riding, walking and bus being the primary transport modes.
The Tasmanian Bicycle Council’s plan for Hobart City Cycleways nominated an uphill cycleway on Elizabeth Street between North Hobart and the city, and slowing the speed limit to 30 km/h to make it friendlier to ride into the city on the road.
The RACT's Hobart Mobility Vision nominated Elizabeth Street as an active transport spine to the north and south of the city.
And the City of Hobart's Project Action Team for the "Midtown" retail precinct recommended an uphill separated cycleway and the removal of some on-street parking to make way for wider footpaths, cycleway and street plants.
With multiple residential developments planned for Elizabeth Street or nearby, it makes sense to recreate the street so the increased number of new residents turn to cars as their last transport choice.
The city’s North Hobart consultation has been prompted by frequent complaints about lack of car parking or competition for current car parking and proposals to increase the size of the council-owned Condell Street car park.
The City has engaged consultants MRCagney and Village Well to run the following workshops in the North Hobart Uniting Church on Swan Street (registration via the website essential):
- Community Visioning Workshop: Wednesday 12 February 5.30–7.30 pm, or Thursday 13 February 5.30–7.30 pm.
- Business Stakeholder Visioning Workshop: Thursday 13 February 7.30–9.30 am
- Community Access and Parking Workshop: Thursday 20 February 5.30–7.30 pm.
- Business Stakeholder Access and Parking Workshop: Thursday 20 February 7.30–9.30 am, or Friday 21 February 7.30–9.30 am.
If you can’t make it to a workshop you can fill out the online survey between 6 and 29 February at the City’s Your Say engagement website:
The survey asks about your current and preferred ways of travelling to North Hobart and barriers to you travelling by your preferred means. The survey should only take you 5–10 minutes to fill out.