Streets as Shared Spaces - Morph It
Morph It saw Council unlock public space in Morpeth through a suite of quick, engaging and high impact temporary interventions that build upon the unique character of the historic township of Morpeth.
Maitland City Council was successful in securing funding as part of the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces grants program. Morph It has seen Council unlock public space in Morpeth through a suite of quick, engaging and high impact temporary interventions that were designed to build upon the unique character of the historic township of Morpeth and bend the public's perception of how our streets can be used.
The program that concluded on 29 November included live music, family activities, fresh produce stalls, Halloween activities, art workshops, antiques valuation days, guided historical walking tours, poetry nights and a fashion parade as well as the installation of two parklets on Swan Street, a shared path on Queens Wharf Road, a parking pilot and street surface painting on Berkley Street and Green Street.
Throughout the pilot program a range of stakeholders including residents, visitors and the business community were given the opportunity to have their say on what they thought of the overall program and whether they would like to see any of the installations stay. The results were overwhelmingly positive and we thank the Morpeth business community for their feedback and overall support of the program.
Feedback from engagement completed during the program has demonstrated a strong level of support for some of the Morph It interventions to remain in place. Some highlights of the survey results were:
- 62% of people surveyed spent more time in Morpeth than originally planned because of Morph It
- 70% of people surveyed said the activities and installations appropriately support Morpeth's character
- 76% of people surveyed said Morph It activities made their visit to Morpeth more enjoyable
- 73% of people surveyed thought some or all of the installations should stay
- 66% of people surveyed thought the reverse angle parking spots should stay
The next steps
With the strong level of support for some of the Morph It interventions, the following actions have been taken:
- Green Street has reopened to traffic, leaving the road surface treatment in place
- Berkley Street has reopened to traffic, leaving the road surface treatment in place
- The parklet at 127 Swan Street, Morpeth (outside the Commercial Hotel) will remain in place on a short term basis, to be reviewed in March 2021
- The parklet at 160 Swan Street, Morpeth (outside Swan Street Deli and Larder) has been removed
- The 60 degree rear to kerb parking on the northern side of Swan Street is now permanent
A dedicated walking and cycle path on a section of Queens Wharf Road connecting Swan Street to the picturesque Queens Wharf area will improve cycleability and walkability in Morpeth. The 150m cycle way will be marked with a creative road surface treatment.
Two unique, themed outdoor seating and dining parklets will be installed on Swan Street, each with an underlying theme or colour scheme that connects to the unique township of Morpeth. The parklets will support greater outdoor seating opportunity and will temporarily change the dynamic between traditional parking and pedestrian areas in Swan Street in a unique and creative way.
The parklets will each take up approximately six metres, which is approximately the equivalent of the space allowed for a single car parking space.
As part of the Streets as Shared Spaces project, a section of parking on the northern side of Swan Street will be temporarily changed from parallel parking to 60 degree rear to kerb parking. It is estimated this change will result in a gain of approximately seven parking spaces in this section of Swan Street and more than offset the loss of parking spaces resulting from the installation of the two parklets.
A creative road surface treatment, street furniture and possible overhead shade installation in Berkley Street will create a vibrant platform for pop up activations and local produce markets, music, street performance and interactive play spaces. This visually appealing project will create a unique and inviting space for the community and visitors to enjoy. Berkley Street, between Swan Street and Close Street will be closed to traffic from Swan Street throughout the project.
A creative road surface treatment will also be installed in Green Street, between Swan Street and Elizabeth Street. As part of the project, this space will be used for a range of pop up activations, live music, activities and more. Temporary road closures will be used throughout the project period, which will balance access requirements and the activation program.
Berkley Street (between Swan Street and Close Street) will be closed to traffic from Swan Street. NB Access to the properties located between Swan Street and Close Street will be maintained via Close Street.
Green Street (between Swan Street and Close Street) will be closed to all non local traffic. NB Access will be maintained to the doctor surgery and pathology parking areas during operating hours.
Queens Wharf Road: Changed conditions on Queens Wharf Road may apply during the marking of the shared lane. Access to Queens Wharf is expected to be maintained throughout the entire project period.
The Parking Pilot will temporarily modify the parking in front of 148 and 154 Swan Street, and temporarily replace the parallel parking with 60 degree parking spaces and wheel stops where required. The changes in this section are expected to result in a gain of four parking spaces during the program.
Once Installed, each parklet will utilise approximately six metres (approximately one parking space) in Swan Street. Parklets are proposed to be installed in front of 131 and 160 Swan Street.
The temporary loss of these spaces will be offset by the spaces gained through the aforementioned Parking Pilot.
Temporary changed traffic conditions on Swan Street may apply during the installation of the parklets and marking of the additional 60 degree parking spaces. Changes would likely apply during week commencing 19 October.
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