The southern-end of Creswick Street in Hawthorn between Burwood Road and Denham Street has been closed since February 2021, while important sewer replacement works have been underway.
During the works, local community members told us they want to keep the one-way access from Burwood Road permanently closed.
We saw an opportunity to explore creating more open space in this area after the sewer works were finished and decided to consult with the wider community.
In June and July 2022, we consulted our community to find out their preference for the future use of this southern-end of Creswick Street.
We asked our community:
- what they thought about permanently closing the southern-end of Creswick Street from the entry at Burwood Road
- what advantages and/or disadvantages they saw in closing the entry at Burwood Road
- if they had a preference for a partial or full closure to expand the open space
- if they preferred to see this part of Creswick Street returned to its previous condition after works are finished.
We also completed a traffic study in the local area during June 2022. We compared these results with previous traffic survey data to find out if the closure has caused more traffic than usual in the area.
The results of our June 2022 traffic study confirmed that:
- nearby streets allow local access
- there is a low number of vehicles that pass through the area
- there has been an average decrease in traffic levels due to the current closure.
311 people completed the online survey.
- 72.4% were Hawthorn residents.
- 316 contributions were received.
- 48.4% of people were male.
- 48.7% of people were female.
- 23.7% of people were between 35 to 49 years old.
- 22.8% of people were between 25 to 34 years old.
- 18.7% of people were between 50 to 59 years old.
We found out that 63.3% of people who responded were either in favour of a full or partial closure of Creswick Street.
Out of all the participants:
- 50.3% of people preferred to keep Creswick Street closed from Burwood Road to Denham Street.
- 13% of people preferred to keep Creswick Street closed from Burwood Road to the start of the car park.
- 32.6% of people preferred to re-open Creswick Street from Burwood Road to Denham Street.
- 3.8% of people had no preference at this stage.
We found some key themes from the feedback and concerns the community share about a full or partial closure of the southern-end of Creswick Street.
Safety for pedestrians and cyclists
- There would need to be better access for pedestrians and cyclists. This includes when travelling along, around and crossing Creswick Street.
- Some community members were concerned that a ‘dead-end’ car park would attract anti-social behaviour.
- There would need to be passive surveillance, which was provided by an open Creswick Street.
- There would need to be better public lighting in the area for commuters.
- Some community members were concerned about more congestion on Church Street and the nearby traffic signals. They were also concerned about the impact on drivers travelling from Burwood Road.
- Other community members felt that a closure could help reduce rat-running of the traffic signals. They felt the current closure hasn’t had a negative impact on safety or caused an increase in traffic along the side streets.
- If Creswick Street is re-opened, we would need to think about how to improve safety when driving down towards Denham Street.
- Some community members were concerned that Council hadn’t completed a traffic study or concept plan before the consultation. They said this could have helped people make a more informed decision.
Impacts on the Hawthorn Rowing Club
- Some community members were concerned that a closure would affect Hawthorn Rowing Club’s ability to run events, which attract local, national and international competitors.
- The Hawthorn Rowing Club would need to have vehicle and parking access off Burwood Road for trailers.
- A community member suggested temporary access to the car park through a lockable gate or other infrastructure.
Loss of car parking
- Some community members were concerned that loss of car parking would add pressure on existing on-street parking. Some people felt this would impact rowing and park users, as well as commuters who park and ride from the nearby tram stop.
- Some community members supported a bigger parkland area. They felt that this would encourage more types of park use. Suggestions included a pop-up café, wine bar and places to host events. Some people felt this would also have flow-on benefits, including positive effects on people’s mental health.
- Other community members felt there was enough parkland already and that more open space would add little value to the community.
Connection in the area
- Some community members believe that a connection between Creswick Street Reserve and Yarra Bank Reserve is important.
- Some community members believe that a closure would enhance community wellbeing and enjoyment in the area.
- It would be important to maintain access for pedestrians, bicycles, prams and wheelchairs. It would also be important to have suitable alternate routes to reach nearby residences.
- Some community members were concerned about the possible impact a closure would have on emergency services response times.
Report to Councillors
We will present our report to Councillors at the Services Delegated Committee (SDC) meeting on Monday 12 December 2022 from 6:30 pm.
This report includes:
- a summary of the community consultation results
- a summary of the traffic study results
- recommendations for Councillors to consider about the future of the southern-end of Creswick Street.
The report also includes possible closure options for the southern-end of Creswick Street for Councillors to consider. This includes the partial and full closure options presented to the community during consultation, as well as a third closure option. We developed this third closure option based on community feedback. It aims to provide increased open space in the area, while minimising the loss of on-street car parking.
We encourage you to watch the SDC meeting, and/or make a verbal or written submission if you would like to present your views to Councillors.
To read the Council report or learn how you can make a submission at the SDC meeting, visit the Council and Committee meetings page on our website.
What happens next
If Council approves the closure of the southern-end of Creswick Street, we will:
- complete a second round of community consultation in 2023 on a draft design for the new open space
- get advice from a heritage consultant to make sure any open space design supports the heritage character of the area
- make sure access and parking in the southern-end of the street is temporarily permitted for special events, such as the Head of the Yarra.
If Council does not approve the closure of the southern-end of Creswick Street, the proposal will not go ahead and the road will be re-opened after the sewer works are complete.