Chapman Road Tactical Urbanisation Pilot Project

The RAC funded Chapman Road Tactical Urbanism Pilot Project is a 12 month long trail that tests reconfiguring Chapman Road in the CBD and activating the street by turning it into a place for people and not just cars.  Download the pilot project newsletter here

The pilot is part of the Geraldton City Centre Revitalisation Plan which involves ongoing works to expand the CBD’s role beyond a business district, to become the tourist and entertainment precinct on the Midwest.  There are number of businesses on this street that would benefit from activation including retail outlets, a restaurant, a takeaway food business, the Art Gallery, the Visitor Centre and a hotel.  Activating the street will make it more vibrant and may attract new businesses and investment which will in turn, increase visitation to the area from residents and tourists alike.

Check out the 3D Fly Through Vision of our revitalised CBD here

The City has received an $80,000 grant from the RAC and is delivering the project in partnership with the organisation through its Reconnect WA initiative which aims to create vibrant streets and public places for Western Australians to interact and connect. Read more in the media release here

RAC Logo

Draft Tactical Urbanisation Action Plan

A Draft Action Plan to activate the street has been developed.   Read the Plan here

What are the goals of the Draft Action Plan?

The goals are to reduce traffic speed, improve pedestrian and cyclist safety whilst enhancing movement networks, increase streetscape amenity including outdoor dining options, create a more shaded and a comfortable pedestrian environment to increase visitation to the area by residents and tourists. If it doesn’t work out, at the end of the 12 month trial, the street can be easily returned to its original state.

Can the community be part of these changes?

Yes! There will be events such as road painting days for the community to take part in. Watch the City's Facebook page and our website for event details or contact Janell Kopplhuber to be directly notified.

What is tactical urbanism?

Tactical urbanism, is about repurposing under utilised places by creating comfortable and exciting spaces and streets for people to enjoy using low-cost temporary materials such as tree planters, parklets, art, widened footpaths, pop-up bike lanes and improved road crossing opportunities to create a safer, more pedestrian friendly streetscape that adds vibrancy to an area. The project involves the section between Durlacher Street and Cathedral Avenue will be activated

Image: Map of project area

Map of project area

Whose idea was it to reconfigure the traffic lanes on Chapman Road and activate the street?

In 2017, Council adopted the Geraldton City Centre Revitalisation Plan which identified an opportunity to formalise two lane traffic on this section of Chapman Road and activate the street. This project was included in the Plan as the width of Chapman Road does not meet the minimum road with requirements for it to be four lanes wide, which is why it isn’t marked as such. Narrowing and formalising the road into two lanes will reduce traffic speeds, make it safer for cyclists to use and safer for people trying to cross the road.

Who came up with the Action Plan?

The draft plan has been developed by a Working Party of 18 local business operators and property owners, community group members, youth, Main Roads WA and other interested parties.  After the group was upskilled in contemporary place-making practices and the tactical urbanism approach to change, they utilised the results of the Ideas Competition held in early March to develop the Draft Activation Plan.

Concept Design of the Draft Activation Plan

Read the Draft Activation Action Plan here

Action Plan Concept Design

Project Frequently Asked Questions

Download project FAQs here

Questions About Reconfiguring Chapman Road

Won’t reducing the road to two lane traffic only increase traffic congestion in the area?

As the road isn’t wide enough for, nor is it line marked as four lanes and many drivers currently use the 250m long stretch as a two lane street.  When vehicle acceleration and deceleration and a 50km/h speed limit is taken into consideration, it only takes on average about 30 seconds to travel along this stretch of road.  Computer traffic modelling shows formalised two lane traffic won’t lead to an increase in congestion as drivers interested in saving time could use a number of potential alternative routes in the area. Since completion of the Durlacher and Cathedral Avenue roundabouts, traffic flow along these alternative routes has also greatly improved.

How will vehicles go from two lanes at the Durlacher Street intersection to one lane on Chapman Road in front of the Art Gallery?

The City is working with Main Roads WA to determine the most effective transition from two lanes at the Durlacher Street intersection to one lane traveling in a southerly direction after the intersection.

Why does the road have a snake like appearance?

The snake like design of the road reduces driver sight lines, which helps reduce traffic speed.

What will happen to the bus stop?

The draft plan is conceptual, therefore, the City will work with the Public Transport Authority to identify where the bus stop will be located in the final design.

What will happen to the loading zone?

The draft plan in conceptual, therefore, the City will work with local business to identify a location for the loading zone in the final design.

What will happen to the median island?

The draft plan is conceptual therefore, the location of median island will be taken into consideration in the final design.

Will Woolworth’s delivery trucks still be able to access Armstrong Street?

The City will work with the retailer to ensure access to delivery bays is still available in the final design.

Questions About Trees and Seating

What is the purpose of the trees in pots?

The potted trees will help define and separate the two lanes of traffic from the shared pedestrian and cyclist areas.  One of the goals of the City Centre Revitalisation Plan is to increase the tree canopy in the CBD.  Adding 20 more trees helps achieve this goal.

What kind of pots will be used for the street trees?

The City will be repurposing the 20 planter boxes currently located in front of the site of the former Victoria Hotel or Blue Heelers Tavern for use in the project.

What kind of trees will be planted in the pots?

Trees that provide a fair amount of shade and thrive in the planter boxes will be used.  The exact species has not yet been determined.

Why are parklets included in the draft design?

Parklets are public open spaces that provide a shaded place for people to meet, sit, relax and even enjoy takeaway food or drinks. Shaded seating is essential if you want to attract people and encourage them to and stay for a while.

Questions About the Road Art and Wall Murals

What is the purpose of the road art?

The road art helps define the traffic lanes from the reclaimed roadway that will be turned into a shared pedestrian space whilst bringing the street to life. 

Are the coloured chevron shapes the final road art design?

No, the final designs for the road art have not yet been determined.  The chevrons in the draft plan only indicate where street art should be painted on the road surface.

Can the community be involved in painting the road art?

Yes. The project involves a community painting day. Watch the City’s website and Facebook page for details of when this will happen.

Have the designs for the wall murals already been chosen?

No. An EOI will be issued asking local artists to submit designs for the murals.  The City is hoping a butterfly mural will be included to replace the ones lost when the Victoria Hotel was demolished.

Who decided where the wall murals would be located?

The proposed locations were chosen for their high visibility to people passing by.  The City will work with building owners regarding these potential sites.

Who will paint the wall murals?

To ensure high quality artwork is added to these buildings and the artwork is ‘Instagramable’ the artists whose designs are chosen will be paid to paint the murals.

What will happen if these proposed changes just don’t work?

The benefit of trialling temporary changes using low cost materials and items that can be easily moved around is to see if the ideas actually work. If not, the design can be modified and changed to test other ideas. If none of the options work, at the end of the trial the street can be easily returned to its original state.

Is there much community support to revitalise the CBD?

Yes! Recent engagement with the community regarding future of the City prioritises economic development which includes the revitalisation of the CBD. Economic development including the revitalisation of the CBD was the top ranking future priority in the Community Voice Survey conducted in 2020. According to youth who participated in a series of World Cafés over the last 14 months, creating a vibrant retail and restaurant sector in the CBD was the second best way the City could be made an even better place to live.

Have any revitalisation works been done yet?

The transformation of the CBD began shortly after the Geraldton City Centre Revitalisation Plan was adopted by Council in June 2017. Projects already completed include CBD Underground Power, the Rocks Laneway, Durlacher Street Roundabout, Cathedral Avenue-Sanford Street Roundabout, Art-Covered Bollards and the Parklet Trail.

Current Chapman Road Streetscape

Chaomand Road looking north

Chapman Road North

Chapman Road South

Chapman Road South