02/12/2010 - 00:00

CHOGM driving road schedule

02/12/2010 - 00:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

THE City of Perth has insisted that the road works program currently disrupting traffic flow in the central business district has been well planned and managed and will result in a better outcome.

CHOGM driving road schedule

THE City of Perth has insisted that the road works program currently disrupting traffic flow in the central business district has been well planned and managed and will result in a better outcome.

Under the road works program, St Georges Terrace and Wellington Street will be converted from six lanes to four lanes, including two dedicated bus lanes, bordered by wider footpaths and other enhancements designed to make them more pedestrian friendly.

Lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the city was “deliberately encouraging a lessening of traffic”, which she believes is an appropriate response to the changing scale and shape of the CBD.

The changes include growth in the city’s workforce and planned developments in Northbridge and on the waterfront, which will give the central city more of a north-south alignment.

“We’ve deliberately lessened the need for people to use the city as a thoroughfare, it should only be a destination,” Ms Scaffidi said.

The current road works and the council’s future plans have caused dismay among some CBD executives, who believe doing business in Perth has got harder.

City of Perth manager city design Russell Kingdom said changes under way would provide more flexibility.

“It’s not about fast-moving traffic, it’s about permeability, about providing alternatives routes so people can keep moving,” he said.

Mr Kingdom said the strategy included the shift from one-way to two-way streets and allowing more turning options at intersections.

“We’ve got a history of over-engineering the streets since the 1970s,” he said.

Ms Scaffidi has little time for critics who want to keep the terrace and Wellington Street focused on traffic.

“Old habits die hard with a lot of people,” Ms Scaffidi told WA Business News.

She said Riverside Drive and the Graham Farmer Tunnel provided alternatives for people who wanted to travel east-west across the central city.

Returning William and Barrack streets to two-way traffic flow and reversing traffic on other streets, such as Howard Street, would provide more flexibility and reduce congestion.

One of the common criticisms of the current road works is that St Georges Terrace and Wellington Street have been disrupted at the same time.

In addition, William Street has been partially closed because of nearby construction work, including a tunnel from the underground train station to Raine Square.

Ms Scaffidi said there was never a good time to rip up a main street, but acknowledged that the two projects were occurring at the same time to ensure they were completed ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

She said the end result would be a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly St Georges Terrace with wider footpaths and median strip, granite paving, new street furniture and deciduous trees.

Parking bays for taxis and service vehicles will be shifted to side streets but buses will continue to stop in the terrace, leaving one lane in each direction for vehicles.

Mr Kingdom said similar changes were planned for St Georges Terrace between William and Milligan streets.

The changes on the northern side of the CBD will integrate Wellington Street with a redesigned Forrest Place, with a street-level pedestrian crossing to be the preferred alternative to the overpasses.

Forrest Place will have a new stage, shade structures and loading dock to make it more appropriate for cultural events.

The Wellington Street works will be completed in December and St Georges Terrace in August next year.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options