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Parking leaves Barrack Street again

AFTER giving Barrack Street traders the short-term parking bays they needed, Perth City Council has changed its mind – again.

At its 25 May meeting, Councillor Tess Stroud successfully moved that council rescind its 11 May decision and not provide the maximum number of parking bays and loading bays between trees planted for the Barrack Street upgrade.

The decision to reinstate car parking had been made by a seven to two majority of councillors.

This time the voting block of Peter Nattrass, Mrs Stroud, Michael Sutherland, Noel Semmens and Judy McEvoy supported their removal.

Instead, the Barrack Street upgrade will now be altered to include loading bays capable of being used as short-term pick up and set down areas.

Two thirds of the Barrack Street upgrade has been completed.

All of the street’s short-term parking bays have been removed and footpaths have already been widened between St Georges Terrace and Murray Street.

Mrs Stroud said the city needed the Barrack Street beautification.

“There was not a murmur from traders during the public consultation period,” she said. “The majority of traders indicated they had no concerns with the traffic changes.

“And there are three carparks within 100 metres of Barrack Street. It will become a major tree-lined boulevard to the river.”

Putting in loading bays will require removing some of the trees already planted in Barrack Street.

A standard loading bay is about 15 metres long and there are about 12 metres between the trees.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said the Barrack Street upgrade was completely out of kilter with every other street upgrade council had done.

“I’m yet to find a stretch of road we’ve upgraded without putting in parking – except Barrack Street,” Mr Goodman said.

“We are in danger of having a beautiful city that people whiz through and admire the beautiful trees – but where nobody can make a living.”

Lord Mayor Nattrass is adamant council is taking the right path.

“This is about a philosophy of whether we improve retailers’ conditions by increasing pedestrians or surrendering to the motor vehicle,” Dr Nattrass said. “We’ve seen it work so well in other areas.”

Dr Nattrass believes the Barrack Street upgrade, sans car parking, could work as well as the successful King Street upgrade.

However, in King Street there is still short-term parking on both sides of the street.

Councillor Jennifer MacGill, who successfully moved the motion to have some of the car parking reinstated at the 11 May meeting, said council had ignored its ratepayers.

“I am incredulous that a decision made by a vast majority of councillors and with the acclamation of the ratepayers has been treated this way,” Mrs MacGill said.

“There was a widespread belief that a mistake had been made when council removed car parking from Barrack Street.

“We can’t wash our hands of this problem,” she said.

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