19/11/2009 - 00:00

People power to rule in terrace revamp

19/11/2009 - 00:00

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THE City of Perth has approved a final concept plan for a revamp of St Georges Terrace between William and Barrack streets that focuses on pedestrian traffic rather than vehicles.

People power to rule in terrace revamp

THE City of Perth has approved a final concept plan for a revamp of St Georges Terrace between William and Barrack streets that focuses on pedestrian traffic rather than vehicles.

The revamp centres around the creation of an improved pedestrian environment on the terrace, the replacement of existing bus shelters, which the council believes dominate the footpath, and encouraging landowners to introduce more al fresco and seating opportunities.

Construction is scheduled to begin in April next year.

In its 2007-08 budget, the council made a provisional allowance of $9 million for the project, which was to be built over four years.

It has since revised its work schedule, and now plans to complete the basic civil and paving construction over a period of 10 months, to minimise disruption to city businesses.

The council also expects the provisional budget of $9 million will be insufficient for the standard of work expected, and will undertake a full pre-tender estimate before finalising the capital works budget.

One of the main principles of the plan is to calm traffic on the terrace by reducing the number of lanes from three to two on each side of the street, and to reduce the speed limit from 50 kilometres per hour to 40km/h.

Also, parking and loading zones will be relocated to nearby streets, and traffic flow on Howard Street will be reversed from north-bound one way, to south-bound one-way.

The city also intends to improve public transport facilities for the 6,000 commuters who use this section of the terrace.

The revamp has attracted considerable comment since the draft plan was released for public consultation earlier this year.

Major concerns were that the provision of bicycle lanes and the reduced number of lanes would result in traffic congestion.

McKenzie Moncrieff partner Rob Mackenzie, whose law firm is at 38 St Georges Terrace, produced a petition of 44 names against the proposal on the grounds that the plan will exacerbate traffic problems.

St Martins Tower senior executive manager J D McMahon voiced a similar concern and suggested buses be removed from the terrace, as they impede the flow of traffic.

A contrary proposal was put forward by Plexal Group commercial manager Garret Botje, whose offices are located at 140 St Georges Terrace.

He would prefer traffic be removed from this section of the terrace altogether, except for public transport and access.

Perth City Council said catering for vehicles was not the primary objective, and the project must be designed as a link for people, rather than vehicles.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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