Street closure plan thwarted

A WA Police Service plan to close James and Lake streets from December to February has been refused by the Perth City Council.

Under the plan James Street would be closed between William and Parker streets and Lake Street would be closed between Roe and Francis streets from 6pm till 3am the following day.

It is understood the police want the roads closed to reduce conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.

A staff note to council said the road closure was understandable if it was designed to prevent clashes between alfresco dining patrons, people in night club queues and pedestrian. It said council will also need to tighten up its alfresco dining policy.

The note said the growth of alfresco patronage, the number of vehicles “cruising” the area and nightclub queues have forced increasing numbers of pedestrians onto the roadway.

Council tried closing Lake and James streets in 1993-94.

However, the 12-week trial was ceased early because businesses along the sections of the streets closed said they were losing business.

Council received a letter from a Northbridge café in 1994 outlining a list of business owners that objected strongly to the street closures.

Another proposal for road closures went before the Northbridge Precinct Committee in 1995 and was vigorously opposed.

It has been proven Northbridge thrives on movement.

Vehicles travelling on James, Lake, Aberdeen and William streets help add to the colour, movement and ambience of the entertainment precinct.

A staff note to council said the police’s proposed closure would result in more congestion at the Lake and Francis streets intersection.

It will also require redirection of the CAT bus service that travels along James Street between Shenton and William streets.

Security personnel will also be needed to man the four closure points.

Parking prohibitions would have to take effect from 4pm and remain in place until 3am, to prevent cars being trapped by the road closures.

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