IT’S the eternal bugbear of Beaufort Street: the notoriously clogged and unsafe intersection with Walcott Street remains stagnant despite years of back and forth.
Labor’s candidate for the federal seat of Perth hit the streets last week, collecting signatures for a petition to get things fixed.
Essentially a state and mainly local government issue, the crossroad is bedevilled by the fact the streets fall under the jurisdiction of both Stirling and Vincent councils.
Tim Hammond says the intersection “feels like an accident waiting to happen” and it’s time to call in the big guns: his petition to the federal parliament calls on infrastructure minister Darren Chester to make “the upgrade of the Beaufort Street and Walcott Street intersection a priority for immediate attention with relevant state and federal agencies”.
The intersection is about as confusing as you could possibly get: right turns are allowed in some directions but not others depending on the time of day, so motorists rat-run through nearby streets when banned, and form long queues turning right one at a time when allowed.
Traffic regularly backs up a few hundred metres in any direction, and drivers routinely careen around right-turns into green pedestrian crossings.
In 2014 the RAC listed the intersection its eighth riskiest. Agreement on how to fix the mess — and pay for it — is hard to come by.
In his work as a lawyer, Mr Hammond says he’s often had to sit two sides down in a room and not leave until there’s a resolution.
Exasperated Mount Lawley Liberal state MP Michael Sutherland says he’s recently revived efforts to get things sorted but sighs, “I’ve hit the Berlin Wall again”.
“The Stirling council will agree to certain things and then the Vincent council won’t agree to them.”
Mr Sutherland says his file on this one is as big as a phone book: “You’ll never resolve this until Stirling and Vincent decide to work together,” he groans.
Mr Hammond says, “I just don’t accept that this is a situation that’s in the too-hard basket”.
“This requires all levels of government to get into a room, and to not come out until we come up with a solution which is acceptable across local, state and federal governments.”
by DAVID BELL