CROSSWALKS could reunite Vincent residents who for a decade have been separated by busy roads almost as impermeable as the Berlin Wall, says mayoral candidate Emma Cole.
Ms Cole says a pedestrian crossing is sorely needed to link North Perth with the blocks south of bustling Vincent Street, while another near Beatty Park could help increase the centre’s patronage. The pool’s slow lane beckons residents at two nearby retirement homes, but Vincent Street’s a daunting obstacle.
“It’s about connecting our communities. Many of our neighbourhoods are bordered by high-traffic roads that can create an island effect,” Cr Cole says.
“This is about allowing people to feel confident that they can walk between neighbourhoods without having to do short car trips which are perceived as safer but then lead to more traffic and parking issues as well.
“If you’re a single, fit person dashing across the street you’ll probably be okay, but when you factor in people with a disability, seniors, people with children, people with dogs, even bikes trying to get across the road trying to keep their bike in the median strip, it all gets a bit tricky,” Cr Cole says.
“People say they can’t have their pram facing forward [on the median] because it sticks out into traffic.”
Ms Cole would also like Kyilla Primary’s crossing on Charles Street upgraded. Lollipop attendants help students cross before and after school, but with markets running on weekends and parents keen to get their kids to the park on the west side of Charles, she reckons there’s enough demand to justify spending some cash.
Recent pedestrian crossings cost between $80,000 and $210,000, and all require Main Roads to agree. Current mayor John Carey has had a few gripes with Main Roads for being car-centric but Cr Cole is optimistic they’ll come along for the ride.
“Main Roads has been really getting on board recently; we had success with getting the 40kmh limit in Mount Hawthown really quickly, that was really positive and we’re hoping Main Roads keeps seeing the benefit in making allowances for liveable neighbourhoods.”
by DAVID BELL