Crossing the rubicon

IT’S been a long, uphill, red-tape ridden battle but residents around East Perth train station could finally pop the champagne this week after getting a commitment from the Liberal party for a $300,000 pedestrian crossing on East Parade.

Liberal Mt Lawley MP Michael Sutherland says it’s been a saga trying to bend Main Roads’ ear into giving them the crossing: “I was corresponding with them on an ongoing basis, they baulked and baulked. I was sick and tired of all the to-ing and fro-ing,” he tells us. He wasn’t the only one lobbying for it, with former MP Alannah MacTiernan also having a go at talking them around.

“They don’t like slowing down traffic, they don’t like traffic lights on major roads,” he says.

• Scottish visitors Alec and Christine Milne help celebrate the community’s win with Michael Sutherland, Eleni Evangel, Kevin Burton and Michael Martin. Photo by Steve Grant

• Scottish visitors Alec and Christine Milne help celebrate the community’s win with Michael Sutherland, Eleni Evangel, Kevin Burton and Michael Martin. Photo by Steve Grant

Mr Sutherland says it was hard to make a case that there would be enough people to use the crossing, because it was so dangerous without one: “It was a chicken and egg type thing: They’d say ‘there’s no people crossing there,’ but when you talk to people they say ‘we’re too scared to cross because we’re going to get killed!’”

The impending completion of the new Perth stadium across the river has sparked action on a crossing, with a huge chunk of fans expected to get there via the East Perth train station (also getting a $25 million upgrade) and then have to cross busy East Parade.

Mr Sutherland says he implored them to go for an extension of the bridge from the train station, but that’d cost millions, so instead they’re doing the $300,000 crossing.

The lights can be synced to the one further up the road where East Parade hits the freeway so as to not add any further delays.

by DAVID BELL

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