East of Eden?

PERTH council will spend $17.5 million transforming the sleepy East End of the city into a lively, pedestrian-friendly zone.

This week city commissioners approved a five-year plan to turn the Pier–Irwin stretch of Hay Street into a pedestrian priority zone. Two-way traffic will be reintroduced to Hay Street, speeds will be lowered, there’ll be wider footpaths, and the sparse tree canopy will be bolstered with more plantings to cool things down.

• Artist impression of the new pedestrian-friendly stretch on Hay Street in Perth’s East End.

The changes will pave the way for upcoming developments in the area, like the King Hotel upgrade, the St Andrew’s Church redevelopment and planned new student accommodation.

New street lighting and CCTV will also be installed, after feedback from locals that “the area feels unsafe and is not enjoyable to walk around”.

City of Perth commissioners this week voted to budget $1.2 million for detailed design and initial construction.

Commissioner Andrew Hammond added an amendment to ensure they get community feedback before the design is set in stone.

“We don’t want the horse to have bolted before there’s any meaningful engagement undertaken,” he said at this week’s council meeting.

by DAVID BELL

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