PERTH MP John Carey took the Our Streets at 40 campaign to Parliament last week, lobbying the McGowan government to make Vincent safer.
Set up by residents Geraldine Box and Andrew Main, Our Streets wants a 40kmh speed limit on Vincent’s residential streets.
Mr Carey implored road safety minister Michelle Roberts to get on board with a trial, saying speeding was one of the main issues raised by locals.
“I doorknock nearly every weekend on a Saturday between one and 5.30 pm,” he told Parliament.
“When I doorknock one of the number of issues that are raised with me is speeding on residential streets.
“People are concerned that their streets feel unsafe. Parents are concerned about their children playing on the verge, or in the front garden, because cars are speeding by. They do not want to walk or cycle on their local streets.
“The safety reasons are obvious. The pedestrian fatality risk at 50kmh is more than twice as high as the pedestrian fatality risk at 40kmh,” he added.
Under the Our Streets at 40 proposal, transport corridors like Charles Street and Lord Street wouldn’t be restricted to 40kmh, just the residential roads which have lots of houses.
“I know what my residents are telling me,” Mr Carey continued.
“They want streets that are comfortable – where people feel they can walk and cycle. They want streets where their kids, like in the old days, could play cricket, footy or whatever on the street and not worry about being hit by a car.”
Ms Roberts sounded supportive, saying “this is a great initiative … I do not think it is something that we would even contemplate rolling out carte blanche across the metropolitan area, for example, at this stage, but it is worth thinking about.
“If I can assist the City of Vincent, for example, to get a trial happening there, that is what I would like to do. I think we can learn from that experience.
“We can see how it works out. It may well be that if this is embraced after a trial by the City of Vincent, people in neighbouring councils, particularly in areas such as Victoria Park and Subiaco, will ask why they cannot have 40kmh speed limits on their local streets too.”
Vincent mayor Emma Cole says they would welcome state government support of the campaign, but they’re determined to go ahead with the trial themselves if need be.
The idea for a 40kmh trial in the southern half of Vincent was first floated in 2016 and Ms Cole said, “We’ve been sitting waiting two years for funding support from the state government,” with the cost for signage estimated at $150,000.
She says they’re hoping to get state approval for a cheaper solution, like 40kmh entry statements, rather than signs on each street.
“We’re pushing ahead and consulting with residents very soon.”
by DAVID BELL