Baysy goes to 40

BAYSWATER town centre will be a 40kmh zone after the local council voted for slower speed limits this week.

It’s been a long and windy road to get here: more than a year ago people showed up to a place making forum lobbying for a 40 kmh zone.

Main Roads surveyed the area and agreed to a slightly smaller zone than they were hoping for, roping in stretches of Railway Parade, Coode Street and Whatley Crescent near the train station.

Bayswater mayor Dan Bull calls it “an important step in putting people before cars and improving the area for pedestrians, cyclists, locals and businesses”.

He also has plans in the works for a raft of other changes to turn the area into a “pedestrian first” precinct.

“We’re conscious of not spending money on infrastructure that’s going to be ripped up in two years’ time,” Cr Bulls says.

“The first domino to fall in making it more pedestrian friendly is to get the Metronet works completed in the next couple of years, and following that we’ll be able to look at changes to footpaths and other things to make it better for cyclists and people walking.”

• Dan Bull down at the slower town centre. Photo by Steve Grant

In a report to councillors over the 40kmh plan, city staff augured there could be “potential concerns from motorists in relation to speed reduction”.

When Cr Bull announced the slower speeds on his Facebook page he was greeted with a couple of people calling it a “revenue raising” measure; but it’s police who take revenue from speeding fines, not council.

A couple of other people reported family members being hit and seriously injured by cars on the strip and welcomed the slowdown.

Cr Bull says; “it’s great that people want to engage in that debate around cars and road safety, but I think once the changes are made people will see how much better it is.”

Hopefully the new limit will give drivers who keep hitting the Bayswater Bridge another moment to read the three signs advising them of the height limit.

Another vehicle ran into the bridge on Friday, bringing the count to seven crashes this year.

by DAVID BELL

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