Letter: Can’t make a silk purse

IT is interesting to discover that the City of Vincent has asked its design review panel to develop options to improve the desirability of the ‘North Perth Common’ on the corner of View and Fitzgerald Streets. 

One of the specific issues they have asked the panel to consider is a reduction in the size of View Street to make the Common more pedestrian-friendly.

It is no surprise the city is looking for ideas on how this public space can be made more attractive to local residents. Because even with previous efforts by the city to ‘activate’ the site, residents are voting with their feet.

What is really disappointing is that the expenditure of $600,000 of ratepayers money on a white elephant, may have been avoided if the city had just listened to its residents in the first place.  

The city conducted a survey prior to a decision being made about the location of a town square. Only 7 per cent of respondents supported the current location and one can only speculate as to why the city stubbornly ploughed on.

It is hard to believe that those lobbying for this site, and those on council that supported it, thought that a public space next to a noisy, polluted main road, with a busy road cutting through the middle, would be popular.

And now, the city is looking at reducing the capacity of View Street, a local distributor, which if done will result in traffic diverting to residential streets such as Alma and Claverton streets.

Instead of doubling down on a bad decision and a failed project, the council should consider cutting its losses. It may wish to engage with residents, this time in a genuine manner, to determine if a public square is needed and if so, where it should be located.

Andrew Main
Alfonso St, North Perth

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