Photo Caption: Neil Graham from the Beaufort Street Network and Vincent mayor Emma Cole discuss the future of Beaufort Street.
A NEW plan’s in the works to get Beaufort Street back to its prime, with a round-the-clock 40kmh speed limit and a plan to pedestrianise some side streets to get people back to the strip.
Vincent council’s been collaborating with the Beaufort Street Network on a draft Beaufort Street Town Centre Place Plan that’s now out for public comment.
The plan recognises that being a thru-lane for city traffic is a long-term problem, with four lanes of cars and frequent buses killing the alfresco atmosphere and cutting the strip in two.
Aside from the sole pedestrian crossing on Walcott Street, people on foot are on their own.
The draft plan suggests a uniform 40kmh speed limit to replace the existing variable limit which kicks in at odd hours, mostly morning til late evening.
A trial “pedestrianisation” of Grosvenor Road and Barlee Street is also on the cards. The trial would close them off to see if side streets work as shared spaces like Leederville Village Square, which can be transformed from street to plaza as needed.
Other planned improvements include festoon lighting to make the Mary Street Piazza more usable at night (and more light along the strip), and installing fast-charge stations for electric cars.
Mayor Emma Cole says: “Beaufort Street is undergoing a resurgence right now, with some very significant investment on the strip and new development and landmark venues in the works.”
Recently a big new tavern and restaurant was approved for the old Empire site.
“It is a really exciting time and cements Beaufort Street as a top Perth destination,” Ms Cole said.
One controversial idea for the street is mentioned in the plan, but yet to be set in stone; earlier this year the council floated the idea of a “land swap” to take over the corner of Barlee and Beaufort and turn it into public open space.
They’d trade the middle third of the carpark they own to developer Palassis to conjoin two blocks and have a bigger space to develop.
But that project would cost between $500,000 and $ 1million. Long time Beaufort Street advocate and past BSN chair Joshua O’Keefe said in March the council should fix the basics on the street before adding “another underperforming glamour project”.
But the plan still pegs that as being in the “investigate options” stage, based on consultation feedback.
The draft place plan’s up for viewing and comment via imagine.vincent.wa.gov.au or in person at the 99 Loftus Street library until June 21.