Sell-off raises fears

The state government spent years slowly buying up land for an intersection upgrade. Now it’ll sell them again.

A WA government plan to sell off a strip of land along East Parade and Guildford Road in Mount Lawley has prompted fears a long-awaited fix for the dangerous intersection could be in jeopardy.

There are 32 lots running either side of the intersection that are mostly grass and trees. The state government is selling them via tender, calling for proposals for mixed residential development including more social housing.

But those two streets cross each other at a poor intersection. It’s currently operating over-capacity for its design, with hundred-metre queues at peak hour. 

Circuitous

Right turns are banned on all four approaches, but that sends people needing to turn on a circuitous trip and through the intersection twice. 

Main Roads has a “long term” concept design to add extra right turn lanes, keeping motorists out of the residential side streets. 

The department spent years buying up land to make room for the upgrades, part of which will now be sold off.

Bayswater councillor Elli Petersen-Pik is concerned the land sale will leave no room for the intersection upgrades.

He said fixing the intersection should be addressed before any land is sold, and suggested at least some of the land with existing trees could be kept for an urban forest. Cr Petersen-Pik said that would help compensate for the mature trees being lost to state government projects like freeway upgrades and the Bayswater train station makeover. 

Resident Sarah Bright told the October 18 Bayswater council briefing she’s lived nearby on First Avenue for 13 years, a road bearing the brunt of cars taking to side streets to get around the right-turn ban.

“We were disappointed to learn that the entire plan for the intersection had been seemingly abandoned,” Ms Bright said.

“However, we were horrified to learn that the plan seemed now to sell off the land needed for any future efforts to improve the intersection. 

“My concern is primarily about safety,” with the current right turn ban forcing cars through her street. 

“We have had more than three cars crash into our house and even more crash into the street outside.

“Luckily no one was walking past or in the house at the time.”

Neighbour Cameron Brewster said: “I have seen so many close calls … I cannot fathom why [the land] would be sold again, losing the opportunity to fix this major black spot intersection.”

Cr Petersen-Pik moved a motion at the October 25 meeting calling on the council to write to planning minister Rita Saffioti and local MPs raising concerns over tree loss.

He wants them to “urge the state government, before it sells the publicly-owned land on the corner of Guildford Road and East Parade, to provide a commitment [and timeframes to] implement the long-awaited reconfiguration of that intersection, aimed at addressing current and future traffic issues/needs”.

by DAVID BELL

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