Old Perth Road in Bassendean to be reopened to traffic after pedestrian-only trial

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Old Perth Road in Bassendean will be reopened to traffic on Guildford Road after a trial of making it a pedestrian-only zone.

The Town of Bassendean closed the north lane of Old Perth Road between Guildford Road and Wilson Street from September 24 to October 9.

It was used for alfresco dining and events such as Aboriginal art and circus workshops, the Bassendean Markets, a citizenship ceremony, community barbecue and long-table dinner.

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Bassendean councillors voted unanimously at their meeting on Tuesday to remove street furniture and reopen the road to traffic.

Officers expected to have street infrastructure removed by the end of this week.

The town received nearly 600 responses when it surveyed residents and businesses during the closure. Most people surveyed supported the idea, but most businesses did not.

Camera IconThe north lane of Old Perth Road was closed for a trial. Credit: Town of Bassendean Facebook

Their concerns included there wasn’t an ongoing use for the space, there was not enough shade and customers had difficulty finding parking.

“Parking between the pub overflow, train users who park on Parker Street all day and people trying to access parking for the local shops … it’s an absolute struggle for the residents who can’t even park outside their own homes,” one person said.

Another woman told the town two businesses lost her patronage one day when she could not find parking.

One respondent said the trial period was “biased” as it was held the same week the Bassendean Hotel reopened and during school holidays and the area was “desolate” when there were no activities.

Residents in favour of the closure said it provided a great event space.

“By giving a portion of road as public space to help with main street activation, with that lane not really utilised as is, if it brings more people in, it can only be a good thing,” one resident said.

A town report said that part of Old Perth Road carried relatively little traffic, recording on average during the day about only one vehicle every three minutes.

“There’s virtually no car access from Guildford Road anyway as is, (coming from Perth),” one said. “Coming from Midland, you can easily access Old Perth Road via other routes, so two lanes aren’t needed.”

However, there were calls for the area to be spruced up with better colours, signage and furniture.

One person said Guildford Road needed signage to direct people to the area.

“If Old Perth Road was made pedestrian-only in the future, the end closest to the Guildford Road traffic lights needs to look inviting,” they said.

“People stopped at those traffic lights are a captive audience. During (the trial) it screamed ‘No! Don’t come in here! This is blocked! Back the F up!’.

“At best it looked like the tradesman’s entrance.”

The town report said redesigning the road and new signage for a permanent closure was expected to cost at least $123,000, but this would balloon out to $1.48m if the town installed higher quality infrastructure and furniture.

Most of the infrastructure to close the road was already in place and removing it would cost about $14,000.


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