City of Perth 20km/h Hay St plans puts pedestrians first, traffic second

Peter De KruijffThe West Australian
VideoThe speed limit on Hay Street in the CBD could be slashed to 20km per hour

Pedestrians are the prime target market for all “great cities in the world” and traffic should come second says one of the commissioners running the City of Perth as it looks to set up a special zone where cars give way to people crossing the road.

Commissioner Andrew Hammond spoke on Tuesday night about the need to make sure the local government activated areas in Perth’s CBD for pedestrians as the council moved forward with plans to revitalise its east end and establish an 150m long 20km/h zone on Hay Street.

“I have never seen a car driving down a street spend money at a local shop,” he said.

“All that cars leave behind is carbon monoxide.”

Mr Hammond said the City had a duty to make sure traffic flows in Perth were effective but to also make sure it remained competitive by focusing on pedestrians.

An artist’s impression of the Hay Street pedestrian zone.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the Hay Street pedestrian zone. Credit: City of Perth

The project will see motorists be forced to “yield” to pedestrians in the 20km/h zone on Hay Street between the intersections with Pier and Irwin streets.

The shared pedestrian zone — the first of its kind in the CBD and part of a broader $4 million public plaza project — would change the road hierarchy.

Deputy chair commissioner Gaye McMath said the long-term project would complement investment which had already been made into the east end.

“I would also like to acknowledge the (City) officers working with Kings Park in the design to ensure the way the area is presented not only in a physical sense but in an amenity sense reflects the biodiversity of our state,” she said.

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