ROCKINGHAM ROAD would be narrowed to one lane in each direction and the speed limit reduced to 50kmh near the Phoenix shopping centre if Cockburn council signs off on a blueprint for the area.
The council wants to create more of a town centre near the shops and its admin building as the final stage of the Phoenix revitalisation plan, which it adopted in 2009.
To help achieve this, it hopes to declutter the signage along Rockingham Road, slow traffic and create a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly neighbourhood. Bus stop facilities would be spiced up to encourage people onto public transport.
Two roundabouts are proposed on Rockingham Road at the intersections of Kent and Lancaster Streets, and with the number of lanes reduced the council is proposing bike lanes and landscaping.
The Kent Street roundabout would become a new entry to the shopping centre, with the current one being closed for what the council hopes will become a new “public space”.
A report to the council says this space will help address one of the main issues of the shopping centre; it doesn’t face Rockingham Road which limits its sense of place.
The council also hopes its “activity centre structure plan” will also encourage new shops, offices and apartments on the western side of Rockingham Road, which has already been rezoned for mixed use.
The report also flags the council moving out of its admin building, despite west ward councillor Carol Reeve-Fowkes categorically ruling this out as recently as a fortnight ago.
It calls for a master plan for the site to determine a future that retains a “civic presence”, with investigations to include a residential development, new community space and “adaptive reuse of the existing administration building”.
The council will now put the plan out for consultation, although $4m for roadworks have been set aside in the 2016/17 budget.
by STEVE GRANT