SEVENTY ONE businesses have signed a petition urging Fremantle council not to close off the Cappuccino Strip to cars on Sundays.
The council had a trial-closure of the strip on three consecutive Sundays in April, and mayor Brad Pettitt is keen to continue over summer.
“I support the closure, but it must be done in a way that demonstrates how it will attract more people into Fremantle and not just move existing people around the city,” he says.
Lead petitioner Clint Clarke from Port Jarrah Furniture on High Street says the trial hit surrounding businesses hard.
“Terrace Men, Soul Sisters and shops in the mall beside Time Zone were just some of the casualties,” he says.
“The city has to look after all of us, not just those on the Cappuccino Strip.
“If people get stuck in traffic heading to shops in Freo, they will just turn around and go to Garden City instead.”
Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams is not supportive of permanent road closures in the CBD, but is okay with one-off iconic events like the Blessing of the Fleet.
“With the Street Arts Festival and Cappuccino Strip event, the CBD traders in hospitality and retail basically had a whole month of Sunday road closures in April 2016 and from the responses at the time and our June 2016 business confidence survey I believe it was too many within a short period of time.
“Let’s call it a learning curve—you don’t know until you try.”
The petition includes signatures from South Terrace cafes and restaurants, including The Monk, The Mexican Kitchen, Nick’s Place and Grill’d.
The trial closure covered South Terrace, between Collie and Bannister streets between 10am and 10pm, with buses diverted onto Norfolk and Parry Streets.
Cr Pettitt has argued the closure would allow more alfresco dining, street performances and make it more pedestrian friendly.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK