RESIDENTS in Curedale Street, Beaconsfield, are calling for all Fremantle’s residential roads to be slowed down to 40kmh after their once-quiet street was turned into a rat run by traffic changes elsewhere.
New Beaconsfield precinct convenor Peta Walter says Edmund Street used to be the rat run between South Street and Lefroy Road, but following the death of a scooter rider in 2013 the intersection was blocked off.
“So what they did was they blocked the entry to Edmund and South, and put in a roundabout here, and basically funnelled all the traffic into Curedale,” Ms Walter told the Herald.
“So they just shifted one problem in a street to the next street, which is not a cohesive way to deal with a safe transport system.
“So I contacted you guys because I think people mostly just need to be made aware, and to start a dialogue and hopefully activate a cultural shift in attitudes and behaviour.
“Maybe it might be a catalyst for the council to actually do something because it’s just been on deaf ears – it’s been going on for years.”
Ms Walter said the council had monitored road traffic, and the average speed of cars was 57kmh, nearly 10kmh over the speed limit, while around 1500 trips are made down Curedale each day.
“Everyone’s speeding, but what about the people who are doing more than 57? What about the people who are doing 80?
“Then they say their hands are tied because it’s a Main Roads thing, but I think that is just a bit of an excuse to be ineffectual.
“Fifty is way too fast for a street this size; you can’t break suddenly in an emergency driving at 50ks.
“I think that when we look back in the future, 50ks will just be something like smoking on aeroplanes, just like ‘wow!’.
Ms Walter said South Fremantle was recently designated a 40kmh zone, and she’s planning to put an extension across the city on the precinct’s agenda.
“It just work, and it makes such a huge difference; we want more liveable neighbourhoods, we want more greener, more sustainable neighbourhoods.
“Have a vacuous environment created by 1500 cars going down the street at 57kms is just creating a really awful, unliveable neighbourhood.
“We’ve had dogs run over, cats run over – when is it going to be a human next.”
She says the Heart of Beaconsfield redevelopment nearby could push up the number of cars going through; the City has told them it can handle 3000 as a local access road.
To try and curb the problem, a number of residents have put up their own signs urging drivers to slow down, and Ms Walter believes that’s been making a difference – but not enough.
She says the only offer they’ve got from the council is a trial of an illuminated sign that gives people sticking to the speed limit a smiley green face, or for speeders a red frown.
Ms Walter says the initiative is welcome but a city-wide reduction to 40kmh, as was adopted by the City of Vincent in October is really what Fremantle needs.
by STEVE GRANT