City o Fremantle in market for road closure

THE Market Street Piazza could be closed to traffic permanently as the City of Fremantle looks to extend its trialled closure for six months next year.

A similar trial earlier this year, which saw Market Street closed between South Terrace and Collie Street for a few hours over five weekends, was deemed a success, and local retailers have since requested the closure be more permanent.

The six-month trial is expected to close the piazza to traffic 24/7 between January and June next year, subject to a consultation period, turning it into a pedestrian-friendly area just off the cappuccino strip.

Fremantle economic development and marketing manager Tom Griffiths said the idea to close the strip dated back to 1998 when locals first approached the City about the issue.

“The five-weekend closure trial in early 2015 was very successful and has led to calls to permanently close off the street,” he said.

“The proposed six-month trial will assess the full impact on other roads, vehicular and pedestrian moves and the impact on local trade.

“The vision is that by 2016/17, the Market Street Piazza will be a hidden gem just a few steps away from the famous and buzzing cappuccino strip, an oasis exclusively designed for people and a place where families, young and old visitors can enjoy.”

Fremantle BID director Danielle Cattalini said they had worked closely with local businesses in the push for a friendly and inviting communal space.

“The piazza would give a vibrant and welcoming feel to the area and make it a place to visit and stay longer,” she said.

“The piazza will give a visual and cultural feel to add to Fremantle’s unique vibe giving people a safe, walkable area and a reason to stay longer.

“In progression of the road closure the BID has put in interactive ground projections and worked with the businesses to encourage planned street activation through entertainment, dance, music and games.”