The city has introduced the contra flow cycle lane, to be installed as part of a trial between the High Street Mall and the Paddy Troy Mall, as an addition to the expansion of the bicycle network.
The installation would see the loss of nine car parking bays along William Street when the car parks are changed from parallel parking lots to angled parking lots to make room for the lane.
During Wednesday’s Strategic and General Services Committee meeting, councillor Sam Wainwright said it had been an ‘obsession’ of his to get a contra flow bike lane in the area.
‘The loss of carparks isn’t significant in the context,’ he said.
‘It is a way to address an urgent hole in our safe-cycling thinking.’
Councillors Tim Grey-Smith and Dave Coggin recounted dangerous and near-miss experiences they have had while cycling in the area and agreed something needed to be introduced around Kings Square to make the area safer.
Fremantle Society president Roel Loopers said the bike lane was a good idea, but didn’t like that it wasn’t discussed with residents.
‘I think contra bike flows can be good to make it easier for cyclists to get to their destinations,’ he said.
‘But a contra flow bike lane was never mentioned during any of the Kings Square development community workshops and with the city now appointing an expert panel one has to wonder why they pre-empt the contra flow bike lane in William Street instead of waiting for the consultation process to finish first.
‘William Street is supposed to become a shared/naked street with equal priorities for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic and in that light a contra flow bike lane might not work.’