ROCKINGHAM Road could be reduced to one lane and the speed limit set at 50km/h, under plans to make the Phoenix shopping centre precinct more pedestrian friendly.
A draft Phoenix activity centre structure plan was put before councillors this month, together with a concept for the upgrade of Rockingham Road.
The item was deferred so councillors could receive an extra briefing on the plan before the draft is adopted and put out for public consultation.
As it stands, the draft reveals the council is likely to push heavily to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Included are new shopping centre entries, new gathering spots featuring play equipment and artwork, and improved pedestrian connection.
In a report to councillors, a city officer noted the current “internal nature” of the shopping centre, meaning reduced connectivity for people walking or cycling and limiting the place as a town centre.
Part of the push to rectify this will be to reduce Rockingham Road to one lane each way between Phoenix Road and Coleville Crescent and lowering the speed limit between these two points.
“This will slow traffic and improve safety and amenity for pedestrian and cyclists,” the officer said. “Importantly this will allow the introduction of bicycle lanes and landscaping on Rockingham Road, which is not currently possible within the very narrow road reservation.”
The draft also includes two new roundabouts, at Lancaster Street and Kent Street, with a new entry to the shopping centre from the latter roundabout.
“This would allow the closure of the existing entry point which could be converted into a new public space and pedestrian entry to the centre,” the officer said.
“This could include landscaping and seating, and could provide an active frontage and presence to Rockingham Road that the centre currently lacks.” Working with the city on the plan since 2014 was the Phoenix Revitalisation Working Group, made up of locals.
They said the improvements should not be delayed, with work identified in the 2009 Phoenix Central Revitalisation Strategy slow to occur.
“We’ve been left behind,” working group member John Cunai said.
“Revitalisation is more than just rezoning.
“It’s about bringing Spearwood up to scratch. This issue has dropped off the radar.
“Hopefully the councillors look at it carefully because it’s taken since before the ’09 plan to get to this point.”
Fellow working group member Len Glamuzina said rates from the area helped develop Cockburn’s newer suburbs, and it was now time funding flowed the other way.
“The city created an expectation when they released the revitalisation strategy,” he said.
“That never came to fruition and we feel let down.
“We need to use this as a springboard to lift Spearwood.”
The Phoenix shopping centre was sought for comment.
The city will wait until the briefing this week before providing further comment.