Footsteps likely to boost business

She said William Street had previously been used as a thoroughfare with about 11,000 vehicles per day on the road.

Since the conversion, and opening Beaufort Street to two-way traffic, the number of vehicles using William Street had fallen by about 4,000 vehicles per day.

‘This key principal of two-way traffic conversion is vital in making city areas destinations, encouraging people to park and walk or utilise public transport when visiting the many businesses in the area,’ Ms Scaffidi said.

‘From an economic perspective, pedestrian traffic will benefit a variety of businesses as people will experience more of the surrounding areas.’

Ms Scaffidi said less traffic had not translated into less people accessing the area.

City of Perth on-street parking figures should more than 1.2 million vehicles used on street parking in 2012-13, this was up from about 1.1 million in 2011-12 and about 920,000 in 2010-11.

Business Improvement Group Northbridge (BigN) chairman Mike Keillor recently met with City officers after the Express reported that a petition signed by BigN members was submitted to council, expressing concern that road changes, and stopping right-hand turns into James Street, had negatively affected business.

He agreed the figures showed the changes had not affected business, but said it would take time for customers to get used to the new configuration.

‘The changes all feed into making the streets more pedestrian friendly, but I think it is still a way off before people in WA accept that,’ he said.

‘We will have to wait and see whether the reconnection of the city and Northbridge via the sinking of the rail line and the Kings Square development will improve pedestrian movements.’

Ms Scaffidi said the City would continue to monitor the traffic data in Northbridge and agreed it would take time for people to get accustomed to the changes.

‘It’s about finding a balance between permeability and encouraging people to change their behaviour, embrace a new style of city by getting out of the car and experiencing the city on foot.’