Subiaco votes for big changes to traffic flow

The City of Subiaco has voted for big changes to the way traffic moves along Hay Street.
The City of Subiaco has voted for big changes to the way traffic moves along Hay Street.

BIG changes including reduced speed limits, two-way traffic along Hay Street, light rail and a high-frequency bus service could be on the horizon for Subiaco, but business owners say they will not be holding their breath.

On Tuesday the City of Subiaco voted 10-2 in favour of its Transport, Access and Parking Strategy, which aims to balance car travel and alternative modes of transport.

Among other things, it suggests a two-way configuration for Hay Street and Roberts Road, cutting the speed limit on Rokeby Road and Hay Street to 30km/h, and introducing a 40 km/h speed limit on streets in the City except Aberdare Road, Thomas Street, Salvado Road and Selby Street.

Subiaco chief executive Don Burnett said the City was already working on a design that would open Hay Street to traffic heading east, with the need to do so brought forward by a secondary school opening at Kitchener Park in 2020.

He said limiting speed along Rokeby Road and Hay Street was something proposed by businesses and pedestrians wanting the area to be more pedestrian-friendly.

With strong support during community consultation, the council will also push for light rail down Hay Street and a high-frequency bus service connecting Wembley to Perth via Subiaco and, potentially, Victoria Park.

But business owners along the strip were unsure if the council’s aspirations would be met, or if they were the best option.

Raimond Castellano, of boutique fashion outlet Raimonds, said light rail, a bus service and two-way traffic would be fantastic but not if it limited parking in the area.

“If it doesn’t force parking changes I think it’s a great idea, but not at a loss to current parking,” he said.

Bistro des Artistes owner Alain Fabregues said parking was the area’s top issue.

With previous talk of two-way access along Hay and light rail, Mr Fabregues saw it more as a “dream”.

The price of parking could be altered to encourage high turnover in core activity centres. The council is also keen to be a part of a car-share trial.

“It’s not something we will drive, but it’s something we would participate in,” Mr Burnett said.

Reports regarding the different actions set out in the plan will be prepared over the coming years.