By Stuart McGuckin
Speed limits around the popular Fremantle cappuccino strip will be looked at as the city’s council continues its push to become an increasingly friendly place for pedestrians.
Motor vehicles may be restricted to just 10km/h along Market Street by the end of the year with more places earmarked to follow suit.
This follows on from the recent drop in the speed limit along much of the strip to just 30km/h.
Dwight Kostusik, the city’s Traffic and Design Officer, says that it is all part of a plan to promote a sustainable and healthy city centre that does not rely on private cars to access the middle of town.
“To promote retail and social activities in the city centre long-term, a shift away from the vehicle thoroughfare is being looked at very seriously,” said Mr Kostusik.
However the council’s intentions stop short of restricting motor vehicle access altogether.
“The strategy is not anti-car, it simply puts the facts on the table that a car-centric city plan will not service long term,” said Mr Kostusik.
“Business need access, deliveries, taxis, public transport. Some areas will still need access for universal access and related needs. It will need to be balanced and progressed incrementally.”
Fremantle resident Phoebe Phillips thinks the move to make the city a more welcoming place for foot traffic and cyclists alike is an important step.
“As sustainability is a global issue, I think it is very positive way a local city such as Fremantle can tackle this issue by encouraging this initiative,” said Ms Phillips.
“Also, with health issues such as the obesity crises affecting many Australians encouraging walking and cycling has another good side.”
Both Mr Kostusik and Ms Phillips agree that another key to discouraging motorists is a strong public transport system in and around the CBD.
“I think if public transport is easy accessible and cheap the Fremantle Council would not even have to discourage motorists,” said Ms Phillips.
The plan went before Fremantle City Council on Wednesday night.