Hip to be square?

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times

Residents will be asked to give their verdict once and for all on the future of Margaret River’s Fearn Avenue festival precinct.

As reported by the Times, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River finally bowed to public pressure and closed the contentious one-way route to cars on the cusp of the Easter long weekend. The decision followed weeks of Times reports voicing the concerns of residents believing the one-way strip posed a danger to pedestrians, and that the precinct should be saved to give Margaret River a long-overdue town square.

Shire chiefs were in a tough spot with the decision after pledging one-way access to nearby businesses during planning for the Margaret River main street redevelopment.

However, once finished — and with residents given a taste of the European-style pedestrian mall after the main street’s reopening in January — the redesign included demands from residents to address serious amenity and safety concerns.

Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said residents could now lodge their formal views via the Shire’s Your Say consultation page, with the poll closing on Friday, April 23.

“We don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of a full and thorough consultation process, but we are aware of the sentiment being expressed by social media users,” she said.

“We now need to provide the wider community, outside of our social audiences, the opportunity to comment via a formal consultation process.

“Please tell us your thoughts about traffic access on Fearn Avenue, and share with us your visions for the precinct into the future.

“The ownership the community has shown over their own townsite is fantastic.”

Last week, the Times reported the Shire was yet to ask Main Roads for formal permission to reduce Fearn Avenue’s access and traffic speeds.

Visit www.yoursay.amrshire. wa.gov.au/fearn-avenue.

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