Shire cool on idea of one-way main street

Therese ColmanAugusta Margaret River Times

Public consultation about Margaret River’s main-street development has prompted calls for Bussell Highway to be made one-way, closing it to north-bound traffic.

Urban architecture and design consultants Hassell presented an updated streetscape strategy at a Shire of Augusta-Margaret River-led meeting last Thursday night, attended by about 50 residents and business owners.

Principal designer Anthony Brookfield detailed features of the main-street redevelopment including a roundabout across from Reuther Park and the primary and high school, and a “dog-bone” roundabout near the Churchill Avenue, Tunbridge Street and Bussell Highway intersection.

During question time attendees questioned the effectiveness of the dog-bone roundabout, and expressed interest in the main street catering for one-way traffic.

Businessman Lloyd Shepherdson said the dog-bone roundabout would not suit school buses and proposed a single-lane, one-way system for south-bound traffic which was welcomed by many at the forum.

After the meeting, Mr Shepherdson told the Times the idea would favour pedestrians and slow traffic.

“This would allow one side for maybe angled parking and another side for alfresco,” he said.

“A snake-like road up the main street allows space for alternative uses, and that would slow the traffic down, which is currently one of our problems.

“People would be able to enter parking bays, side streets and carparks without having to wait for oncoming traffic.

“There won’t be hold-ups of people turning left or right.”

At the forum, Shire main-street redevelopment project manager Helen Whitbread said the one-way idea was considered but design changes would affect State Government funding.

“From all advice given, we realised a one-way street favours vehicles, which is counter to what we are trying to achieve,” she said.

“We’d have to go back to funding with the State Government and it’s highly likely the proposal wouldn’t go through.

“The money was provided to improve infrastructure and the current two-way street,” she said.

Local architect and councillor Naomi Godden’s partner Tom Dowling opposed the idea.

“One-way roads are a last resort to get traffic through, mainly in historical areas where it wasn’t designed for big cars,” he said.

“A one-way street would be about cars but that’s the antithesis of what we’re trying to do.”

The redevelopment begins next year. Questions about the project can be submitted at yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au.

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