Environment

Perth’s first bike boulevard for Mt Hawthorn

      Cyclist Theo Eastwood. Photo: Peter Milne.

Shakespeare Street in Mt Hawthorn will become Perth’s first bike boulevard.

The plan will see Shakespeare St become a low-speed zone in which cyclists have priority, along with local traffic.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said in a statment the Department of Transport had been working with the City of Vincent to develop the boulevard.

“Building bicycle boulevards encourages more people to cycle by creating slower speed environments that connect to the wider cycling network,” he said.

“The boulevards will give bike riders a greater share of the street.”

City of Vincent councillor Jimmy Murphy said it was important to provide people with alternative means of transport.

“We’ve got a lot of apartments going up and subdivisions, which places a lot of pressure on our roads in terms of congestion and parking,” he said.

Bicycling Western Australia chief executive officer Jeremey Murray said he supported the introduction of bike boulevards and hoped they would be rolled out across the metropolitan area.

“They will be reducing the speed limits but they’re only fairly short streets and it’s an opportunity really to make the roads safer for all road users, and to make the streets actually a more livable street for the people that live on those streets,” Mr Murphy said.

Cyclist Theo Eastwood, who rides to work at the New Norcia Bakery in Mt Hawthorn, said cycle paths promoted a healthy lifestyle and would help reduce traffic.

But he said there were few cyclists on the road. “I see one person in a half hour ride,” he said.

One Shakespeare Street resident, who did not want to be named, said the project was unnecessary.

“I think it’s a waste of time and money I don’t see why they can’t just put signs up,” he said.

Mr Murphy said all options should be considered.

“It’s not a huge expense and it could potentially work really well. I think for someone just to say, ‘why bother’ is a little bit on the negative side for me,” he said.

The Transport Department and the City of Vincent will develop the design and construction schedule for the project in the coming weeks. It is expected go before council next month.