NORTH PERTH – News finally came to council on July 19 about a pilot project that some North Perth residents have been anticipating and others have been dreading – the changing of Wallace Avenue South to a one-way street between Main Street and Elma Street.
“We’ve been monitoring traffic flows through COVID to ensure that we had high enough traffic flows to test a trial of the one-way block south on Wallace,” said Lyndon Kowch, manager of operations.
He explained the project aims to speed up the function of the traffic lights at Main Street and Wallace Avenue by taking a cycle out of it to speed up that intersection significantly.
“We should see a benefit for that,” said Kowch. “There will be cost of this as well. Northbound traffic has to divert to different methods as they move through that section of town.”
During the trial, he said they will be monitoring those effects caused by the change in traffic flow.
“I have been having ongoing discussions with the consultants as to how we monitor when we launch the trial,” said Kowch. “We found a week ago last Friday in a traffic count that our numbers were actually at par with August 2018 numbers. The volumes are absolutely back. You can see the queuing of transports and vehicles in all directions around the intersection. We’re seeing that inefficiency again and those high volumes.”
His report to council advised them of some upcoming dates that would allow the project to start by the end of August.
“There is an Aug. 9 council meeting where changes to the bylaw to create the one-way street (and) changes to the signage at Elma and Wallace South, for example, could all go through and will as part of this,” said Kowch.
He said he had met with staff earlier in the day to discuss layout issues and make sure everything is ready to prepare the launch the week of Aug. 16-20.
“It means a lot of night painting and sign installation to get ready for the next day,” said Kowch. “We’ll have a fairly detailed educational and website-based information package going ahead on this project, but I wanted to have those dates in front of council.”
Council received the information but did not enter into any discussion at the meeting.
“We know there is some controversy, so we’re certainly going to rely on the decent education platform,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. “I’m sure that’s very important in this case.”
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner