North Perth Mayor addresses concerns over ongoing downtown traffic experiment in Listowel

The intersection of Main Street and Wallace Avenue in Listowel has been the subject of a traffic control experiment since August 16th.

Changes there include all northbound traffic on Wallace Avenue between Main Street and Elma Street being restricted to one-way southbound traffic only. Trucks are restricted from making eastbound right turns at the intersection. The trial has resulted in the loss of some parking spots downtown, which has concerned some of the local business community. North Perth Mayor Todd Kasenberg says it can easily be reversed.

“What concerns me is the number of critics who have said ‘Oh well, you’ve painted all those lines over, and we can’t change that.’ Well, I change the colours in my home all the time with paint, so I don’t see why there’s an issue of reversing that should the experiment prove to be a failure.”

Kasenberg is preaching patience with the experiment, noting that’s all it is. He says council is listening to public concerns and he says the experiment is due to end in mid-October. When it does, there will be room for public input on how best to move forward. He adds they are welcoming all input on the YourSayNorthPerth website.

“At this point, though, I think we need to give it its fair course and we’ve put into place a lot of metrics and measures that would support us understanding whether this was a useful or appropriate strategy. That includes opportunity to have that kind of input and we’re glad for it.”

Despite some notions suggesting otherwise, Kasenberg says local council is listening to all concerns regarding the experiment.

“We are absolutely listening. This is an experiment that we’re trying for a brief period to understand what the impacts are on our community and to try to improve many different features. The problem is it’s always a matter of tuning, a lot of what we do as a council is sort of tune things.”

Kasenberg notes that more parking is available in a lot behind the library at the Spinrite corner which council purchased in an effort to bulk up downtown parking availability. He notes he knows there’s been an ongoing desire for years for a truck bypass, but it isn’t on the table right now.

“When I was campaigning as Mayor, I knew and I heard, about the 70-year history of trying to get a truck bypass here in Listowel. There’s no question that it’s really a significant part of my agenda. The challenge is, it’s a long-term piece and the community has to be patient just a little while longer.”

The full list of changes to the Wallace Avenue and Main Street intersection when the experiment was first implemented included:

-all northbound traffic on Wallace Avenue between Main Street and Elma Street
will be restricted (one-way southbound only)

-a dedicated emergency vehicle lane northbound on Wallace Avenue between the
fire station and Main Street that does not conflict with southbound traffic will be

-Parking on Wallace Avenue between Main Street and Elma Street will be
restricted to no stopping in corridor

-The stop bar will be shifted for the southbound through and left turns back to
create additional space for turning vehicles from Main Street

-Trucks will be restricted from making eastbound right turns

-All westbound left turn traffic will be restricted

-The pedestrian crossing on the east leg of the intersection will be removed

-Time in the traffic signal that currently serves northbound traffic will be
reallocated to traffic on Wallace Avenue southbound and to Main Street

-The Elma/Wallace intersection will be converted to all-way stop control

-Seven parking stalls on the south side of Main Street on both sides of the
intersection will be removed to allow for safer traffic movement through the

A letter to council from concerned local businesses dated September 13th was presented at a recent meeting of council, which the mayor says was discussed at length.

The full interview with North Perth Mayor Todd Kasenberg can be heard here:

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