Funnily enough, one possible alignment includes a section on Wray Avenue. For a moment I got very excited – as I have previously written I think rail is kind of cool and for me the idea of trams rattling past my door isn’t so bad.
I filled in the survey and read the supporting documents enthusiastically. Sadly my enthusiasm has waned.
The plan calls for overhead wires above – this technology is being phased out all over the world. Underground power, while initially more expensive to put in, has the advantage of being less costly to maintain, requiring less electricity to power and being far less visually obtrusive. Presumably all the trees would have to go to accommodate these wires.
In the discussion of this issue in the documents, I don’t like the implication that Wray Avenue is not a valued heritage precinct. Apparently further down the line it is heritage value that will require the power to go underground, from the hospital to the train station. I don’t see why, apart from cost, this shouldn’t happen on Wray Avenue.
But here’s the real clincher, the thing that made me realise I’ll never see a tram trundle past my house.
At the end of the discussion of this option, it states that “kerbside parking would need to be banned along these roads.”
This is very worrying for me as I have no off-street parking, and I’m not alone in this. Where am I meant to park my car? Even if I managed to be car-less (something I aspire to eventually be) where are my visitors going to park when they come over using private transport? Where are tradespeople I require to service my house going to park when I need them? – They already have a hard enough time!
There’d be much stronger opposition from those on the street who, unlike me, don’t even think light rail is a good idea. Plus there’s Galati’s who would pretty much have their business killed.
I don’t think that a Wray Avenue alignment in this form will ever take place.
Further consultation is taking plan on Tuesday 14th Decemebr from 6pm. Email your RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other ideas about light rail in Fremantle and across the metropolitan area, I suggest visiting Senator Scott Ludlam’s Perth Light Rail website. It’s a tremendous, ambitious but necessary plan.