We must always retain our pedestrian thoroughfares because …
- If we get bored or scared walking along one route, next time we can try another.
- With more pedestrian thoroughfares through our city we retain people’s (the customer’s) attention longer.
- This strengthens their bonds with our district because they are spending more time there and having more experiences.
- This prevents them from choosing another district, and
- This means our city will be sustainable.
This is Paddy Troy Lane in Fremantle.
It used to be that you could walk all the way through. Legend has it that a falling out between the landlord and the local authority made the landlord say, ‘Right, I’ll show you’ and erected a shop on their private land facing William Street and forever cutting off public access.
You’re looking at the back of it here.
As a consequence, probably, the Newport Hotel (which is behind me in the photo) closed its rear entrance which took pedestrians all the way from the Town Hall clock in the distance, up the lane, through a rear passage of the hotel and out on to the Cappuccino Strip – one of Australia’s best retail streets.
So now if you want to get from the city square and town hall clock to the best retail street in Australia you have to perambulate either left or right to find another opening in the city grid.
Yes, we know that the part of the laneway in the picture is on private property but local governments must step up and become better negotiators (and the state government must give them permission to do so).
Or else they should own their own buildings.