Taylor Burrell Barnett

A renewed, people-focus for Maylands town centre

Author

Eric Denholm
Associate

23 May 2024

Taylor Burrell Barnett have been working with Main Roads WA and a specialist transport team to help shape the Maylands town centre into a more vibrant place, with healthier and more accessible streets.

Since the closure of the Caledonian Avenue level crossing in April 2022, the Maylands town centre has been preparing for an increase in people walking and cycling. Main Roads WA has already made a number of improvements, including new protected bike lanes and safety features as a part of revitalising the town centre.

The latest focus has been the streetscape masterplan. Main Roads WA appointed a team of street design experts, including Eric Denholm from Taylor Burrell Barnett, Tim Judd from PJA, Mike Rowlands at ASPECT Studios and Lucy Saunders, founder of Healthy Streets, to develop a proposal for Maylands town centre. Along with Main Roads WA, this team has been working closely with the community and stakeholders to develop a masterplan for road, path, and streetscape upgrades that has the potential to enhance the Maylands town centre and encourage further growth and development.

This is an opportunity to make this local centre a more vibrant place with healthier and more accessible streets.

Through a series of workshops with the local community and elected members plus of course detailed analysis using Healthy Streets tools the team developed proposals that set the bar for a new level of ambition in street design in WA.

Community workshop to develop proposals for redesigning neighbourhood streets

Community workshop to develop proposals for redesigning neighbourhood streets

About the streets

The Maylands Town Centre contains four major streets that all serve different place and movement functions, warranting different design responses.

Whatley Crescent and Eighth Avenue are ‘high streets’ that accommodate local businesses, with Eighth Avenue forming the key spine of the Centre and an important link to the broader Maylands Peninsula area. Seventh Avenue serves a secondary link function serving other land uses complementary to the Town Centre including educational and religious institutions. Guildford Road is a State significant arterial route carrying a heavy mix of traffic from Midland to Perth.

Whatley Crescent is probably the most complex street as it scores highly in terms of functioning with both high value movement and place roles. It is a through-route for cars, it is the ‘gateway’ to Maylands towncentre, it is the focus of future high density and mixed use growth, and it is a transport hub with train, bus and cycle routes stopping here. While it is popular location with thriving shops and cafes, the present conditions could be significantly improved to better serve people and the local business community.

Cars can travel through at 60km/h which is intimidating for people walking on the narrow footpaths with no buffer and those trying to cycle on the street. The intersections are not safe for people cycling on foot or by bike and the street is not ready for the anticipated increase of people passing through and stopping by in the coming years.

The Design Check does highlight some of the positives including available drinking water, some shade, public seating, cycle parking and street lighting. These are important assets to retain and enhance where possible.

The Healthy Streets Design Check Australia is used to quantify how ‘healthy’ a street layout is using 19 metrics. This tool scores Whatley Crescent 21 out of 100 at present. This is fairly consistent with similar streets of this kind in WA but it falls far below the standard we should expect, even on a through-route for cars.

Our proposal included wider footpaths, a calmer driving environment, safer and more convenient crossing facilities and more trees. This brings the score up to 49 out of 100.

Whatley Crescent Healthy Streets Score for existing street and proposed layout

 

Whatley Crescent as it looks today

 

Whatley Crescent, Maylands, Perth, Australia (proposal)

 

Detailed designs are currently being made with a planned start for delivery in 2025. You can read much more about the project and download the reports here

Main Roads WA nominated the Maylands Project for the Road Safety Managing Director Award which commends employees and teams who contributed to road safety developments, upholding the cause through new policies or developments, with the project taking the Highly Commended Award.

Learn more about the Healthy Streets Assessment project for Maylands here.

Author

Eric Denholm
Associate

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