The West

Vincent bid to block busy rat run
Tristan Giacomel, Grace Stuart and Amy Carroll. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

A local council is seeking to crack down on "severe" rat-running in residential areas by partially closing one of its busiest roads.

Merredin Street in Mt Hawthorn is home to just five houses but an average 1417 cars use the tiny street as a short cut every day, peaking at 281 an hour in the morning rush.

The street, which runs north-south between Green Street and Scarborough Beach Road, is used by motorists to avoid congestion at the busy intersection between the two main roads.

The street was highlighted by The West Australian in March as an example of how Perth's growing congestion problems are creating "rat runs" all over the city.

The City of Vincent is expected to approve a three-month trial tomorrow night for a half-road closure at the intersection of Green and Merredin streets to stop motorists on Green Street using Merredin Street as a short cut.

Merredin Street residents Grace Stuart and Amy Carroll said action was needed urgently because the street had become unsafe.

"It's so busy here in the mornings, we can't even get out of our own driveways," Ms Stuart said.

"It's constantly jam-packed, we've both got young kids and it's a worry because they are often playing outside and there are always cars rushing past.

"We would love it if they closed off the road."

Vincent director of technical services Rick Lotznicker said the city had numerous complaints from residents about "severe rat-running" during the morning peak hour.

Traffic data indicated vehicle movement along the road should be no greater than 500-700 cars a day but it was more than double that.

Rat runs have sprung up across the metropolitan area, putting pressure on many streets that were not built to handle big volumes of traffic.

They have also raised safety concerns, with some residents demanding that previously quiet streets be closed to rat run traffic or made safe with the installation of speed bumps or roundabouts.

The West Australian

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