City of Greater Geraldton says Chapman Road project working after study shows visitation up 66 per cent

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Art along Chapman Road.
Camera IconArt along Chapman Road. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton/Supplied

After months of debate about the brightly coloured street art and revamp of Chapman Road’s layout there are finally some numbers — and they appear to show it’s working.

The City of Greater Geraldton said a study found visitation to Chapman Road had increased by 66 per cent since the start of the Chapman Road Tactical Urbanisation pilot project, with people spending 12 per cent more time in the area.

“The activation and changes to Chapman Road have taken some time for our community to adjust to but I believe many are starting to experience the benefits of the transformed stretch,” Mayor Shane Van Styn said.

“These positive figures show that it’s turning into a place for people and not just vehicles.”

Mr Van Styn said the Mid West Art Prize opening night and the City’s school holiday program likely contributed to the increases, and the City planned to keep building on the momentum.

To say reactions have been mixed on social media is an understatement, with many claiming the road layout change would lead to traffic problems like road rage or even accidents.

“Looks great until a car or truck takes it out,” one person said on a Guardian poll when the changes were made.

But there have been plenty of positive responses.

“It’s about time we added some vibrant colour to the town,” one user said. “People hate change and are so staid in their thinking.”

Thursday, Friday and Saturday appeared to be the most popular days to visit the area, with people spending close to an hour, the study showed. The project was launched with RAC WA in September 2021 to reduce traffic speed, improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and add to the streetscape.

If it is deemed unsuccessful after 12 months, the street will revert to its original state.

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