City of Melbourne councillors have announced they will consider the Draft Transport Strategy 2030.
The strategy aims to provide more space for people on footpaths and around major transport hubs, reduce congestion for cars coming to the city, boost Melbourne‘s $5.7 billion retail and hospitality sector and reduce injuries to pedestrians and cyclists.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said long-term planning is needed to ensure Melbourne’s liveability and economic productivity are maintained, as more than 900,000 people move around the city each day – increasing to 1.4 million people by 2036.
“This draft plan isn’t about supporting one mode of transport over another, it’s about balancing infrastructure,” Capp said.
“Our streets, footpaths, public spaces and transport hubs must adapt for the variety of ways people are travelling around our city today and into the future.”
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Transport portfolio Chair Nicolas Frances Gilley said world cities such as Vienna, New York and Barcelona have already recognised the need to create more walkable, enjoyable cities.
“Greater Melbourne is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and our population is projected to more than double in the next 30 years,” Gilley said.
“If we are to maintain our status as one of the world’s most liveable cities we have to create beautiful spaces for people to want to come and enjoy.”
By 2030, the plan aims to:
- Repurpose the equivalent of 20 Bourke Street malls worth of public road and on-street parking spaces, to create more space for pedestrians, cyclists, greening and trading.
- Reduce congestion for all users by encouraging through traffic to avoid the central city, while accommodating cars and others vehicles visiting for a purpose.
- Convert central city ‘Little Streets’ into pedestrian priority shared zones with lower speed limits for cars, to better support the retail economy and café culture.
- Work with the Victorian Government to deliver welcoming and safe public spaces around central city train stations.
- Create more than 50 kilometres of protected on-road bicycle lanes in key routes of the city.
- Deliver 300 additional motorcycle parking bays on streets as alternatives to parking on footpaths.
- Maintain access for essential car trips, especially for people with a disability, trade, service and emergency vehicles.
Capp said a 10 per cent increase in pedestrian connectivity could deliver an extra $2.1 billion to Melbourne’s businesses.
“At the moment 89 per cent of all trips in the central city are on foot, and walkers face increasingly overcrowded footpaths,” Capp said.
“We’ve already seen the share of car trips to work in the city decrease by 25 per cent since 2001, and today most people travel to work by train, not car.”
Capp said while the draft strategy has a large focus on creating more space for pedestrians, there would always be a place for essential car trips in the city.
“I understand that travelling into the city by car is the only option for some people. We will continue to welcome drivers whose destination is the central city including tradies, delivery vehicles, emergency services and people with a disability,” Capp said.
“We know that 43 percent of cars in the Hoddle Grid are passing through the city, adding to congestion. We want to see this through traffic reduced and the draft strategy includes actions to provide people with alternatives.”
The draft plan also includes actions to improve safety by reducing overcrowding at tram stops, busy intersections and around major train station precincts at Elizabeth Street, Flinders Street and Southern Cross station.
Capp said the City of Melbourne will continue to work with the Victorian Government to coordinate long-term, major transport projects across the city to minimise disruption and delays.
“The Victorian Government is delivering a welcome $38 billion investment in road and rail projects which will bring more people to the heart of Melbourne. The City of Melbourne’s draft transport strategy aims to provide safety, liveability and prosperity for all Victorians moving around our city,” Capp said.
“Collaboration will be a vital feature over the next 10 years and we are committed to working closely with the Victorian Government and other key stakeholders to deliver a world class transport network.”
The draft strategy will be considered by councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday 7 May, 2019.
If endorsed, the strategy will be released for public consultation and feedback for a six week period.