Have your say on fixing Sydney Road

Moving Well | Tianna Nadalin | Posted on 03 July 2019

The five new proposals that could drive the future of Sydney Road.

Motorists and trams travelling along Sydney Road could face worse delays under new proposals for the future of the busy shopping strip.

VicRoads has released five options to help improve safety, ease traffic congestion and reduce the number of collisions along the four-kilometre thoroughfare, which stretches from Park Street in Brunswick to Bell Street in Coburg.

Key elements of the proposed designs, which are open for public comment, include banning cars from parking on Sydney Road, implementing dedicated bicycle and tram lanes and reducing traffic to one shared lane for cars and trams at all times.

Sydney Road redesign, proposal 1A

Sydney Road redesign, proposal 1B

Sydney Road redesign, proposal 2

Sydney Road redesign, proposal 3

Sydney Road redesign, proposal 4

RACV senior transport manager Peter Kartsidimas says the VicRoads plans are “underwhelming” for such an important project.

“The graphics are confusing and do not provide basic details as to how the removal of on-street parking or the reduction in traffic lanes will affect travel times and improve safety,” he says. “There is also no information about how parking will be managed on side streets due to the increased demand.”

The proposals were developed in consultation with the Department of Transport, City of Moreland, Coburg Traders Association, Yarra Trams, Bicycle Network Victoria and other community groups in an effort to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of the corridor. RACV was consulted in the early stages but has had no input since March 2018. 

VicRoads is now calling for the public to have their say on the future of the crowded thoroughfare, launching a survey where people can provide feedback and ideas about the proposed streetscapes.

While RACV is pleased VicRoads is seeking feedback from the community, Peter says more analysis and consultation is needed to factor in the safety and impacts for all users along the Sydney Road corridor.

“RACV has been calling for a wholesale redesign of Sydney Road for many years,” he says. “Our vision would remove on-street parking, have separated lanes for cyclists, as well as raised tram platforms to improve accessibility.”

In early 2019, RACV released a study highlighting a network of corridors in Melbourne that should become safe and connected for bicycle riders. The Sydney Road corridor ranked in the top 10 priorities, hence the call for more information about what is being proposed, especially regarding bicycle infrastructure both at intersections and in the middle of blocks.

In the five years to December 2018, there were 223 casualty crashes between Park and Bell streets. Of these, 90 involved cyclists, including a fatal incident in which a cyclist was killed in a car dooring that knocked him into the path of a truck. 

Artist's drawing of VicRoads' proposal 3 for the future of Sydney Road

 VicRoads’ proposal 3 for the future of Sydney Road sees the implementation of protected bicycle lanes, the removal of on-street parking and one shared traffic lane.


Busy Sydney Road strip with trams, cars, pedestrians and cyclists

There were 223 casualty crashes, including one fatality, on Sydney Road between Park and Bell streets in the five years to 2018.


VicRoads’ five proposals for the future of Sydney Road

Proposal 1A

  • Raised tram stops 
  • Parking removed at raised tram stop locations
  • Parking retained during off-peak periods and at all other times

Proposal 1B

  • Raised tram stops
  • Parking removed at raised tram stop locations 
  • Retains two traffic lanes during peak periods

Proposal 2

  • Dedicated tram lane during peak periods (only in direction of peak traffic) 
  • One traffic lane during peak periods (towards peak direction)
  • One shared lane for cars and trams during off-peak periods
  • Current kerbside bicycle lane retained during peak periods
  • No dedicated off-peak bicycle lane
  • Parking retained during off-peak periods

Proposal 3

  • Removal of all parking along Sydney Road to facilitate extended footpaths for increased trading space, trees and placemaking
  • Protected bicycle lane
  • One shared lane for traffic and trams at all times

Proposal 4

  • Parking banned during peak periods to provide wide bicycle lane
  • One shared lane for traffic and trams at all times
  • Removal of some parking along Sydney Road to facilitate extended footpaths for increased trading space, trees and placemaking
  • Majority of parking retained during off-peak periods