Have your say on Melbourne’s city transport plan

Moving Well | Tianna Nadalin | Posted on 14 June 2019

RACV welcomes the City of Melbourne’s draft transport strategy.

RACV has welcomed the release of the City of Melbourne’s Draft Transport Strategy 2030 as an important contribution to ensuring the liveability and economic prosperity of the city. 

However, RACV’s senior transport manager Peter Kartsidimas says the council’s recommendations, which include prioritising foot traffic in the CBD and introducing 30kmh speed limits, may have merit but need to be considered as part of a holistic Victorian transport plan, developed in concert with the state government.

“A lot of these ideas are not new and have been identified in previous bike plans, walking plans and strategies completed by the City of Melbourne,” says Peter. 

“For the most part, it is a good strategy that considers many of the transport challenges Melbourne is facing and outlines a plan to address these,” he says. 

“However, many ideas presented in the draft strategy require support from the Victorian state government. We hope that the city and the state can align around some of the core ideas held within the draft strategy for the ‘greater good’.”  

Peter says it remained to be seen whether the recommendations would be implemented, given that so many of these previous plans had yet to be put into action.

A crush of traffic in Melbourne CBD crossing the road in front of a tram

The City of Melbourne’s draft transport strategy will prioritise foot traffic.

What the City of Melbourne is proposing 

This draft strategy outlines the City of Melbourne’s vision for the future, and how it plans to prepare Melbourne for substantial population growth over the next 10 to 20 years.  

A significant emphasis on walking

Widening walkways, reducing wait times at traffic lights and banning motorcycles from parking on the footpath are just some of the council’s suggestions to address overcrowding on Melbourne’s streets and allow for an easier flow of traffic in the CBD. 

Rethinking the little streets 

The strategy recommends converting ‘little streets’ within the Hoddle Grid to shared pedestrian priority zones to improve safety and build on the city’s thriving laneway culture. This includes repurposing the equivalent of 20 Bourke Street Malls worth of public road and parking to free up space for pedestrians, cyclists, green areas and retail, and reducing speed limits for cars.

 Action on major public transport initiatives

The strategy calls for action on various significant public transport projects, such as the Melbourne Metro 2 concept, which links the Mernda line through Fitzroy, Parkville, the central city, Fishermans Bend and Newport.   

Bus and tram priority

The draft strategy proposes the creation of more dedicated bus and tram lanes and increasing traffic-light priority.   

Road user pricing 

To reduce congestion in the CBD, the council proposes trialling a road user-pricing system with the aim of reducing ‘through’ traffic.

Reduced speed limits    

A 30kmh speed limit trial is proposed for the central city, along with other speed reductions in areas with high pedestrian activity.  

Safer streets for bicycle riding 

The plan outlines an ambitious program of bicycle infrastructure, including delivering 50 kilometres of protected bicycle lanes over the next 10 years and an additional 40 kilometres of protected bicycle lanes on roads managed by the state government. This emphasis on protected bicycle infrastructure is designed to drive a significant increase in people choosing to cycle.  

A busy pedestrian crossing in Melbourne CBD near Flinders street station, with people holding umbrellas

RACV’s take on it all 

Melbourne, and especially the central 36 square kilometres that is the City of Melbourne municipality, is going through incredible change. One of the most obvious products of this change is the number of people walking and accessing public transport within the central area. 

“This is a vastly different place to 10, or even five, years ago,” Peter says. “These growing and often competing transport demands are impacting the liveability of the city; therefore, the transport plan requires a fresh and innovative approach to transport planning, urban design and place making.” 

Have your say 

If you live, work or study in the City of Melbourne, or if you simply visit from time to time, RACV encourages you to have your say about the future of the inner-city transport network, and how you would like to see it improved. Submissions for the Draft Transport Strategy 2030 close on 19 June.  You can read the strategy document and have your say in a survey or submission.