Comment – Melbourne – A Car Free City
Posted in Policies by Ferne Edwards on February 4th, 2008
The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #44, 30 January 2008, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar, www.goingsolar.com.au/transport. This newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.
Melbourne – A Car Free City
â€œA new pedestrian junction is needed at Flinders Street. It must be easy to walk down Swanston Street and cross to St Kilda Road. There are several options: blocking Flinders Street, dropping Flinders Street to make a vehicle underpass, or making a diagonal pedestrian crossing and limiting traffic to one lane. The aim should be to connect Swanston Street more comfortably with Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and the arts precinct. The second stage â€” easy once the first step is taken â€” is to make the area bounded by Elizabeth, Russell, Flinders and La Trobe streets into a pedestrian precinct. The car parks must be closed. The land is too valuable to waste on car parking. The top end of Swanston Street must be redesigned and landscaped to make more space for walking, and a clear connection to the residential district and Melbourne University. There is a constant flow of students and others between Melbourne University, RMIT & the city. The City Baths corner of Swanston and Victoria Parade is an important city gateway, but at present it’s an ugly mess. A car-free central Melbourne can be created without improvement to the public transport network, but it will work much better with improved train, tram and bus services. A car-free city will be not just for the people who live there, but for all Melburnians.â€
Ref: Nicholas Low, The Age, 9/9/07
â€œThe key to reducing congestion on the eastwest corridor is to eliminate many of the single occupant vehicles that take this route every day. The only transport option that will encourage people out of their cars is a heavy rail link. So, Mr Brumby, build a tunnel, but put trains through it, not more cars.”
Ref: James Christou, The Age, 18/12/07