30 km/h superblocks are blocks of streets that are calmed to 30 km/h, usually within a perimeter of VicRoads arterials. Superblocks also include traffic filtering to block commuter through-traffic, as well as more trees and public open space. For most journeys, 30 km/h only applies to the first and last few hundred meters of travel and doesn’t appreciably add to travel times.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra, Google Maps

Benefits

30 km/h superblocks offer the following benefits:

  • reduces noise, and together with more trees, wider footpaths and seating, makes our residential blocks more beautiful, pleasant and enjoyable for walking and chatting with neighbours
  • encouraging through-traffic to stay on the grid of arterials, thus reducing rat running through residential streets
  • a safer environment for children to start or finish their journey, e.g. walking or cycling to school, sport or friends
  • a lower cost way to make cycling safe across the whole of Yarra, with costly protected bicycle lanes limited to a grid of arterials and key access streets

Further guidance is available from The Conversation:

Image credit: The Conversation
Image credit: The Conversation

Love 30 Yarra

Love 30 Yarra is a grassroots campaign to support 30 km/h superblocks in the City of Yarra. Love 30 Yarra is part of a global Love 30 campaign (also called 20’s Plenty in countries that use miles per hour), with other groups located in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA. Contact Love 30 Yarra via the Streets Alive Yarra contact form.

Superblocks in Barcelona

The most well known application of superblocks is in Barcelona. As described in The Guardian, Barcelona’s plan is to give streets back to residents.

Superblocks in New York

CityLab looked at how Barcelona style “superblocks” and Dutch style  “woonerfs” could be superimposed onto Manhattan’s grid, delivering new public open space for residents.

Image credit: Perkins Eastman, from CityLab
Image credit: Perkins Eastman, from CityLab

30 km/h trial in Yarra

The City of Yarra is trialling a 30 km/h superblock in one area of Fitzroy and Collingwood. More information on 30 km/h is available on the official City of Yarra website thanksfor30.com.au/why-30kmh.

Image credit: City of Yarra

30 km/h in other Councils

The City of Melbourne and the City of Moreland have announced that they are also planning trials. Councils in Western Australia (with the WA Department of Transport) are also testing 30 km/h streets, calling them ‘Safe Active Streets‘:

Video credit: WA Dept of Transport

Conclusion

30 km/h superblocks are a practical and low cost way to make Yarra a beautiful city to live in, pleasant to walk through, and safe for children to move around in.

Next → walkability