Streets Alive Yarra calls on local, state and federal governments to action the following:
- Provide sustained long-term investment in walking, cycling, public transport and place making.
- Enable active transport within 20-minute neighbourhoods by establishing 30 km/h superblocks that block through-traffic.
- Grow our urban forest by allocating more street space to trees.
- Attract more business to our grid of main streets by building wider footpaths, bicycle lanes, protected intersections and level access tram stops.
- Speed up trams by using smart traffic lights to detect oncoming trams and alter light sequences to clear traffic from intersections; and reduce the total volume of cars by introducing demand responsive driving charges.
- Bring the demand for parking back into balance with supply by implementing demand responsive parking charges and supporting the growth of car sharing.
- Re-locate metered car-parking for shoppers to the first 5-10 bays on each side street and guide people to vacant bays by using underground parking sensors.
In combination, implementing the above actions will make Yarra:
- Better for children
- Better for seniors
- Better for people on low incomes
- Better for drivers
- Better for parking
- Better for business
- Better for trams
- Better for car sharing
- Better for trees
Or, in other words:
- maintain a functioning city by avoiding gridlock,
- prevent death and serious injury by protecting the public,
- comply with Objective 6 of the Council Plan, and
- support our vision for better streets.
To complement the above, Streets Alive Yarra calls on governments to action the following:
- Allocate an annual budget of $10m for walking, cycling and place making.
- Develop an Integrated Transport Strategy and accompanying Parking Management Plan with clear targets for mode shift and re-allocation of street space.
- Review all 21 Local Area Place Making (LAPM) areas within each 4-year term of Council, to better support trials and iterative improvements.
- Change parking minimums to parking maximums, to help mitigate the onset of severe congestion and gridlock.
- Increase the target for car sharing vehicles to 2,000 by 2030 and permit them to be located on residential streets.
- Update the Street Tree Policy so that trees are planted where they don’t block future bicycle lanes.
- Invest in mobility counters that can measure people walking, cycling, using public transport or driving in Yarra, to build the evidence base for re-allocation of street space. For further information refer to ‘Measuring Walking’ presented by Bill Gehling at the 2019 Australian Walking and Cycling Conference, and the sensors offered by Vivacity Labs.
- Trial the real-time presentation of parking occupancy data on smartphone mapping apps, enabling shoppers to quickly and easily find a vacant parking bay.
- Create Transport for Yarra to unify all activities relating to streets, transport and parking.
- Allocating at least 50% of the state transport budget to walking, cycling, public transport and 20-minute neighbourhoods.
- Develop an Integrated Transport Strategy for greater Melbourne, with a view to effectively moving people in a city of 8 million.
- Decrease congestion by constructing the VicRoads Principal Bicycle Network and the Melbourne Rail Plan 2018-2050.
- Decrease congestion (and offset the loss of fuel excise revenue from electric cars) by introducing demand responsive driving charges.
- Build the evidence base for reform by funding each Council in Victoria to conduct a iRAP/AusRAP hazard identification and risk assessment review of a selection of three representative streets in their region, such a shopping street, access street, and a residential street, as part of the Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy.
- Offer dollar-for-dollar grants to each Council in Victoria to fund safe travel infrastructure, as part of the Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy, Plan Melbourne, the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and Health 2040.
- Introduce 30 km/h for all non-arterial streets within 10 km of the CBD, starting with the Hoddle Grid.
- Invest in a fleet of parklets so that traders in any shopping street in Melbourne can test how revitalised shopping streets can help boost their revenue.
- Update the ‘Traffic Engineering Manual: Speed Zoning Guidelines’ to provide more options for lower speed limits, including 30 km/h superblocks.
- Improve state guidance for implementation of national standards and guidelines, such as VicRoads Road Design Notes.
- Create a new design guide for raised threshold treatments (continuous footpaths) based on best practice from The Netherlands.
- Review the road rules to provide consistent pedestrian priority at intersections and in car parks.
- Ensure reporting and campaigns about pedestrian safety are impartial and do not result in victim blaming.
- Fund the collection of real time movement data from across greater Melbourne, using sensors from Vivacity Labs (or similar) and make the data available to Councils.
- Allocate 50% of the federal transport budget to walking, cycling, public transport, and 20-minute neighbourhoods.
- Offer dollar-for-dollar grants to each Council in Australia to fund walking, cycling and place making, as part of the National Road Safety Strategy and the Smart Cities Plan.
- Link federal road funding to state and federal governments with requirements to assess all roads and streets in their jurisdiction for safety, as part of AusRAP.
- Support efforts by local and state governments to reduce speed limits, including default urban speedlimits in residential areas and arterial roads limits.
- Avoid creating substantial new, free car parking at suburban train stations. Instead, encourage people to walk or cycle short distances and improve bus services for longer distances.
Guidance from the UK
Guidance for the above actions are offered by Sustrans’ Manifesto for the UK Government, with its focus on walking, cycling and 20-minute neighbourhoods, including:
- Provide sustained long-term investment in walking and cycling.
- Commit to a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns.
- Transform the school journey to help children walk, cycle and scoot in safety and with confidence.
- Ensure places are accessible for everyone to walk, cycle and wheel by implementing a 20 mph (30 km/h) default speed limit in all built-up areas.
- Establish a nation-wide Greenways programme so that everyone has equal access to the natural environment.