Balmain Street is an east-west street in Cremorne, running between Cremorne Street in the west and Church Street in the east. It links the busy Church Street to the quiet residential streets in Cremorne.
Balmain Street hosts a mixture of commercial and residential properties, including the Cherry Tree hotel. A new 7-storey high-rise office development (Reece Plumbing) has been built between the Cherry Tree and the railway line.
Development in Cremorne will greatly increase the number of workers in the area, who will all need to commute to work each day, as well as wishing to access local shops and restaurants on Swan Street and Church Street. However, streets in Cremorne, including Balmain Street, are not able carry extra cars. In the evening peak hour, traffic is banked up on Balmain Street, from Church Street almost back to the underpass.
To enable all these new workers to move around Yarra, we need to encourage walking, cycling and transit. To support this, Balmain Street should have wider footpaths and protected bicycle lanes, forming part of a wider bicycle network. Parking should occur on side streets, and should be correctly priced to manage demand.
Expanded plaza outside the Cherry Tree Hotel
If the railway underpass on Balmain Street is closed to motor vehicle traffic (and kept open for walking and biking), then traffic will reduce enough to allow a larger plaza outside the Cherry Tree Hotel, by narrowing Balmain Street to one lane:
Pedestrian crossing at the Cherry Tree Hotel
If Balmain Street is not narrowed, then a large pedestrian crossing should be added:
Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra, background from Nearmap
Pedestrian crossing at Cremorne Street
Cremorne Community Inc has proposed a pedestrian crossing on Balmain Street, at the intersection with Cremorne Street:
Video credit: Streets Alive Yarra.