Cambridge Street is a north-south commercial (with some residential) street in LAPM 10 Collingwood. It’s adjacent to Wellington Street, which is the preferred through traffic route in the area. Anecdotally there are reports that Cambridge Street is used by drivers as a ‘rat run’ between Langridge Street and Peel Street to avoid traffic calming and bike lanes on Wellington Street. This page discusses the northern section of Cambridge Street, above Langridge Street.
Cambridge Street is a relatively wide local access street. The public street space appears to be used predominantly for car storage.
Cambridge Street forms part of the Foy & Gibson precinct, a complex of heritage listed former factories and warehouses associated with the former Foy & Gibson department store. The conditions on Cambridge Street are very similar to nearby Oxford Street which runs parallel to Cambridge Street.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020 informal observations revealed that very few cars were parking on the street, suggesting that parking on Cambridge Street is predominately used by businesses and not widely used by local residents. However, pre-COVID the parking was typically occupied.
The Southern end of Collingwood is facing increased residential densities though land use change and new apartment developments. The Collingwood precinct also has the lowest amount of public open space in the City of Yarra, with just 0.34 ha of open space [Source: Draft Yarra Open Space Strategy 2019].
Given this, there is a strategic need to reallocate vacant and underutilised open space to higher and better uses. There is an opportunity to repurpose the wide street spaces to public open space while also offering a traffic calming solution to support broader safe street aspirations. There are many ways this could be approached:
- Idea #1: shut the northern end of Cambridge Street for a pop-up-park and work with landowners and tenants to maintain vehicular access to buildings required. Even better, aspire to extend the park as land-use changes.
- Idea #2: make Cambridge Street one-way and utilise parking and road spaces for a pop-up park.
- Idea #3: shut the northern Cambridge Street while maintaining vehicular access for a pop-up park.