A driving network is an integrated, cohesive set of roads and streets, enabling people to drive to any destination in Yarra. We already have this network, but its usability is under threat from congestion and gridlock.
Our driving network delivers the following benefits:
- Enables residents to access homes, shops and work,
- Enables police, ambulance and emergency services to access all properties, and
- Enables deliveries to all properties.
Preferred Traffic Routes
VicRoads designates some parts of our driving network as Preferred Traffic Routes (PTRs), forming a widely spaced grid across the whole of greater Melbourne. This network enables people to drive at higher speeds (50 to 80 km/h) across Melbourne for the majority of their journey. The start and finish of each journey will most likely occur off the PTR network, on local streets at lower speeds (30 or 40 km/h). Owing to the widely spaced grid of preferred traffic routes, there are only a few in Yarra. The rest of our street network is prioritised to build wealth (shopping streets) or to provide access to properties (local streets).
VicRoads also designates a finer grid of declared arterials, which join Preferred Traffic Routes to quiet local streets.
The problem is that congestion is increasing and gridlock is approaching. The KPMG Melbourne Activity Based Model (referenced by Infrastructure Victoria) showed back in 2015 that some streets were already at capacity. Our population is increasing and gridlock is likely on many streets before 2030. Severe congestion or gridlock would be a bad outcome for residents and businesses.
In Yarra, we don’t have enough space (between boundaries of private properties) to add more traffic lanes. Even if we could, this would only induce more traffic, and congestion would return.
Instead, the solution is to offer alternatives – footpath, bicycle and public transport networks – so that people who are willing to ‘have a go’ with other modes are able to, thus freeing up space on our driving network for those who need to drive. In other words, investing in walking, cycling and public transport will help make Yarra better for drivers.
Supporters of our driving network include the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV):