Gwynne Street is a “wide single-lane” north-south local road in Cremorne, south of Balmain Street, roughly 160 m long. Residences are on the west side, commercial on the east with all commercial frontages and activity on adjacent Palmer Parade, which is a “wide two-lane” private road with eight speed humps and 15 km/h speed limit over a length of 320 m.
The problems are excessive conflict, amenity loss and an unsafe local road for pedestrians, residents and their children due to:
- High volumes of commercial and industrial traffic, because Gwynne Street is a more attractive rat-run than the adjacent Palmer Parade with its eight speed humps that service the commercial site;
- Commercial vehicles driving on the footpath on the residential side for up to 70 m, because Gwynne Street is too narrow to support excessive traffic in both directions at once, as well as on-street parking;
- Resident’s cars being sideswiped by rat-running trucks avoiding Palmer Parade speed humps;
- Western footpath cracked and dropped due to heavy vehicles driving along it;
- Large rat-running private garbage trucks from Palmer Parade waking residents due to collections outside of legal hours;
- Truck volumes 40% above Council’s threshold limit (Council’s count of 7% trucks is 40% higher than Councils threshold of 5% trucks) for a local road in a residential zone; and
- Speeding increased with Council data showing 70 km/h recorded in Gwynne Street.
Yarra Council’s own traffic consultant (TraffixGroup) has advised Council “the key reason for reducing truck activity relates to residential amenity. On this basis, measures to reduce truck activity would only be undertaken on a residential street or a mixed use street with some residential component (i.e. Gwynne Street)”.
Yarra Council’s Ivan Gilbert has confirmed in a letter that “traffic accessing Rosella Complex use Balmain Street to access their destination.”
The solutions are:
- Remove some on-street parking on the east side, so there are spaces for traffic heading south to “duck in”, allowing traffic heading north to stay on the road, instead of driving along the western footpath;
- Install bicycle parking hoops along the western footpath, near the kerb, to prevent vehicles from driving on the footpath;
- Install planter boxes along the western footpath, straddling the kerb, to prevent vehicles from driving along the footpath immediately outside residential access points. This street would retain a 2.7-3.0 m wide lane as commonly found throughout Cremorne and reduces speed; and
- Install regulatory truck ban signs as promised by City of Yarra Councillors (refer article below) and as commonly installed on local roads by other councils including Stonnington, Monash and Maribyrnong;
Together, these changes would:
- Ensure the safety of people using the pedestrian footpath;
- Encourage commercial vehicles to use Palmer Parade instead of rat-running in local residential streets;
- Reduce conflict, speeding and improve amenity; and
- Provide shade and greenery in a currently treeless local road.
Your local champion for Gwynne Street is Rick Di Paola, Yarra resident. View all of Streets Alive Yarra’s champions on our supporters page.
Rick is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Director of RDP Consulting Engineers, with over 20 years experience in civil and transport infrastructure design. He has recently designed a new roundabout arrangement that accommodates and prioritises pedestrians and a bicycle path (the first of this type in Australia) to be constructed in two locations in Moray Street, South Melbourne for the City of Port Phillip, as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail project early works.Rick Di Paola