Yarra has long supported walking, biking, and place making

The City of Yarra has a long history of supporting walking, biking, public transport, trees, and place making, dating back to before Yarra was created in 1994, demonstrating that council is responding to broad, long-term community support for such initiatives.

1940s and 1950s

In Struggletown, author Janet McCalman reports on the numbers of children being killed, and efforts to protect children as they crossed the road:

Excerpt from Struggletown. Image credit: Melbourne University Press.

1995

Yarra Bicycle User Group, or YarraBUG, was formed.

In October 1995 the Gardiners Creek Bridge was officially opened to fill the gap in the Yarra Bike Path. YarraBUG supplied some of the cyclists to be first over the bridge for the cameras.

YarraBUG website
Yarra Bicycle Users Group February 1995. Image credit: YarraBUG.

1995-96

Council invested in bike infrastructure.

Excerpt from 1995-96 Annual Report, highlighting capital works for bikes. Image credit: City of Yarra.

1996-97

Council launches the first Yarra Bicycle Map, developed with the Yarra Bicycle Users Group and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

New Yarra Mayor John Sawyer (right) and Cr Steve Watson trying out the new Yarra Bike Map. Image credit: Yarra Leader.

1998-99

Council invested in traffic management, and developed a parking strategy for Fitzroy.

Excerpt from 1998-99 Annual Report, highlighting road safety and infrastructure for bikes. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2000

Council announces that Yarra is “All Parked Out”, as it prepares to develop a parking strategy:

Excerpt from 2000-01 budget. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2001

Council adopts the ‘Our Future 2010’ vision for the city, including actions to reduce car dependency.

Council is committed to creating a sustainable, safe, convenient, and efficient transport system in Yarra. It is working cooperatively with the State Government to provide effective and high quality access to frequent public transport. This, along with the increased investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, will contribute to reducing car dependency. Traffic and parking will continue to be managed in a fair and equitable manner that supports a sustainable transport system and Council’s social and economic goals.

Our Future 2010 City Vision

2003-04

Council completes several new bicycle projects.

Excerpt from 2003-04 Annual Report. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2005

Council adopts a policy to encourage and increase walking:

Image credit: City of Yarra.

2006

Council adopts an Open Space Strategy with a gap analysis, showing where new open space is required.

Image credit: City of Yarra, Thompson Berrill Landscape Design.

2008-09

We continue to strongly encourage alternatives to car travel, by providing practical measures including improved bicycle paths and bicycle parking hoops. Our bike network has been expanded with record numbers of people using bicycles as their primary mode of transport to and from work. We are making our streets more ‘walkable’ through upgrading footpaths and crossings, and landscaping.

Excerpt from 2008-09 Annual Report

2009

Council converted a section of Barkly Avenue into green open space, to join two halves of the park.

Barkly Avenue just after conversion to green open space, October 2009. Image credit: Nearmap.

2009-10

Council continues to advocate for reducing the speed limit on local streets to 40 km/h to make Yarra safer for residents and road users…The City of Yarra now has 40 km/h speed limits in 70% of streets across the municipality…

Excerpt from 2009-10 Annual Report, highlighting focus on traffic calming.
Excerpt from 2009-10 Annual Report, highlighting the budget for bikes, equivalent to $21 per person. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2010-11

…The City of Yarra now has 40 km/h speed limits in 80% of streets across the municipality…

Excerpt from 2010-11 Annual Report, highlighting focus on traffic calming.
Excerpt from 2010-11 Annual Report, highlighting expenditure on sustainable transport. Image credit: City of Yarra.

Council opened the Peel Street pocket park.

Peel Street pocket park. Image credit: City of Yarra via YouTube.

2011-12

Excerpt from 2011-12 Annual Report, highlighting expenditure on sustainable transport. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2013

Council opened the Oxford Street pocket park.

Oxford Street pocket park. Image credit: City of Yarra via YouTube.

2013-14

Yarra commissioned an annual count of the number of cyclists…there has been a clear annual expansion of cycling in Yarra since 2005.

Excerpt from 2013-14 Annual Report.
Excerpt from 2013-14 Annual Report. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2014-15

Council opened the Richmond Terrace pocket park:

Richmond Terrace pocket park. Image credit: Andrew Lloyd.

Council constructs protected bike lanes on the southern section of Wellington Street, Collingwood.

Excerpt from 2014-15 Annual Report, highlighting stage 1 of protected bike lanes on Wellington Street, Collingwood. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2018-19

Council conducts a trial of 30 km/h in the northern areas of Fitzroy and Collingwood.

Logo for the 30 km/h trial. Image credit: City of Yarra.

2019-20

Council extends protected bike lanes on Wellington Street, Collingwood.

2020-21

Council begins a trial of protected bike lanes on Elizabeth Street, Richmond.

2022

Council adopts an ambitious, evidence-based transport strategy:

Image credit: City of Yarra.

2023

Council voted to make the Elizabeth Street bike lanes permanent, expanded the 30 km/h trial to cover all of Collingwood and Fitzroy, and opened the expanded Cambridge Street Reserve:

2024

Council opened the Otter Street pocket park:

How you can help

You can help by appearing on the Streets Alive Yarra website as a champion for your local street, neighbourhood, or school.

Let’s build a beautiful, liveable and accessible city