Chapel Street design winner

The winner of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Australian & New Zealand design competition for Chapel Street has been announced – congratulations to the team at S.W.E.N.gineers.

Image credit: S.W.E.N.gineers

Design proposal

The design proposal is based around the replacement of on-street parking on the west side of the street with a bidirectional protected bicycle lane. On the east side, the footpath is widened from 4 metres to 5.4 metres.

Image credit: S.W.E.N.gineers
Image credit: S.W.E.N.gineers


The team conducted a variety of analyses, including:

  • Movement & Place analysis
  • Safe System analysis
  • Level of Service analysis
  • Parking analysis, for cars and bikes

Our view

Streets Alive Yarra congratulates the team on winning the design competition. We still prefer the Melbourne Shopping Street reference design, that has wider unidirectional bike lanes on both sides, as well as wider footpaths on both sides.

Melbourne Shopping Street reference design. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.

In our view, the Melbourne Shopping Street reference design offers the following advantages over the winning design:

  • Increased movement capacity, owing to:
    • wider bike lanes, which can carry significantly more people than a narrower lane
    • smoother flowing vehicle traffic, as car parking is relocated to side streets
    • faster trams, as car parking is relocated to side streets
  • Increased place rating, owing to:
    • Wider footpaths on both sides
    • More opportunity to support large street trees, on both sides
  • Improved alignment with Safe System, because:
    • parking is moved to side streets, decreasing the risk of collisions between moving cars and vehicles that are entering or leaving parking bays
    • the doors of parked cars do not open directly into the path of a tram
    • intersections are simpler, with less collision points, compared with a bidirectional bike lane on one side
  • Increased comfort and attractiveness for people cycling, with the increased width of the bike lanes enabling parents to cycle side-by-side with children, or for faster riders to overtake slower ones, or to better support cargo bikes
  • Increased opportunity for traders on both sides of the street, for on-street dining, owing to wider footpaths on both sides

Regarding the availability of parking, our view is that Chapel Street has more than enough on-street parking already available on side streets, it just needs to be better managed, e.g. via the use of demand responsive parking charges.

Published 18th August 2021