Many footpaths in Yarra are narrow or obstructed by poles, in addition to being sloping, bumpy or uneven. A narrow footpath is one that can’t be used by a person in a wheelchair, which needs a width of 1200 mm. Austroads and VicRoads guidelines recommend a minimum footpath width of 1500 mm, so that a person in a wheelchair can pass a person pushing a pram:

Source: VicRoads Traffic Engineering Manual Volume 3 – Additional Network Standards and Guidelines Accessibility (DDA) Guidelines Edition 1, March 2017

Victoria Walks recommends a minimum footpath width of 1.5 m for quieter streets, and 1.8 m for busier streets:

Source: Victoria Walks

The Auckland Transport Urban Street and Road Design Guides states that residential footpaths should have a minimum width of 1.8 m:

The NACTO Global Street Design Guide recommends an unobstructed footpath width of 2 m, and in most cases 2.4 m:

Options

Streets with narrow, obstructed or non-existent footpaths have two basic options:

  • Remove parking to enable wider footpaths, or
  • Convert the street to a 10-30 km/h shared zone, so people can walk or roll on the street.

This page collates images of streets in Yarra with narrow footpaths. Please send us images of any narrow footpath that you find.

Blanche Street, Cremorne

Footpath blocked by parked cars. Footpath too narrow for a wheelchair.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Chapel Street, Cremorne

Footpath too narrow for a wheelchair.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Fitzgibbon Street, Cremorne

Footpath obstructed on both sides by poles. Even without obstructions, the footpath is too narrow for a wheelchair.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Brady Street, Richmond

Footpath often blocked by parked cars. Footpath too narrow for a wheelchair.

Parking on the footpath on Brady Street. Source: Google Maps.

Gwynne Street, Cremorne

Footpath is blocked by vehicles and poles, causing people to walk on the street.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Studley Street, Abbotsford

Footpath is obstructed by cars parked on the footpath.

Parking on the footpath on Studley Street, west of Nicholson Street. Source: Google Maps.

Yarra Street, Abbotsford

Footpath is obstructed by cars parked on the footpath.

Parking on the footpath on Yarra Street, east of Nicholson Street. Source: Google Maps.

Conclusion

Many footpaths in Yarra are narrower than the recommended 1.5 metres. Council should adopt a policy targeting an unobstructed footpath width of 1.5 metres, and that when a footpath is narrower than 1.5 metres, it should not be permitted to narrower it further (e.g. by adding a pole, tree or other obstruction).

Other information on footpaths

Learn more from our collection of pages on footpaths: