Testimonials of support from experts, stakeholders and residents
Manager, Roads and Traffic, Public Policy Department, RACV
There are many competing demands for inner city road space, and safety issues as cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, trams and pedestrians all try to fit within narrow corridors. Using roads to park empty cars is not an efficient use of space. That space can be used for bicycle facilities, tram platform stops, loading zones, traffic lanes and wider footpaths – what’s right depends on each road, the people that need safe and efficient passage along the road, and the community they’re passing through. The State Government, Councils and businesses need to work together to identify places where off-street parking can be better utilised, and new off-street parking provided, to enable on-street space to be used differently. RACV supports a trial to remove on-street parking on Sydney Road in early 2018, which can then be considered for the rest of Sydney Road and other streets within inner-Melbourne, including roads in the City of Yarra.
Executive Officer, Victoria Walks
Victoria Walks is very happy to welcome Streets Alive Yarra to its network of Walkability Action Groups. Streets Alive Yarra is a shining example of a group of locals working to make their community more walkable, healthier and economically prosperous.
Co-Founder and Director of Place, Town Team Movement
Great places don’t just happen. It takes vision, innovation and action. We support Streets Alive Yarra’s vision for building a beautiful, liveable and accessible city. We champion a positive movement of citizen-led action focussed on creating connected, resilient communities and better places. Town Teams are proactive, apolitical community groups that are open to businesses, landowners and residents working collaboratively to improve their local place. Find out more at www.townteammovement.com.
Principal Engineer, Safe System Solutions
Here at Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd we support Streets Alive Yarra’s vision of a future where residents and shoppers are able to move safely, comfortably, and conveniently around Yarra. In numerous projects for local and state governments, our work has shown that there is strong link between road safety risk and levels of active travel, liveability and community engagement. Taking a holistic Safe System approach to the design and operation of our streets will not only save lives, it will improve lives.
Lena grew up on a quiet residential street in Germany, where 30 km/h speed limits were implemented in the 80’s. From 6 years old, all children in the neighbourhood either walked or cycled to school. 30Please.org supports Streets Alive Yarra’s vision to create a great city that works for everyone and encourages travel modes like walking and cycling. Lower speed limits are a science-backed low-cost measure that would save lives, prevent injuries, reduce health inequalities, reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, promote stronger communities, enable more walking and cycling and reduce obesity.
Chair, Victorian DEA, dea.org.au
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for a broad range of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. Cities that are designed to support safe walking and cycling can play an important role in preventing these diseases by providing people with the opportunity for physical activity on a daily basis. Cities that promote active transport will also experience reduced road trauma and air pollution and contribute less greenhouse gas emissions, thereby further benefitting health. For these reasons, Doctors for the Environment Australia supports Streets Alive Yarra’s vision for a beautiful, liveable and accessible city with more budget and street space allocated to walking and cycling.
Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, University of Melbourne
As our cities become more complex, initiatives such as Streets Alive Yarra remind us that cities, streets and places are for people, and they are, and should be, lively democratic spaces. Yet, so much of our planning is done to accommodate the car and car parking which limits the freedom of pedestrians, cyclists and other users. This integrative approach seeks to unsettle that dynamic by reframing how we talk about our streets. This is an exciting initiative that I’d like to see replicated across local government areas throughout Victoria.
Director, Informal Urbanism Research Hub, University of Melbourne
Streets Alive Yarra is a great example of a citizen-based initiative to design and build a better city. Instead of waiting for the State or whinging about what ‘they oughta do’, bottom-up planning is the future for a more democratic, sustainable and vibrant urbanism. I cycle every day in Fitzroy and it’s still the most dangerous thing I ever do. Citizens have a right to a vibrant, safe and walkable city.
Urban Planner, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Streets Alive Yarra is a shining beacon of clarity in the messy public debates that happen around our city’s streets. Streets are public spaces, not just places to put cars – walkability, tree canopy, outdoor dining, disability access and cycling are all important parts of a truly excellent street. Achieving the required changes can seem quite daunting, but the Streets Alive Yarra team has a knack for showing us that these things really are possible. Their advocacy is always practical, well-evidenced and based on the benefits that all of us stand to gain from better urban design.
Director, Message Consultants
Living and working in Collingwood is a visit to a different live performance every day. The stage is a constant but the sets, actors, lighting and sound offer new interpretations every day. At Message Consultants we have an idea to transform a part of Cambridge Street into a new piece of theatre. Remove the cars and make it an urban Park. Tim is an urban planner, urban designer and a champion for Cambridge Street.
Principal Urban Designer at VAST environments
Streets Alive is a fabulous initiative. It has the potential to build community support and knowledge of the changes (and consequences of inaction) that each individual can make improve the way city growth is managed, particularly the competition over limited public realm. Streets play such an important role in identity and connectivity of neighbourhoods. It is so critical that we all take steps to ensure that the inevitable growth of out city contributes to the type of future that will enable happy, healthy and sustainable lifestyles for all.
Smarter parking to support easy walk access is a key element in attractive, ‘sticky’ place outcomes. We need to work closely with local activist groups to get beyond dumbed down, knee jerk parking and access responses. Fantastic amounts of parking do not add up to fantastic place outcomes.
As Richmond grows and changes, so will the way we get around. Today’s population of City of Yarra’s is 89,710 and is forecast to grow to 117,036 by 2036. In Burnley and Cremorne, the population is forecast to grow 79.72% to 7,675. In Central Richmond, 19.17% to 16,423 and in Nth Richmond 32.46% to 19,007. With roads and parking already saturated, we need to begin a conversation today what out city will look like tomorrow. Streets Alive Yarra is one such conversation that looks at the different active modes of personal movement and thinking about our spaces and the urban design responses that prioritises the safe and comfortable movement of people within and around our city. I commend this work.
Convenor, Yarra Climate Action Now
Yarra Climate Action Now believes that the climate emergency requires communities and all levels of government to take urgent action. YCAN is an award-winning community group, based in the City of Yarra, which campaigns at local, state and federal level to demand this action. Our members are ordinary people who are passionate about ensuring a safe climate and sustainable future. YCAN is our way to take action into our own hands; we think globally but act locally. YCAN is the champion for the Climate Emergency page.
Founder, Mums for Lungs
Australia has a reputation for its clean air. However, Australian cities too suffer from air pollution levels as a result of road traffic, that need to be minimised – for the health of children and everyone else.
Principal, Richmond Primary School
Protected bicycle lanes on key roads near our school will encourage students to regularly ride by making cycling more safe, convenient and enjoyable. We hope you will take the number of members of our community who are in support of our students into account in your future planning in this area.
Managing Director of Snap Send Solve – a business in Yarra
As an organisation that focuses on on Citizen Science it’s fantastic for Snap Send Solve to know that Streets Alive Yarra has an active group of locals all driven to provide a harmonious community right here in our backyard. Snap Send Solve was born and raised in Cremorne and we look forward to having our data enrich the positive conversations that Streets Alive Yarra promote. Jarrod is the champion for our page on community engagement.
Co-founder of Friends of Merri Creek
I have lived at my current address in the southern part of Northcote for nearly 40 years and have had an active interest in the rehabilitation of Merri Creek for most of that time. I have also participated in numerous environmental issues with community groups and through local government since the mid 1980s. I am currently a community member of Darebin Council’s Nature Trust. Professionally I have worked at Melbourne Water, DELWP and in local government at four different Councils, including City of Yarra. Over recent years I have developed a strong interest in issues around urban liveability. I share the objectives and hopes of Streets Alive Yarra to make our urban spaces more liveable, with better streetscapes and open space. I especially support the role vegetation (and especially local indigenous plants) can play to soften the urban environment and mitigate increasing heat from the effects of climate change. David is the champion for the Merri Creek Trail.
Local Bicycle User Group
A new bridge urgently needs to built across the Yarra River at Walmer Street for the changing needs of the Abbotsford and Kew areas. Boroondara BUG is the champion for the Walmer Street Bridge.
Local Bicycle User Group
A new ramp urgently needs to built to replace the notorious steps on the Main Yarra Trail at Gipps Street. Yarra BUG is the champion for the Gipps Street ramp.
Local Bicycle User Group
Stonnington BUG is a champion for safe, separated cycle lanes along Chapel Street and Church Street. We believe that safe and accessible infrastructure for active transport users leads to thriving precincts. Stonnington BUG is the champion for Church Street.
Regular visitor to Yarra
By implementing good and thoughtful design into their neighbourhoods, [Streets Alive Yarra] promote more enjoyable, liveable and sustainable spaces which have beneficial flow on effects into other adjoining communities. Christophe is the champion for the Inner Circle Rail Trail.
Liz is a transport planner from Melbourne who is currently working in Cambridge, England. Liz is the champion for Lygon Street.
I’m a long time Cremorne resident and have witnessed much change since first moving here in 2000. Love to explore all Yarra’s nooks and crannies on foot or by bike. I now have a primary school-aged child, which puts street safety in a whole new perspective. Alyson is the champion for Cremorne (LAPM 20 Balmain).
Yarra resident, Founder & President of Streets Alive Yarra
When I was a child I rode a bicycle to school, the library, to friends houses and to sport. There was less traffic and more space on the street. I could travel safely and independently. I’d like my child to be able to experience this too. I’d like everyone’s children to be able to walk or cycle safely around their local suburb. I’d like our older citizens to be able to safely walk to local shops so they can live independently in their own home for longer. Jeremy is the champion for Swan Street.
Rick Di Paola
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 is the champion for Gwynne Street.
I’m a children’s author/illustrator, living in Richmond 45 years, cyclist, member of LEGS (Let’s Enhance Gleadell Street) and passionate about parkland, and anything to do with children, in our increasingly dense city. When residents and Yarra Council transformed an unpleasant street corner (Richmond Terrace and Docker Street) into a beautiful and popular pocket park we saw how it connected the community. We can also improve many other streets in Yarra. Elizabeth is the champion for Gleadell Street.
I believe the City of Yarra could become the most bicycle and pedestrian friendly city in Australia. Having had the privilege of spending many months in Europe in recent years I have seen how by minimising car usage and improving pedestrian and cycling facilities you create a much more liveable and vibrant space. Businesses flourish and residents are happier, kids can play outside. Michael is the champion for Coppin Street.
I’m mum to Patrick, who is nearly 4. I support the playingout.net idea from the United Kingdom (UK) where street residents organise for regular but short road closures to allow kids to play outside under supervision. Parents have to look after their own children and some adults may have to do traffic management jobs. Cathy is the champion for Charles Street.
I long for inviting and enjoyable urban spaces, and a city that is safe and fun to traverse by walking and riding. A city that allows a child to ride to school independently is a city that is accessible for all. I ran for council and state government under the Australian Cyclists Party banner to achieve this vision. Streets Alive Yarra is precisely the movement we need right now. I’m father to Denali and with our family we offer an ‘aspirational’ vision for Melbourne through our ‘Melbourne City Life’ pages on Facebook or Instagram. Troy is champion for LAPM 13 Abbotsford.
Yarra resident, student at Collingwood College
Enjoys getting around Abbotsford and Collingwood by bike and scooter, and is a fan of level footpaths and at-grade access (i.e. does not like bridges.) Denali is the champion for Collingwood College.
Thijs van der Heijden
Streets Alive Yarra’s view is very close to my heart. Having grown up in The Netherlands and experiencing the independence and convenience of good infrastructure for all trips and ages, I feel Yarra’s main shopping and eating strips will benefit immensely from a more inclusive approach that puts people first. Great work by the team and look forward to one day enjoying the view of kids riding and playing around on many of Yarra’s streets and not even thinking about it.
I’ve enjoyed being a resident of Carlton North for over 25 years and live on the cycling super highway that is Canning Street. A great example that streets don’t always require expensive or complex infrastructure to be successful. The experience of place and community has continually improved in Carlton North as the emphasis has changed from how quickly you can move to how well you can move. Place making projects, traffic calming measures and an emphasis on people using active transport (walking, cycling and public transport) has positively shaped this vibrant community and enabled easier access to wonderful, local amenities. Streets Alive Yarra embodies all the good urban design I have admired in other communities and would like to see implemented here. Marcus is the champion for North Carlton LAPM 2.
I work on Brunswick St. I am a pedestrian, tram user, cyclist, and car driver. My job includes talking to locals and assisting them to move around safely. Everyone I speak to has had incidents with speeding traffic, red-light running, and both car drivers and cyclists flagrantly breaking road rules and placing other road users (i.e. pedestrians) at risk. John is the champion for Brunswick Street.
Yarra resident, student at Richmond Primary School
I don’t want to get run over by some fast cars and you probably don’t want that either. You can stop this from happening by making the cars go slower and make a safer bike paths too. Saskia is the champion for Richmond Primary School.
Streets Alive Yarra are pushing an agenda of what our cities should look like. We simply don’t have the space for everyone to have cars, for everyone to go as fast as they like in those cars, and for everyone to stay safe and well. I enjoy the discussions and notices of meetings. Steve is the champion for East Clifton Hill LAPM 6.
Dr Steven Vaughan
Yarra resident, Managing Director of Queen Street Partners
I am an enthusiastic supporter of Streets Alive Yarra… to advance the ideas around liveability sustainability and connectedness across our community. A high priority is to have a comprehensive transport plan across the City of Yarra giving equal place for pedestrians and cyclists alongside vehicles so we can live well together.
A Richmond resident for close to 4 years now, I have formed a great affection for the area & it’s many benefits. I have also noted heavy congestion & parking issues aplenty. Working in Solar PV I am particularly conscious of environmentally friendly ways of living, and am an ambassador for car sharing – I no longer own a car & think that many people in the area could quite easily shift away from having a stagnating vehicle parked outside 5-6 days a week also! If we can pass early-adopter stage to mass uptake, the community benefits are huge, but it all starts with awareness! Astrid is the champion for car sharing.
Yarra resident, convenor of Abbotsford Riverbankers
I’m a Yarra City resident and microbusiness owner. I’m also Convener of Abbotsford Riverbankers, a conservation group that aims to help rehabilitate the Yarra River corridor and connect community with our most important waterway, for the health of our riverlands and community. Our Capital City Trail is traversed daily by 1000 to 2000 commuters. It’s the foremost of many paths and streets connecting our community with our river. Streets Alive Yarra is important to enhancing these connectors of people and place. It’s a fellow ‘jigsaw piece’ in the bigger picture for a healthy, safe community, through grassroots planning, partnerships and action anchored in strategic vision. Crucially, Streets Alive Yarra seeks to ‘walk a mile’ in others’ shoes. By bringing its open mind to sincere dialogue and partnership with groups of varying mindsets, financial and social situations, this will achieve outcomes that benefit our extremely diverse community. Anna (and the Abbotsford Riverbankers) are the champions for the Main Yarra Trail.
Principal – Sustainability & Environment Professional and Yarra resident
From a professional perspective the environmental benefits of walking, riding and taking public transport are clearly understood. As a Richmond resident and mum of two young children however, it is apparent that the City of Yarra’s footpath and road infrastructure is far behind where it needs to be in order to support the safe and sustainable moveability of children and adults alike within the municipality. I am the champion for LAPM 21 Barkly (Burnley) including streets and crossings near Richmond Primary School. I welcome a consultation with The City of Yarra’s Traffic and Civil Engineering department, to improve these sections of road and footpath infrastructure and make it safer for our kids to walk, scooter or bike to school.
Streets Alive Yarra is an important step in helping our community build human-scale, pedestrian/cyclist-friendly, sustainable and vibrant neighbourhoods. Our streets here in the City of Yarra are often considered some of the most cyclist and pedestrian-friendly in Australia. However, we are falling behind international best practice. There are many examples of where our street designs do not put people first and where simple and cost-effective changes to current designs can promote safer cycling and vibrant streets. Tristan is the champion for Canning Street.
I first bought a residential property in Fitzroy North in the late 90s and live in that property with my partner. I also co-own a residential rental property in Richmond which I purchased in the early 2000s. In that time, I have seen both areas grow and change significantly with the growth of the City of Melbourne, the proximity of City of Yarra to public transport, bicycle paths as well as the CBD. I am passionate about seeing the area support appropriate inner city growth while balancing, improving and respecting the safety and livelihoods of those who live in the streets of City of Yarra, with a strong focus on walking and cycling for both adults and children for education, work, sporting activities, dining and cafes, or simply to meet up with friends. Lisa is the champion for Brunswick Street North.
I have lived in North and South Fitzroy for most of my life. As a student studying urban design and planning at the University of Melbourne, finding a community group that has such a positive and clear-cut set of ambitions for improving the urban environment in the City of Yarra, has been really pleasing. Walking and cycling, I utilise urban interventions championed by Streets Alive Yarra everyday, and am really looking forward to seeing how the group will further shape the City of Yarra in the future. Finn is the champion for Jamieson Street.
I spent time living overseas in a high density neighbourhood about 5 km from the city CBD and my local neighbourhood felt alive. Kids walked to school, and local pubs were full of locals. Since returning to Melbourne I can’t help noticing how our lives revolve so much around the car. We dedicate so much space to cars and, given ‘density’ is a dirty word, it doesn’t seem like that will change any time soon. While Melbourne is one of the best cities for cycling in Australia, there is so much more we can do to make active transport appealing to people of all ages. Streets Alive Yarra promotes sensible local government policies that make walking and cycling attractive to people from all walks of life. Tim is the champion for Queens Parade.
My wife (Maree) and I were drawn to Richmond for many reasons, not the least of which being the amazing lifestyle it affords and its accessibility to active and public transport options. For all of these strengths, there are many opportunities for further enhancing our local streets and neighbourhoods. With a vision that recognises the needs of all users, ‘whether they choose to walk, cycle, use public transport or drive’ Streets Alive Yarra offers a wonderful platform for related, evidence-based community advocacy. David is the champion for North Richmond.
Yarra resident and business owner
Streets Alive Yarra is a fantastic initiative! As a resident and business owner, it has offered me huge peace of mind having an organisation that supports and backs us, and truly has the best interest of the community. I truly believe this initiative will play an integral role in helping the area grow and adapt for the better. Rebecca is the champion for Gold Street.
Parking is a big issue for green and lively streets and a vital public realm. Our instincts to want more of it and cheaper lead to bad outcomes – the big subsidy has a distorting effect on undermining public transport, discouraging walking and cycling because of traffic congestion, more toxic pollution and less space available for greenery and public social spaces. If you want vibrant Yarra streets with flourishing businesses and a fairer society, help us campaign for a fair price for parking in the public realm. David is the champion for Better for Parking.
Cycling was a lifeline to so many bike riders here in Yarra during our prolonged months of lockdown and with an ever-increasing popularity of pedal power in Melbourne, we need to continue advocating for improved bike infrastructure to accommodate the load. I love the invigorating buzz of people that cycling brings to our neighbourhood, as commuters, school children – mine included – business folk and a myriad of generations cross paths along their daily journey. My family have lived in Richmond since 2004 and have been using the bike paths to commute, shop, dash into the city and do longer rides back from Eltham as a great day out. We depend on progressive initiatives such as Streets Alive Yarra to keep our cogs spinning into the future and importantly, our streets safer. Sarah is the champion for Elizabeth Street.
Yarra resident, student at Richmond High School
I love riding my bike to school and often arrange to meet up with a cycle buddy along the way. I can get all over Richmond very quickly after school if I need to as well. I am concerned about cars double parking and using bike lanes as a waiting bay. I find this very unsafe because when the cars block the bike lane, it means I have to go around the cars. Also, drivers don’t see bikes very well and if they all of a sudden swerve into the bike lane, people riding bikes are in big danger and could get hit. Marlou is the champion for Richmond High School.
Wow, it’s amazing to see the great changes on and around Noone Street recently, more street side greenery and outside dining area – what can we do next, well I would love to expand on them to make for a calmer and more accessible area for all residents in our lovely Noone Street area. Simon is the champion for Noone Street.
I have lived in Clifton Hill (west of Hoddle Street) for over 20 years and love the proximity to parks, vibrant shopping strips, leisure centres and libraries. As an Occupational Therapist working in a community health service, I am aware of how the physical environment can support or limit a person’s capacity to move around and fully participate in their community. I’ve seen how installation of pedestrian crossings along Gold Street has made it easier for older residents to access Darling Gardens and parents more comfortable to let their kids walk or ride to school independently. Streets Alive Yarra is a positive and inclusive vision for our future and I am excited to be a part of it. Ali is the champion for West Clifton Hill.