How can Council operate effectively?

The City of Yarra manages 491 kilometres of footpaths and 260 kilometres of road pavement in accordance with multiple strategies, policies and plans, including a Transport Strategy. Unfortunately, the management of our streets is spread between two departments:

  • Infrastructure and Environment
  • City Sustainability and Strategy

This can lead to a loss of accountability and productivity. There is no single department head who can be held accountable for delivering key targets related to transport. Cross-departmental issues, such as how best to allocate street space to different transport modes, have no clear process for resolution.


Street Alive Yarra suggests that the following reforms would offer significant value:

  • Clarify that traffic engineering is a subset of urban design and place making, and although the traffic engineering team sit within a different department, they are responsible for supporting the urban design and strategic transport teams
  • Rename the “Traffic Engineering” team to “Transport Engineering”, reflecting the adoption of Yarra’s Transport Strategy
  • Review and update the “Road Safety Study Policy” to bring it into alignment with the Transport Strategy:
    • Clarify that the objective of road safety is to enable safe access to properties for all road users
    • State that road safety is prioritised higher than traffic speed or traffic volume
    • Document that road safety can be delivered either via separation (separate footpaths and bike lanes) or by sufficiently reducing traffic volume and traffic speed (so people biking can share a lane with people driving)
    • Explicitly define modal filters (i.e. management of traffic volume) as “within scope”
  • Develop a policy on how to manage parking on narrow streets, following the lead of the City of Moonee Valley.
Suggestions on how to improve the Road Safety Study Policy. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.
Example of how to manage parking on narrow street. Image credit: City of Moonee Valley.

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