Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the project would transform the Flinders Street Station end of Elizabeth Street into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
"When you look at Elizabeth Street it should be one of Melbourne's great boulevards, and it's not," he told ABC Radio Melbourne's Jon Faine.
Elizabeth Street will be closed to southbound traffic at Flinders Lane, with a single-lane road carrying vehicles turning north from Flinders Street.
I'm pleased that this is a substantial upgrade which will considerably enhance the amenity and urban environment of lower Elizabeth.
However it's profoundly disappointing that CoM will continue to allow cars through this section. This will create conflicts and danger, as pedestrian space on the southern side remains limited. I predict injuries.
This outcome confounds me, given that the Bourke Street Mall is just metres away. I wonder which important person or business opposed full pedestrianisation.
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