City of Melbourne finalises Elizabeth Street upgrade plans

City of Melbourne finalises Elizabeth Street upgrade plans
City of Melbourne finalises Elizabeth Street upgrade plans

The City of Melbourne has finalised the design for the upgrade of Elizabeth Street in Melbourne's CBD that will see partial closures of the roadway to cars, increased pedestrianised areas and tram stop improvements.

The southbound car lane between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street will close and make way for a bike lane, expanded footpath and a better-integrated terminus stop for the 19, 57 and 59 tram routes.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, noted what Elizabeth Street was prior to European settlement - a creek, how the area had been subject to flooding in the past and that the new plans will seek to mitigate flood risk in future.

Elizabeth Street was once a creek that flowed into the Yarra River and it has been the site of major flooding throughout Melbourne's history," the Lord Mayor said.

We have seen how quickly and severely the weather can change this summer and we know the trends indicate that we will experience extreme weather events more frequently.

Intense storms lead to increased flash flooding and Elizabeth Street remains a low point in the catchment so we have worked closely with authorities while designing this project.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp

The council is now advertising a planning permit for the project that outlines the closure of the southbound traffic lane, the installation of new drainage works, the new street furniture to be added and the changes that will be made to lighting and footpath paving.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said that up to 9000 people traverse the area every hour in the morning and afternoon peaks, making the intersection one of the busiest in Melbourne's CBD and between 2004 and 2015 there was a 65% decline in the number of motor vehicles using Elizabeth Street.

Pedestrians outnumber all other street users on Elizabeth Street but have the least amount of space.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp

Closing the southbound car lane and expanding the footpath will increase pedestrian space by 400 square metres between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street or the approximate size of a basketball court.

Work is set to begin on the southern section of Elizabeth Street's upgrade in mid-2020 with completion set for the end of the year.

For more information on the changes to Elizabeth Street, see melbourne.vic.gov.au.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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bdforbes
What happened to the similar proposals further up Elizabeth St? There were supposed to be a few sections closed to cars.
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mat.m.garner
I'm pretty sure they were concepts prepared by academics and/or students. Council has only ever proposed this southern section.

Gobillino

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bdforbes
Actually Mat I found an Age article that shows the other two closure proposals were endorsed by Melbourne City Council as a long-term plan, subject to consultation:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-city-council-pushe...

So we can expect to hear more about it in the future.
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bdforbes
Thanks Mat. I must have gotten the wrong impression when those designs were in the news. I'm a bit disappointed, it seemed like a good way to claw back pedestrian space in the city.
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