Sydney Road is a failure – it doesn’t work for anyone
Sydney Road is one of the most congested corridors in Melbourne, with the slowest average off-peak speed (9km/h) of any arterial road in the city. It’s stuffed full of traffic and no-one’s getting anywhere.
- Route 19 tram is the fifth busiest route in the whole network, carrying more than one million people every month. But as Brunswick get busier, trams get slower.
- People are giving up on driving. VicRoads data shows that the Average Annual Daily Traffic volume for Sydney Road between Moreland Road and Brunswick Road has fallen by 13% in the last decade.
- Sydney Road is in the top five worst stretches for car dooring in the state. In 2015, dooring took the life of 25-year-old rider Alberto Paulon. Since this tragic incident, nothing has changed.
- The Upfield Path is narrow and full. It has reached its capacity and needs its own upgrade. It is not an alternative to Sydney Road. It will also need to close for substantial periods for apartment developments and future level crossing works.
- Sydney Road is no fun for pedestrians either, with footpaths the narrowest of any shopping district in Melbourne. A lack of trees and open space, and noise and air pollution make it an unattractive place.
In the meantime, 10,000 people are expected to move into the area in the near future.
Everyone agrees that Sydney Road needs fixing.
An upgrade to the Route 19 tram stops means that there’s a tremendous opportunity to transform Sydney Road into a vibrant shopping strip and place for people.
The vision of an accessible, enjoyable main street for Moreland is the promise of a healthy, connected future.
The construction of new, accessible tram stops creates the opportunity to transform the way Sydney Road works by:
- Making it easier for everyone to use the tram network
- Reducing car traffic to two lanes and relocating on-street parking
- Prioritising trams and people on bikes at intersections
- Widening footpaths for pedestrians, landscaping and trading
- Closure of vehicle “rat runs”
- Creating a separated bike lane that will reduce the risk of dooring for people who ride
Revitalise Sydney Road has summarised the solution for Sydney Road in this blueprint for a transformation that caters for trams and interconnection with trains, for bike riders, for pedestrians and for cars.
In May 2020, Revitalise Sydney Road obtained the results of a VicRoads survey into community opinions about Revitalise Sydney Road under the Freedom of Information Act.
Unsurprisingly, there was widespread community support for upgrading the street.
The mass participant running event, Run Melbourne’s will affect inner city bike routes next weekend, Sunday 24 July.
Greens MP Tim Read has set up a petition asking Premier Daniel Andrews to build protected bike lanes on Sydney Road.
The long-running campaign to revitalise the Sydney Road continues to roll along, with a community bike ride planned along the street this weekend.