What are 'Streets for People'?

Streets for People came from a Council commitment to "convert some roads into shared streets where green space, walking and cycling take priority." Working closely with the local community, the Streets for People program includes the re-prioritisation of road safety, reduction of vehicle speeds through traffic calming, development of high-quality places for people walking and riding bikes, and delivery of functional and inviting streetscapes for those who live, work or study in our local areas.

The inaugural Streets for People corridor, along the South Morang train line in Thornbury and Northcote, is now in the construction stage, with multiple projects being rolled out over the coming months. In 2018, Council identified a further 8 corridors across the municipality to be investigated to a concept stage. These were based on nominated Strategic Cycling Corridors, and Preston Activity Link, and Northern Reservoir Corridor were selected by Council for the next stage of delivery.

Why is the focus on walking and riding bikes?

Council recognizes that as Darebin's population continues to increase, there will also be increasing numbers of cars using our streets. Traffic congestion makes car journeys longer and more frustrating, as well as contributing to increased pollution and greenhouse emissions. We would like to make it easier and safer for those who are able to choose walking and bike riding instead of cars to get to their destinations.

Approximately 18% of emissions from the Darebin community come from transport. As part of the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan, we seek to reduce that number.

Did you know that 44% of short trips to work (less than 2 kilometres) are completed by car? We recognize that not all of our community members can use other modes of transport, but for those who are able and interested, we want to help make that transition as easy as possible by improving our streets for walking and riding.

Did you know the average car trip distance for Darebin residents is 2.8km? By making our streets greener and more pleasant for walking and riding, people can feel safer and more open to making some of those trips on foot or by bike.

More people walking and riding bikes ultimately means less cars on our streets, which makes evryone's journey a little more pleasant and our streets nicer places to be in.

Why is Council trying to get more people travelling by walking, cycling and public transport?

Council is committed to becoming a ‘A greener, bolder and more connected city’ and has an interest in promoting sustainable transport modes in the face of ongoing population growth, a known Climate Emergency and a need to improve community wellbeing and lead on equity for our diverse community. The currently growing uptake in car use and ownership, contrary to the declining car use in Greater Melbourne, is not sustainable and will only worsen in the future. 

What are sustainable transport modes?

Generally, sustainable transport refers to walking, cycling and public transport. In promoting sustainable transport, we might also support types of car-based travel that reduce the total amount each person travels by car, or the rate of car ownership such as car share or ride sharing services. 

Does this mean Council doesn’t want anyone to own cars or drive?

No, Council has a goal to reduce the proportion of trips taken by car and increase trips by sustainable modes. However, this will look different for everyone in the community and we understand that people with a disability or who don’t have access to other modes will need to drive for most of their trips.

What do you mean by better transport options?

When referring to transport options, Council wants the community to have a real choice between equal transport options this includes:

1. Public transport that is accessible and has priority, reducing travel times and increasing frequency without it costing more

2. A walking environment where there is enough space on the footpath and people can safely cross the road

3. A cycling network that feels and is safe, separated from vehicle and pedestrian traffic and is continuous.

Will parking be affected by this project?

There are some instances where public space, including road space that is currently used as on-street parking, will be reallocated as space for other uses such as greening, traffic calming, or space for people to walk and ride bikes.

Any removal of on-street parking is carefully considered and balanced with the need for safety for our more vulnerable road users, especially in streets that have high traffic volumes and speeds.

Why is Council seeking feedback from the community?

Council understands that the people living in these streets and using them regularly can provide us with valuable information on what the issues and opportunities are for improving them. Your contributions can help us to shape the plans for the future.

How will Council use my feedback?

The findings from the initial stage of engagement will assist Council to prepare a series of draft concept plans for changes to the streets. Council will seek feedback on these through future community engagement.