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A new linear park for Southbank

14 May 2015

A new linear park for Southbank Image

Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St will undergo major upgrades later this year, with the City of Melbourne allocating $800,000 in its annual budget for a new linear park and major street works.

While draft designs won’t be released by the City of Melbourne until July, Southbank Local News understands that Southbank Boulevard would be closed to a two-lane street under the plans.

The new linear park would stretch through Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St and provide alternative cycling routes through Southbank, in an attempt to lure cyclists away from riding through the congested Southbank Promenade.

In its budget released on May 7, the City of Melbourne allocated $500,000 towards upgrading Southbank Boulevard and a further $300,000 towards the creation of the new linear park in Dodds Street.

According to a City of Melbourne spokesperson, Southbank Boulevard no longer carries the traffic it once did and was therefore the ideal site to address an open space shortfall in Southbank.

“The Southbank Structure Plan and the City of Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy both recommend the creation of new public space on Southbank Boulevard to meet increased demand and address a lack of public open space,” the spokesperson said.

“Following its closure as a route to the CBD in 1996, Southbank Boulevard no longer carries the volume of traffic for which it was designed.”

“The City of Melbourne has started to explore the potential of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street as well as the south-side of Southbank Boulevard between St Kilda Road and the Yarra River to create new public open space.”

“The original artistic concept suggested the centre median strip in Southbank Boulevard could be used for parkland. We now feel there is greater potential to create more connected and accessible public open space.”

“Before we start our community engagement process, we have a great deal of background work to do to understand the space and discover what is possible. This includes discussions with key public institutions and state transport authorities to inform our work.”

“We hope to start the community engagement process in July, 2015.”

The council budget also allocated $400,000 to upgrade works at Queensbridge St, which will also receive two new tram stops this month following an announcement from Public Transport Victoria. $150,000 was also allocated to maintenance works on the Southbank pedestrian bridge.

While the $86 million Queen Victoria Market (QVM) Renewal Project is the cornerstone of this year’s budget, its other main features include:

  • $384.9 million in programs and services;
  • $85.1 million in capital works program;
  • 3.6 per cent rate increase generating an additional $8.71 million for 2015-16;
  • A proposed underlying surplus of $9.3 million and;
  • The underlying cost increase contained to 1.7 per cent.

Copies of the draft Annual Plan and Budget are available for inspection from May 8 until June 5 at the Boyd Community Hub in Southbank.

For more information or to make a submission visit

www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/budget

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