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Locals say City Rd needs an overhaul

13 May 2014

Locals say City Rd needs an overhaul Image

The verdict is overwhelming – the public does not like City Rd and thinks it needs a lot of work.

The City of Melbourne’s (CoM) consultation process that took place in February and March as part of Participate Melbourne and showed 90 per cent of respondents had had a negative experience on the road.

Given its prominence through Southbank, it’s little wonder that 120 of the 182 experiences shared came from local residents, while 21 came from people who work in Southbank.

Participants were asked to select the emotion they felt when using the road. The most popular were unsafe (68 people), frustrated (41) and angry (21).

Just eight people said they were happy when using the thoroughfare at present.

The consultation process included an interactive map, which was online for a month, where users of City Rd could pin their comments to any section of the road and a drop-in consultation at Boyd Community Hub where users could talk to CoM staff.

Some of the negative comments included: 

“This is not some country or suburban highway – left turn slip lanes have no place in a high-density, high pedestrian volume urban area – totally wasted public realm of the first order;”

“City Road is not a nice road to walk down. I wish it could have more of the feel that you get walking down Southbank Blvd;” and 

“Need to create quality pedestrian link between Kavanagh St and Moray St under the Kingsway overpass.”

While positive comments on the interactive map were few and far between, there was the occasional one, like this contribution from a resident: “I chose to live in the building because of its proximity to transport and amenities like Boyd. Love the vibrancy and ease of life as a pedestrian.” 

There was also an endorsement for the map concept: “This interactive map is a good idea. Why doesn’t it cover the whole city?”

The council’s strategic urban planning team leader, Leanne Hodyl, said the initial community consultation had been really well received and had provided some detailed responses.

“We had a high level of participation and we had some great comments, really rich comments,” Ms Hodyl said.

She also explained that the consultation had shown the council a City Rd Master Plan is needed, because the public isn’t happy using it at the moment.

“It confirmed our expectations that a lot of people don’t have good experience using the road,” Ms Hodyl said.

“We asked people how they felt and predominantly they answered frustrated, angry and unsafe,” she added.

Ms Hodyl said the online Participate Melbourne website and particularly the interactive map had worked extremely well for this consultation.

“This is the first time council has used the interactive map and we found it really helpful. It’s been a great tool, enabling so many more responses.” 

All responses can be viewed at
participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au

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