As the controversy over Melbourne’s clearways continues, state roads department Vicroads has said today that certain roads through popular shopping districts will be made “less attractive” to motorists in a bid to ease congestion.
The move is designed to force more drivers to walk, ride pushbikes, or rely on already over-burdened public transport.
Certain retail strips in Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs of Richmond and South Yarra could face car bans under the plan which some traders – already at the centre of a row with local councils and state government – say will drive even more customers away from the popular dining and shopping areas.
The new blueprint, to be ironically dubbed ‘SmartRoads’, will be used to redesign roads giving higher priority to public transport, foot and pedal traffic.
“People will be encouraged to walk and cycle by making places more pedestrian-friendly,” the VicRoads document said.
“(It will ensure) cyclists and pedestrians have access to activity centres and public transport services.
“Certain routes will be managed to work better for cars and trucks, and others will be managed for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.”