How about some wider footpaths?

There are around 70,000 parking spaces in Melbourne’s CBD [source], and cars are a minority access mode.

So don’t you think they could forfeit a few street parking spaces in the “Little” streets so some narrow footpaths could be widened?

Little Lonsdale St, near William St
(Little Lonsdale Street looking towards William Street. The truck was legally parked.)

For instance, Little Lonsdale Street has parking along both sides for most of its length, and has so many pedestrians at busy times that some are forced to walk on the road.

Removing parking spots along one side would be only a few dozen lost, but would make a big difference to the width of the footpaths — to cope with (and encourage) increasing pedestrian numbers, and also to ensure wheelchair (and pram) accessibility.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “How about some wider footpaths?”

Perhaps a good idea, but part of the appeal of our smaller streets is that they are not too ‘clear’, that you do have to move onto the road at times, thereby keeping the roadway of lanes as pedestrian areas too. I could be convinced either way, I think…

In Bridge Rd, the northern footpaths are not wide enough to allow pedestrians to pass without moving out onto the footpath. VicRoads know this but put their collective heads in the sand and build clearways instead.

What about where Little Lon goes between QV and the State Library?? On the SL side, you not only have a narrow path, but have to contend with parking meters every 5 feet!

City of Melbourne has taken significant areas away from motor vehicles and given more space to pedestrians and trams. Their aim is to do more of this.

However, a lot of the parking in the city is delivery and service vehicles. I live in the CBD and today we had our dishwasher fixed (thank goodness), but the serviceman had to park in a 15 minute loading zone and probably got a fine. Another day we had a spiral stair installed on the roof, the installer parked in a laneway (loading zone) and did get a fine.

Meanwhile very little space is given to bicycles. I hear Swanston St is going to have REAL BIKE LANES one day though.

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