Grattan Street gets a road diet

The new improved layout has wider footpaths, protected bike lanes, fewer traffic lanes and less parking.

Parkville station at the corner of Grattan Street and Royal Parade is expected to open with the rest of the Metro tunnel next year.

When next year? A recent Auditor General report noted a planned completion date of June 2025, while a government press release about housing around Arden station initially “in early 2025” before being altered online to just say “in 2025”.

A couple of weeks ago they re-opened Grattan Street to traffic. It closed in 2018 for construction of Parkville station. I was passing and took a look.

If it seems quiet, it’s because it was a cold Sunday afternoon.

Parkville station under construction: Entrance on NW corner of Royal Parade and Grattan Street
Parkville station under construction: Entrance on NE corner of Royal Parade and Grattan Street

I lost count of the number of entrances to Parkville station. (The web site says eight.)

It’s a mix of escalators and lifts, and they’re scattered along Grattan Street – including some entrances on the hospital side of Royal Parade.

Parkville station under construction: Entrance in University Square

While some people questioned why they needed to re-open Grattan street to traffic, it is important for buses, including routes needed after the rail tunnel opens. In fact they’re adding more services to routes 402, 505 and 546, which is welcome news.

But also, the new Grattan Street is not the same as it once was. They’ve given it a road diet.

Parkville station under construction: Grattan Street after re-opening
Parkville station under construction: Grattan Street after re-opening, between the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter Mac Cancer Centre

It used to be two lanes each way, plus parking, so a six lane road through the middle of the hospital and university precinct. It’s now got wider footpaths, with one lane each way, plus some turning lanes, and the only parking/stopping zones I noticed were for ambulances and buses.

And it’s got bike lanes – protected for much of this section. A vast improvement.

I hope they do something similar with Flinders Street. It’s been great with no eastbound traffic outside the station, and more time for pedestrians to cross.

Also spotted recently: the inner sections of the Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines were closed last weekend. These are the lines that will connect via the Metro tunnel. During the closure they ran test trains.

Evolution HCMT test train near Footscray
Rail employees inside an Evolution HCMT test train near Footscray

It’s all getting very real, and I look forward to the Metro tunnel opening next year.

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 “Grattan Street gets a road diet”

Today I caught the 402 bus from Footscray to Melbourne University. I think the route could be straightened out but I was impressed by all the traffic control and lane marking, along with cycling lanes through North Melbourne and past the hospital precinct. The bus did not have any kind of priority at traffic lights, and it was a long wait at the Haymarket roundabout, but otherwise the bus did move along quite smartly.

@Andrew, yes putting the 402 back into Grattan Street the whole way will mean it avoids the Haymarket roundabout completely, which will be good.

We’re not good in Melbourne at doing bus priority, unfortunately!

the 402 is incredibly handy for me with a 10min frequency, so to see this route be modified after the Parkville station works is really nice … now if only the St Vincents Hospital works were finished so the terminus could be put back in place and we’d be set …

The 401 bus from Nth Melb station should have a stop at North Melbourne cnr Queensberry & Curzon st to provide access to shopping centre and a stop opposite Is anything being considered? Thankyou

I’m just not understanding why the 505 and 546 wasn’t given a complete new number for the entire through routed service, 507 perhaps

@Michael, it is not unusual for through routing routes to have different numbers. In Brimbank for example, 423 and 424 are through-routed at both St Albans Station and at Brimbank Shopping Centre, therefore basically forming a loop, but different numbers (for example 423 goes via Cairnlea and 424 via Albanvale). The new network in Gisborne is another example, with 73 and 74 basically throughrouted with each other, basically forming a loop. This is common in places like Mildura.

And on Night Network, an extreme example is 410 (which is normally operated by CDC Melbourne) and 420 (which is normally operated by Transit Systems), which, despite having different operators, are throughrouted on Night Network (on Friday night, both routes are operated by Transit Systems, while on Saturday night, both routes are operated by CDC Melbourne) with the route change occuring at Sunshine.

So despite 505 and 546 are being throughrouted with each other, it doesn’t prelude them from having the same route number, they can have different route numbers even though they are now throughrouted.

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