Something is very wrong if people promote Chadstone as a way of reducing traffic on our roads.
I'm not sure if this is directed at me.
If so, I suggest you re-read what I wrote. This conversation was never about reducing traffic on our roads.
I'm pointing at Chadstone as a counter-intuitive demonstration that shops can exist and be successful without cars driving past their front door. I never suggested that Chadstone would reduce traffic. That's obviously absurd... given that it's a large centre of activity that can't be accessed in any way other than by road.
I've only been there about twice in my life (in my Melbourne years I was in the Norflanz and Knifepoint catchment zones), but really, would a Chadstone-style shopping mall be such a dreadful thing if it could be - and was - accessed by passenger trains, trams and bike paths? Like I said, once you're inside, it's a car-free "street". Of course that would necessitate a home delivery service for bulky items, but such purchases are infrequent.
A less counter-intuitive example: do you think it really hurts Myer that their customers aren't able to park on Bourke Street outside the store?
My point is... people still go to shops that don't open directly on to a main road. In many cases, they preferentially go to shops that don't face a main road, seeing how malls are thriving and strips are struggling. That directly disputes the claim that closing a shopping strip to through traffic will kill business.
As for reducing traffic on our roads... regardless of where they shop (strip or mall), the vast majority of our society go to the shops by car. Whether it's a pedestrianised street with nearby parking, an indoor pedestrianised "street" with outdoor parking, or a shopping strip... it makes no difference. Changing that culture is a different argument altogether, and I think you'll find more than a few threads on this very forum discussing such things.