City of Darebin
Rats get runaround in Northcote

Streets in Northcote and Thornbury are about to become much more bike-friendly as the local community moves to push dangerous rat-running motorists out of local streets.

In a major initiative, the City of Darebin is launching a project to transform part of its local street network into people-friendly places.

The plan, called Streets for People, is to extensively traffic-calm complete neighbourhoods so that traffic speeds are low, walkers and bike riders are encouraged by improved safety, and local residents including children feel comfortable using their streets for social activities.

In recent decades people have become fearful of walking and riding the streets they live in due to the risk from rat-running motorists trying to shave a few seconds off their journey.

Now the tide is changing, and this move by Darebin could be the first of many across Melbourne and other cities as communities fight for streets to live in rather than drive through.

The focus of the current project is the Ethel Street / Stott Street / Herbert Street / Park Street corridor in Northcote and Thornbury, a rat-running hotspot.

The precinct also accommodates high levels of local walking and bike riding activity by a range of people moving between homes, train stations, local business and schools.

During community consultation over recent months the priorities were:

  • making it easier & safer to undertake local trips on foot & bike
  • more shade, trees and greenery
  • more welcoming places for people to meet & play
  • reducing the negative impacts of vehicles.

The City has prepared draft designs with the help of the community and is now exhibiting these for public feedback.

You can view the designs and complete the survey.

The documents are linked on the right side of the page.

Even of you don’t live in the area you should have a look at the strategy. If you get inspired you can talk to your own council about these ideas.

Rat-running plan