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Little Streets transformation begins

The City of Melbourne has started work on the reconfiguration of ‘Little Streets' in the CBD to make them more accessible, safe and attractive to people on bike and on foot.

There will be 20kph speed restrictions on all one way sections of Flinders Lane, Little Collins Street, Little Bourke Street and Little Lonsdale Street.

This will have a major impact on these streets as previously cars could travel up to 40kmh.

Motor traffic will also be controlled by speed bumps at intervals along the east-west streets, and the entry points of each street will be further calmed with the installation of planter boxes.

Bike riders will also benefit from some modifications to existing bike lanes and the provision of ‘head starts’ for riders at some intersections.

The streets will also be designated ’Shared Zones’. In a shared zone motor vehicles always must give way to pedestrians and bike riders.

And bike riders must give way to pedestrians—just as they currently do on shared paths and trails.

Work on the streets is being done one-by-one, with Flinders Lane the first to get the treatment.

Works will take about a month.

There little street transformations were first outlined in the council’s 2030 Transport Strategy, and their implementation has been fast tracked as part of the rapid delivery of 40km of new bike lanes across the city.

"Many of our footpaths in these little streets are less than two metres wide, so there’s not enough space for people to pass each other safely, while maintaining physical distance,” the council says.

"That’s why we’re working on plans to create more space for shoppers, diners and pedestrians, which will help local businesses operate under COVID-19 restrictions.

"These changes will ease footpath congestion as people gradually return to the city. We’ll also install street furniture, planter boxes, trees and greenery to bring these spaces to life.

"Access will be maintained 24-hours a day at low speeds for deliveries and for essential car trips, especially for people with a disability, and for trade, service and emergency vehicles.”

"The new 20 km/h speed limits and shared zones are part of an 18-month trial supported by the Victorian Government. Trialling the new speed limits will allow to evaluate changes before making them permanent.

"Other changes to our little streets are designed to last around 8 to 12 months and are aligned with the long term vision identified in the Transport Strategy 2030. They will be gradually replaced by a permanent footpath treatment."

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