The ambition of taming our ugly arterial roads and transforming them into people- (and bike-) friendly boulevards continues to be pushed forward by the City of Monash.
Last year the council proposed to repurpose major sections of Dandenong and Springvale roads into medium-density housing precincts.
At the same time, the service roads would be reconfigured to prioritise bike riders, pedestrians and public transport users.
This vision, if implemented more broadly across metropolitan Melbourne’s arterial roads, has the potential to greatly improve connectivity and safety for active travel along road environments that are usually hostile and hazardous.
The City of Monash is now consulting on stage 2 of the Urban Design Framework for the arterial precincts in Springvale, Mulgrave, Clayton, Huntingdale and Oakleigh.
There are major employment generators along the corridors, including Chadstone, the Monash precinct, and shopping centres at Brandon Park and Glen Waverly.
The City of Monash says the boulevards "will be enhanced as safe and convenient places for people to walk and cycle between their homes and surrounding destinations".
"The service roads will be transformed into active transport spines that prioritise people and provide easy access to public transport hubs.
"The boulevards will play a key role in enhancing the garden city character of Monash. A leafy landscape outlook will dominate views along the boulevards, strengthened with additional tree and understorey planting.
"The service roads will play a vital role in greening the boulevards through canopy trees and pocket parks providing quieter places for residents. Front gardens will further strengthen the landscape dominated environment.”
Comments received during an earlier first consultation phase from state and local governments was positive and encouraging towards the new vision.
The Monash plan could provide a prototype for similar transformation across Melbourne that would greatly improve access to active transport, as well as providing numerous other community benefits.