As a connected city, Melbourne will develop a culture of smart city driving in the municipality. This means improving motor vehicle traffic flow and running efficiency and fostering smarter, more efficient motor vehicle use and simplified road management. Smart city driving also means reducing road rage, eliminating pedestrian and cyclist death and serious trauma by collisions and making motoring compatible with these vulnerable road users. This will also reduce the degrading effects of motorvehicle traffic on the general urban amenity.
Future Melbourne 2008


Use, or reduced use, of vehicles into and through the city was a well discussed topic. A large number of people stated that cars should be removed from, or significantly reduced from the central city. There was a broad range of reasons explaining the benefits that would come from this action. Another theme of comments was from those who want vehicle travel to be more efficient and suggestions to achieve this were more roads, wider roads and less on street parking. Parking technology and relocation was another well discussed topic along with discussions of the future on transport use.

There was overlap between this Priority and Priorities 6.1. Effective and Integrated Public Transport, Priority 6.3. Walking City, Priority 5.1. Zero Net Emissions and Priority 1.4. Designed for People.

Summary of ideas (total 241 statements)

Few or no cars in the CBD (78 statements)

The statements in this section were overwhelmingly consistent: a call for zero or few cars in the CBD. Some people stated that people should be prioritised over private vehicles and so cars should not be allowed into the city. Others preferred alternative transport options being prioritised, particularly walking, cycling and public transport. A few people suggested that there should be a transition period, as cars are reduced from the city, and others suggested that congestion charges should be introduced. This was one comprehensive idea outlining banning cars.

Car-free CBD -- Please please please get rid of the CARS in the CBD !!!!!!!! The traffic is prohibitive to greener forms of transport such as walking and trams... particularly the trams- always have to stop at traffic lights for car intersections, cars often do not stop at tram stops, cars level with pedestrians on super stops is an issue also. Outside of peak hour, the trams are quick and efficient. During peak hour (am and pm) it is pointless getting a tram for speed and ease as the cars create so much traffic you may as well take one yourself and be in your own comfort. Cars either need to go underground, or be limited to OUTSIDE the CBD. Greater accessibility and investment in public transport infrastructure would make it possible for those with disability access to utilise public transport into the city and to major venues eg arts centre, without being forced to drive.

One comment stated that a full ban was not practical and another that cars should only be banned in the evening and on weekends. One suggestion had a list of exceptions, including taxis, commercial vehicles, residents and transport for people with disabilities.

Other specific ideas were that registration charges should be dropped for user charges, to send better messages regarding car use reduction, and another suggestion was that motorbikes should have better amenities because they are a better alternative to cars.

Road network (65 statements)

People’s discussions in this section presented a contrasting set of opinions to the previous section. The main theme in these comments was a desire to improve flows of cars into, around and through the city. A common comment was that transport flows are slowing. A range of approaches was suggested to achieve better traffic flow. The most common was building more highways to get people into the city and to ensure that roads are as wide as possible.

There were many comments regarding specific freeways that should be extended or completed. These included the Eastern Freeway, Greensborough, city to airport and the Western Freeway, along with general suggestions to develop more ring roads. This was one suggestion.

The congestion on Eastern freeway still exist, we can't stop here just because of one project is killed. We need find other solutions.

There were also specific suggestions for better arterial routes. One of the key reasons for this need was the increased demand put on the roading network, caused by increased housing density. Other suggestions were for more roads, to put pedestrian crossings underground, and to pedestrianise Elizabeth Street rather than Swanston Street to improve traffic flow. This was a comment regarding arterial routes.

Re-think our road arteries -- We need to re-think how are major road arteries work to better accommodate urban density. There could be a 'sky road' along Hoddle Street to move people North/South - but this could only happen if we changed height restrictions. If we took more cars off the back streets this would make it easier for the city to become bicycle friendly.

Some comments, with an opposing view, stated that there are already enough roads because driverless cars are coming and will need less road space.

Other suggestions were the use of an AI transport app, which will be based on crowd-sourced, up-to-the-minute transport information, to find the best routes around the city.

AI for transport -- …Our solution is a Smart transport system, using AI, sensors and crowd sourced data to advise you of your perfect route across all transport types. Individualised data can be sent to your personal device and public displays Its like google maps for all transport, and it knows you and your routine. It knows you through your previous travel data and decisions, so it can recommend the best travel plan for you pre trip and on route. It will integrate all transport, cars, trains, trams and shared bike plans. It can provide alternatives if you are disrupted. Right now nothing brings all this together….

Another suggestion was to abandon traffic-light use and use exits instead. Right-hand turns in the city were discussed by a few people, with some wanting them banned, but conversations stated that this would make people have to travel further, which is not desirable because of increased fuel use and time. Another wanted to use a yellow right turn light rather than a red. Reflective road-lane paint was suggested for improved visibility. Also CBD travel time signboards were considered a helpful initiative, along with free connections to the CBD if people park outside the central city.

Other suggestions were designated parking places for Uber cars, the use of the Yarra for river transport and the development of outer suburb hubs so people don’t have to come into the city for work. One request was for no more road tolls. This was a traffic solution using the Yarra

Using the Yarra river as transport and using boats, really fast boats. Developing off the grid vehicles.

Car parking (38 statements)

The comments on this topic predominantly related to how to make parking easier in the city. There were several detailed explanations of potential parking solutions, including several technology-based methods to increase parking efficiency. Along with detailed suggestions, there were several who requested that there be more parking or longer availability for parking, although a slightly smaller number stated that parking should be reduced and space freed up for green space, and also be a deterrent to car use.

Underground parking was a popular suggestion, with one very detailed idea suggesting parking under Collins Street, which would increase traffic flow by taking parking off the sides of streets. A conversation on this topic, by a few people, was quite supportive, although one person questioned if this was the best location. One comment in this conversation questioned if The Council should be encouraging car use in this way, and suggested that there would be increased energy use from underground lighting and ventilation. This was part of the initial idea.

Underground Parking - belo (sic) main street-s -- Idea is to build an underground parking construction below a main street, that's say Collins St. By building an underground parking (two, three...storeys) below Collins St, we can make Collins St. wider for 5 to 6m (almost two lanes), because there will be no need for side parking any more. That will reduce traffic in a great manner…

Another idea that was discussed in conversations was reducing parking near the MCG on game days, and instead encouraging public transport use. This was generally supported, with one conversation comment being that in other places ticket holders receive free public transport to games. This was one of the comments.

Other cities including Sydney give free public transport to ticket holders of events. I have made the suggestion that Melbourne follows this as well. Would deffinately help to encourage people to stop driving. However the Melbourne government has just spent heaps on the new gates at richmond station to stop people fare evading so doubt it will change!

A way to reduce city congestion was to develop parking outside of the city, and provide free transport links in. It was suggested that developers should be responsible for developing parking buildings in these areas, rather than in the city, as it is a less disruptive way to provide parking. This was the idea.

Developer Carparks -- Instead of Developers building these ghastly concrete blocks in the core of our historic city, the Melbourne City Council and State Govt should set up a scheme whereby a ring of multi level carparks are established around the CBD where commuters can leave their bikes, cars, etc and connect to a tram service which takes them into the CBD…

A technology-based solution put forward in an idea was smart car park sharing. A parking holder could put their park onto a market and others could purchase the park for short-term use. A similar solution proposed by a couple of people was for public parking spaces to be notified to people, based on technology that is currently in place, to notify authorities of vehicle occupancy. People would be notified in real time where parking is available. Topping up parking with a phone app was another suggestion. This was one of the technology suggestions.

Introduce car parking reform -- Adapt curbside car parking to include remote sensing, open APIs and dynamic pricing, similar to SF Park in San Francisco. Significant potential exists for the City of Melbourne through a strengthening of their revenue stream by incrementally pricing curbside parking based on demand and allowing users to top up their car parking remotely, via a smartphone App. If people are willing to pay to stay longer (up to 3 - 4 hours), why not? It has been shown to boost trader revenue in San Francisco.

Car technology (30 statements)

These suggestions were regarding the use of technology, or new ways of doing things (such as Uber), to achieve better transport outcomes.

There were several detailed ideas on driverless cars, with some of these sparking relatively large conversations. The ideas regarding driverless cars generally stated that this technology is soon to be upon us, the next 10-15 years was stated, and it is likely to have significant implications on transport behaviour. However, the conversation identified that a lot of the implications still are unknown, such as whether there be more congestion or less? Those arguing for less stated that roads will be freer because there will be less accidents and more efficient traffic flow, as automated drivers would not do things such as block intersections. Those who thought that there would be more congestion cited the case of people not wanting to pay for parking, so the driverless car would be back on the road taking up road space. No matter what the outcome will be, a few people suggested that Melbourne should be an early adopter and engage with this form of transport, similar to London and San Francisco. This idea was to reduce the unknown and commence a study into the implications.

Consider impact of self-driving cars -- I see a lot of discussion about freeway development and public transport investment, yet rarely do I see mention of how the advent of self-driving cars will alter the way we utilise our current infrastructure. Will we need more freeways if cars crash 95% less often? Do we need more roads if cars don't clog intersections when the lights change? What about if all the space currently used for parking becomes useable lanes? Will people take public transport when the city is crawling with highly affordable self-driving taxis? I'd like to see a detailed study into the likely impact of self-driving cars on our roads in the next 20 years, before we see billions of dollars invested into new infrastructure.

The children who provided this idea, however, were confident of one of the benefits of driverless cars, and also considered other potential transport options for the future.

Children's big ideas: cars of the future -- These ideas were developed by the 4-5 year old group at North Melbourne Children's Centre: - Cars that drive by themselves so your hands don't get sweaty - Cars that drive around the city and stop at buildings - Imagine if we could fly so our legs don't get tired - Big cars everyone can drive

Another topic that received several ideas was the adoption of battery powered vehicles. The key issues being discussed were organising the charging of these vehicles. The benefits of less petrol use were identified.

A couple of similar ideas were proposed, which were the development of skinnier or smaller vehicles. One idea was a modular vehicle that can be attached to a large add-on for weekend travel out of the city. Another idea was a skinny self-drive taxi which will take up half normal road space. This was part of the modular idea.

Modularity in Transportation -- Modularity approach is the key to change transportation in big cities. Electric Vehicles are great and solve pollution problems but not traffic and parking issues. Our solution enhances our customers to have the right car that matches their needs at the right time and the right place….OneCity (At the front) • OneModules (At the back) OneCity is One and can be driven by itself as a city car. It’s a two wheeled electric vehicle for 2 passengers balanced on a gyroscope. It provides a smart movement for the user due to the small dimensions and the use of only two wheels. OneModules are many and different depending on clients needs…

With transport technology and change only likely to increase, there was this idea to keep abreast of changes, through constantly monitoring technology.

Monitor emerging transport technology -- An ongoing review should be established to keep Council up to date on the potential impacts of new transport technologies, given the fast pace of change in this field. This includes ride sourcing services such as Uber, public transport and multimodal journey planning Apps, driverless vehicles and remote sensing car parking technology.

Brief statements (30 statements)

Many short statements were made which generally referred to transport. This was one of the statements

Good transport for all