This photograph was taken at 12:50pm on a weekday. If you bother to read the fine print on the parking signs – which the drivers of these vehicles didn’t do – you would know it is “no standing” at this time.
The original planning for Swanston St used the words “car free”. This was later watered down, and when the design of the new tram stops was announced the plan was changed, with the spaces between the tram stops to be “looked at” once the tram stops were in.
That time has come.
The “spaces between the tram stops” are unsatisfactory for people riding bicycles as well as for trams. Parked vehicles force bicycles into the path of trams, or else into the very restricted, unsafe space between, at risk of falling under the tram, especially if the parked vehicle opens a door onto the passing bike rider. Trams are regularly delayed by bikes as the latter negotiate the hostile environment. The extensive parking opportunities are too tempting for delivery and service vehicles and Council’s enforcement strategy has failed (attached photo was taken at 12:50pm on 10/12/2013, when there should be no motor vehicles in Swanston St).
Streets should be “readable” at a glance, and enforcement in the absence of physical corroboration does not work as the evidence above shows.
Melbourne BUG’s proposal is to widen the footpath in some sections and narrow it in others. Where the footpath is wider, about 2m should be left as a bike lane, too narrow to permit parking at any time. To provide parking bays, the footpath would move in sufficiently to allow for a small number of loading zones, which could be used for 17 hours out of 24.
While we wait for this to be implemented, Clearways should be introduced along the entire length of Swanson St to make it easier for drivers to understand there are 7 hours out of 24 when they may not park in Swanston St.