Melbourne’s “little” streets may close as a result of Melbourne City Council’s 10-year draft transport strategy. But what will definitely close as a result of the strategy are Melbourne’s CBD kiosks selling newspapers, magazines and tobacco.
The nine square kiosks have not had their leases renewed, meaning they are likely to close by year’s end. The cylindrical kiosks, which are typically for food vendors – such as Swanston Street’s La Petite Creperie – will remain. The others are being closed to free up Melbourne’s footpaths in anticipation of the city’s growth. In 15 years 1.5 million people are expected to use Melbourne’s CBD footpaths daily.
“When you put something quite big on the pavement people walk around it and it’s getting people walking on the curb or onto the road and that’s really unsafe,” councillor Nicolas Frances-Gilley, council transport chairman for the City of Melbourne, told 3AW.
Two of the nine kiosks have already been decommissioned and moved to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and Chesterfield Farm in Scoresby.
Other changes for the CBD proposed in the draft transport strategy include lowering the speed limit to 30 kilometres an hour, a congestion charge and the removal of 130 parking spaces on Exhibition Street to make way for two bicycle lanes.
The Age reports removing the parking spaces on Exhibition Street is part of a larger plan to create a space the equivalent in size to “20 Bourke Street Malls” by reducing road space and on-street parking. The new areas will make way for pedestrians, cyclists and new green spaces.