Sydney Road is becoming increasingly congested and the RACV wants to see on-street parking along the road permanently removed.
The number 19 tram along Sydney Road is now the fifth-busiest route in Melbourne, and its off-peak traffic is the slowest in the state at nine kilometres an hour.
The RACV is proposing the removal of on-street parking, and the conversion of many off-street spaces to free parking.
The space gained from removing on-street parking would be converted to a dedicated cycling lane, wider footpaths and larger trading and dining spaces for businesses.
“Sydney Road has been a long-term problem and there’s many people trying to use a limited road space,” says Dave Jones, RACV’s Roads and Traffic manager.
In the March edition of RoyalAuto magazine, the RACV outlined the current issues surrounding Sydney Road, as well as several proposals it wants to see trialled by 2018.
The narrow footpaths and the popularity of the precinct have led to an increased number of short-term commuters.
“Very few people, about 2 per cent, actually drive the full length of Sydney Road … most people are getting on and off,” Jones says.
These short-term commutes, combined with a higher prevalence of on-street parking, have increased both danger and congestion on Sydney Road. Between 2009 and 2015, two pedestrians and one cyclist were killed, 79 people were seriously injured and 235 people sustained other injuries.
“People are being killed and seriously injured … [Sydney Road] is not effective as a place for movement,” Jones says.
He says the proposals for Sydney Road would ensure the vibrancy and safety of the precinct, and he wants to see the state government trial the plan before the 2018 election.
“It’s about rebalancing the use of the street space.”