Mike Stevens | Nov 25, 2009

WITH MELBOURNE'S POPULATION expected to grow beyond 5.0 million by 2026, private cars will be under increasing pressure to vacate inner metropolitan areas and roadways. At least that's the view of some experts and urban planners.

A public forum to be held at the University of Melbourne tomorrow, called Melbourne@5 Million, will argue the need for cars to give way to greater public transport and pedestrian and bicycle access.

Speaking with the Herald Sun, the University's Professor Nicholas Low, Director of the Centre of the Governance and Management or Urban Transport, said that major overhauls over the next 30 years will see cars pushed out of metropolitan areas.

Under the plan, shopping precincts around the city, including the popular Chapel and Brunswick Streets, would be upgraded to favour pedestrians and trams.

"You're probably better off on a tram than sitting in a car, looking for a park and not finding one," Professor Low told the Herald Sun.

"People on foot have a lot less space per person than people in a car."

melbourne-traffic_2 Professor Low said that while many people using cars can do just as well without them, ridding Melbourne of cars altogether is an unlikely goal. Some people simply cannot get around without them.

Greater attention will need to be given to the comfort, timeliness and scheduling of the Melbourne's public transport system, Prof Low said. The frequent cancellations, delays and crowding disillusion users of public transport.

Melbourne@5 Million, a 2008 update to the existing Melbourne 2030 plan devised in 2002, proposes the establishment of Central Activities Districts at Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Footscray, Frankston and Ringwood.

It is hoped that as the city's population expands outward, people living further from the current CBD will look to focus their work life and activities in areas closer to home.

[via HeraldSun.com.au]

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