Radical changes to Elizabeth Street proposed

A new design for Elizabeth Street will prioritise bikes, pedestrians and trams in the heart of the Melbourne CBD.

The much-maligned strip will have dedicated bike infrastructure and private cars will be filtered out

The move by the City of Melbourne is aimed at releasing the full economic potential of the thoroughfare by increasing numbers of people who use the street by public and active transport.

It will be a further addition of people-friendly places planned for the CBD as part of Melbourne's recently released draft transport plan.

It further cements the City’s long term strategy of creating more space for people movement at street level and repurposing the congested streets for better uses than wasteful car storage.

In a positive move, the city says it will make special arrangements for logistics and service vehicles to ensure the thriving city still gets essential supplies of coffee beans and milk.

The exact configuration of the street is yet to be determined, but will be similar to how Swanston Street is configured, with some blocks allowing limited vehicle access, and other blocks completely vehicle-free.

Elizabeth Street has good access to the CBD from the north for bikes, but because it lacks a bridge over the Yarra to the south, it is not a major through route such as Swanston Street.

But with the City’s recently revealed plans to explore options for a high quality bike route on Flinders Street, the remade Elizabeth Street could become an ideal avenue to distribute riders to destinations within the CBD.

The City of Melbourne has been sharing its thinking on the evolving plans with Bicycle Network since 2017, including plans for the Flinders Street end of Elizabeth, and although many small details are to be resolved, the move will be transformative for the city.

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