Melbourne is set to follow the global trend of establishing car-free “superblocks” to prevent congestion and increase safety in the CBD.
The Melbourne City Council is considering the plan – already implemented in Europe and the US – amid concern of pedestrian overcrowding and choked roads.
It could also prevent future vehicle attacks, similar to the Bourke Street rampage in January last year.
The proposal would span several streets, bounded by Bourke, Elizabeth, Flinders and William streets, the Herald Sun reports.
Streets inside would become pedestrian thoroughfares, while emergency, delivery and residential vehicles would maintain access, at a speed limit of 10kph.
Other suggestions also include a “go-slow zone” with a 30kph speed limit in the ‘Hoddle Grid’ and Docklands, as council discussion documents proposing the plan will reportedly be released today.
Superblocks – mini zones which traffic flows around – have been successfully implemented in Barcelona – a city said to have a similar street grid to Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid.
According to reports, the Melbourne City Council predicts the daily population within the CBD will rise 50 per cent in the next 20 years.
At least five pedestrians have been struck by vehicles and another killed separate accidents in Melbourne’s CBD in the past five years.