First sketches

We’re excited to announce that we’ve started work on the design of Streets Without Cars. Our ideas are evolving very rapidly as we explore different aspects of the project, from traffic management and programme arrangement, to building form and planting design. Below are a few of our first sketches, together with discussion points for consideration.

20140202 traffic management

Our traffic research revealed a very high frequency of non-local traffic moving south along Drummond Street during the morning peak period (1 car every 10 seconds). Car traffic at other times is much less frequent (1 car every 75 seconds). We are interested in the idea of removing the southbound car lane to prevent Drummond Street being used as a shortcut for the morning commute. By paving or planting over the defunct lane, we would also then be able to convert it into a generous public space.

20140202 road surface

The principles of living and naked streets involve muddying the distinction between car and pedestrian spaces. To encourage cars to move more slowly through Streets Without Cars, we think the asphalt road surface has to go. We are considering replacing it with Bluestone paving. This will transform the feel of Drummond Street from a road to a plaza. The Bluestone material also links our intervention to Melbourne heritage generally, and local laneways specifically.

20140202 bicycle parking

Interviews with our neighbours revealed two pieces of information that tell an interesting story: 1) You collectively own a lot of bikes, on average 2.6 per household, and 2) You have nowhere to store them, so they live in your corridors and bedrooms. What if we build a secure and weather-protected bicycle storage facility out on the street? Parkiteer bike cages at Melbourne Metro stations are already doing this, why can’t we?[1]

20140202 roof canopy

Interviews also revealed you are most interested in using the street during summer months and warmer days. But what if we build a roof to provide shelter from the rain? We could slot in barbecues and bench seats underneath, and cut the roof out around the existing mature trees. The roof canopy would provide attractive spaces for wet days, as well as shelter from the increasingly hot summer sun.


[1] Parkiteer is an initiative of the Bicycle Network Victoria. Running since October 2008, there are now 69 cages at Metro train stations around Melbourne. Usage statistics reveal growing patronage of the Parkiteer network and an increasing trend to plan them into new stations.

Image sources:

  1. Traffic management. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.
  2. Road surface. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.
  3. Bicycle parking. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.
  4. Roof canopy. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.

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