Site plan

Following on from the zoning strategy we established in response to your ideas for Streets Without Cars, we have now designed a more detailed layout for Drummond Street. It is structured around two key organising principles, one that governs the arrangement of the street west to east, and the other north to south.

The street is organised into five ribbons running along its length. From west to east, these are:

  1. A narrow pedestrian ribbon for access to the odd-numbered houses along the west edge of Drummond Street.
  2. A narrow vegetable patch ribbon accessed from either side.
  3. A combined pedestrian / bicycle / car ribbon, carrying northbound car traffic and north / southbound bicycle traffic.
  4. A wide pedestrian / bicycle ribbon containing the majority of the proposed “rooms” in our design.
  5. A narrow pedestrian ribbon for access to the even-numbered houses along the east edge of Drummond Street.

20140223 site plan ribbons

The street is also organised into twelve bands across its width, variations between which are contained within the second rooms ribbon described above. As Drummond Street has a slight gradient, rising around 2m from Curtain Street to Fenwick Street, the bands are stepped into a series of gentle terraces. Towards the edges of the street, these terraces revert back to ramped surfaces to accommodate bicycle and car traffic. From north to south, the twelve bands are:

  1. Front door
  2. Bicycle storage
  3. Orchard
  4. Playroom
  5. Sandpit
  6. Meals area
  7. Pond
  8. Living room
  9. Pond
  10. Kitchen
  11. Retreat
  12. Front door

20140223 site plan bands

Note that we are proposing two front doors: this is not a mistake, both the Curtain and Fenwick ends of our project have been designed to welcome!

When we overlap the two organisational maps, we arrive at the below site plan. It aims to establish slow but free-flowing traffic alongside a diverse array of street activities. Drummond Street should belong to pedestrians, not cars, so the street activities are our highest priority. By inviting cars into the street at very low speeds (below 20km/hr), we enhance the sense of security for pedestrians, while forgoing none of the convenience of car transport.

We have preserved the generosity of the existing median strip by incorporating lawn areas only lightly designed: we envisage these will be flexible, multi-functional rooms whose potential uses go well beyond anything we can imagine today. We have located them alongside more deliberately designed rooms (like the meals area and retreat) with the intention that they enhance one another through mutual occupation. We have kept the existing mature trees dotting the length of the street, planted a fruit orchard, a number of substantial garden beds, and established a 120m long vegetable patch running the entire length of the site.

A legend for the colour coding in the site plan can be read by clicking on the image and zooming into each section. Broadly, the paler green sections are lawn areas and darker green sections garden beds. The grey areas are paved, pale blue areas ponds and yellow areas filled with various built activities, including a sandpit, meals area and kiosk. The translucent grey areas running through the centre of the street are roof canopies.

20140223 site plan

Image sources:

  1. North-south ribbons. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.
  2. West-east bands. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.
  3. Site plan. Copyright Mihaly Slocombe.

4 thoughts on “Site plan

  1. As a member of a previous Carlton North Local Area Traffic Management group chaired by Jackie Fristacky 5-6 years ago we explored partial closures on Drummond and Station to reduce non local traffic on our residential streets. It was decided that any closure on one without the other would be detrimental to traffic volume on the other. The reason Drummond and Station have lots of traffic and crashes (yes Station has them too) is partly because of the closures on Canning. By closing Drummond to South bound traffic Station becomes the only non major through north south street in Carlton North. In the mornings all the arterials (Lygon Rathdowne and Nicholson) are at a standstill with southbound traffic. At the moment Station and Drummond ‘share’ the excess. By closing southbound traffic on Drummond – Station becomes the path of least resistance. Again.

    1. Thanks for your comment Anthony. I appreciate your concern about effects on Station Street, any implementation of this project most certainly requires substantial and more widespread analysis of traffic movement.

      Our observation for Drummond is that south bound traffic during peak morning periods is not a unique stream of cars but people trying to shortcut traffic on either Lygon and Rathdowne. All they do is create blockage downstream.

      Is this your observation on Station too?

  2. G’day Warwick. Yes the scenario is similar on Station. Most of the traffic is trying to access Princes Street and most likely the Eastern freeway. Unfortunately turning left from Drummond or Station onto Princes is a more appealing prospect than queing on Lygon, Rathdowne or Nicholson. Station and Drummond get a lot of morning traffic diverting off the arterials (rat running) onto what used to be quiet residential streets.

    I think the closures on Canning (while seemingly a good idea at the time) have contributed to the current situation.


    1. Hi Anthony. I agree 100% with your assessment about cars rat running down Drummond and Station. Not sure if you saw one of our earlier posts to this blog about our observational research of traffic movement down Drummond: Traffic surveys ( and Traffic conclusions ( are both confirmations of this.

      I don’t agree though that the closure on Canning was a bad idea. For starters, thanks to its low vehicle count and traffic light connection over Alexandra Parade, Canning has developed into a fantastic bicycle route connecting the city to the northern suburbs. I’ve never counted, but during peak morning and evening times, it’s like a bicycle highway, amazing. And second, I believe that shutting off a residential street like Canning to non-local vehicular traffic was only a limited decision in that Drummond and Station should have been shut off also. As I mentioned in my last comment, these streets don’t reduce congestion, they only divert it further downstream.

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