Richmond carpark traffic conclusions

The surveys of car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic through the carpark located at 36 Thomas Street, Richmond, revealed some interesting conclusions about the site. The diagram below represents the total data collected across all six observation periods When overlaid, patterns of movement and usage begin to emerge.

20140930 richmond carpark traffic conclusions #1

Comparing the diagrams of traffic usage across the day, we can see that the timeframe with the highest use is the peak evening period. Weekday and weekend daytimes also have higher than average usage. However, total numbers of cars using the carpark across the day would be classified as generally low.

20140930 richmond carpark traffic conclusions #2


  • Overall, the site has a very low usage as a carpark, with an average of only 14 our 74 car parks in use per hour. The peak period for parking is during the day on weekends, particularly on Saturdays. The lowest usage generally occurs on weeknights.
  • Of the cars that do use the site for parking, an overwhelming majority of 84% use the south end of the carpark closest to shops on Bridge Road, compared to only 16% which used the north side.
  • Observations revealed that customers going to the adjacent Thomas Dux supermarket tend to park as close to the south west corner as possible and most do not pay for parking as they only use the carpark for a short period of time.


The path of movement which most pedestrians take is from the pedestrian lane (leading to Bridge Road) cutting through the carpark on a diagonal and exiting at the corner of Thomas and Hull Streets.


The average duration of time spent in the carpark by pedestrians is 43 seconds, compared with 10 seconds for cars.

These conclusions will be used together with the community consultation outcomes to begin to create a masterplan for the site.

Image sources

  1. Total traffic overlay, this and following image copyright of author.
  2. Traffic use by period.

Richmond carpark traffic analysis

In order to gauge the current usage of the Richmond carpark located at 36 Thomas Street, a series of observation sessions were conducted across a variety of timeframes. The sessions each lasted 1 hour and were undertaken over a two week period in September. The numbers of cars, pedestrians, bicycles, pets and prams were counted during each session. More detailed information was also collected, including the locations of parking, and both the directions and durations of movement. The data has been collated below.

20140930 richmond carpark traffic #1

20140930 richmond carpark traffic #2

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Image sources

  1. Weekday morning peak, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. Weekend evening peak.
  3. Weekday daytime.
  4. Weekday night time.
  5. Weekend day time.
  6. Weekend night time.

Richmond carpark

Out of the process of mapping the northwest pocket of Melba Ward, I have discovered an interest in a particular area to the north of Bridge Road. A carpark is tucked behind commercial frontages, accessed by a very narrow foot passage. It is also accessible via Judd Street, Thomas / Hull Streets and Leggo Place. It is a site bordered by multi-storey apartment blocks, single houses and commercial properties including a supermarket, car repair shop, importing business, and the rears of restaurants and retailers. North facing and sloped, the site provides potential for intervention as it is currently poorly designed and under utilised.

20140909 richmond carpark #1

20140909 richmond carpark #2

Over the coming weeks I will conduct research around this site with the intention of producing a design project to improve its quality and amenities. Descriptions of the streets bordering the carpark are as follows.

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20140909 richmond carpark #6

20140909 richmond carpark #7

Image sources

  1. Context plan, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. Richmond carpark.
  3. Hull Street analysis.
  4. Thomas Street analysis.
  5. Leggo Place analysis.
  6. Alleyway #1.
  7. Alleyway #2.

Melba Ward analysis

20140909 melba ward #1

This analysis relates to the pocket of Richmond bound by Victoria Street to the north, Bridge Road to the south, Hoddle / Lennox Streets to the west and Church Street to the east. It is an eclectic area made up mostly of residential properties. Culturally, the feeling within the area moves from the bustling international Victoria Street through to very quiet unassuming residential streets. The north end of Church Street is defined by industrial and commercial services, moving down to Bridge Road, once retail haven, now experiencing an economic decline.

Key statistics about this area include:

  • The average street width is approximately 11 metres.
  • 100% of streets have some form of residential property present.
  • 43% of streets are completely residential, 57% are a mix.
  • 55% of streets have trees.
  • 20% of streets have bike paths.
  • 98% of streets have parallel parking.

To see full mapping of these statistics, you can download maps (20Mb) and street data (9Mb) in .pdf format from my research.

Image source

  1. Melba Ward map, author’s own image.

Community Collaborative Design

Community collaborative design is a general term used to define projects undertaken which benefit communities, non-profit and neighbourhood organisations, at varying scales and across a broad ranging scope of design services.

The process of community consultation and the role of design varies between collaboratives and organisations. By researching into this area, there are insights to be gained which may assist with future design and implementation strategies for Streets Without Cars. Three collaboratives were selected to highlight different approaches within the design process during the community consultation phase.

Community Design Collaborative

Established in 1991, CDC exists to assist communities, non-profits and neighbourhood organisations in the Philadelphia region with preliminary design services i.e. feasibility studies, scoping documents and concept design. The value of design and consultation services provided pro-bono for this process averages between $15,000 – $20,000. CDC projects do not extend to construction services.

Another important aim of CDC is to provide an avenue for connecting volunteer designers with non-profit leaders and communities in need, and to raise awareness about the importance and capacity of design in community renewal.

20140818 flowchart #1

The process encourages involvement from a wide variety of interested parties, including volunteer peer designers who review the project. Cost-estimating from the onset of the process is identified as a key priority, giving direction to the community’s goals. At the conclusion of the work, a report is generated for the client (community) to use in gaining third party funding.

20140819 cdc #1

20140819 cdc #2

The work of the collaborative produces positive outcomes for all involved: clients gain the necessary tools to pursue funding for their visions; volunteer skills are harnessed in a way that make them feel that their time is worthwhile; the built environment benefits from an increase in diverse, engaging development projects.

20140819 success #1

CoDesign Studio

Established in 2010, CoDesign Studio came into being when co-founder, Lucinda Hartley, realised that skills learned during volunteer work in developing countries could be applied here in Melbourne. She notes that “the ideas used to bring people into the design process are essentially the same,” and therefore applicable to any project involved with community consultation. CoDesign now works in Melbourne with neighbourhood renewal projects to develop and implement solutions and evaluate the results.[1]

20140818 flowchart #2

With three phases of work, CoDesign aims to initiate a short-term catalyst project of low-risk but high social activity to generate involvement within a community. These projects are usually within a context of a longer term goal, to potentially build a community-led strategy for the revitalisation of the area and in doing so, provide the opportunity for community members to establish connections with each other and with CoDesign.

20140819 codesign #1

20140819 codesign #2

In an interview with Hartley in late 2012, she provided some insight into how CoDesign’s projects have been received:

We have very positive responses. Everyone likes the opportunity to meet with their neighbours and create something new. People really care about where they live, everyone cares about where they live. They just don’t always have the opportunity or understand how to make a difference in their community. What CoDesign can do is provide that channel for people to know how to make that change.[2]

20140819 success #2

Architects without Frontiers

Established in Australia in 1999, Architects Without Frontiers conduct urban development and improvement projects in the Asia-pacific region. The organisation exists within the context of the larger international organisation, Architects Sans Frontieres, which has been implementing projects since 1979.

A community can approach AWF, and after a screened application process and preliminary consultation, a design team of volunteers engages with local designers in a traditional architectural design process. The team produces developed design ideas and supporting studies and scoping documents, which are then given to the community to assist with seeking funding opportunities.

20140818 flowchart #3

This process is very similar to the one utilised by CDC discussed above, though the geographical context, and relationship between international specialists and local designers, is unique.

20140819 awf #1

20140819 awf #2

20140819 success #3


  1. Michael Short; The Zone interview with Lucinda Hartley; The Age; September 2012
  2. Ibid.

Image sources

  1. Community Design Collaborative process flowchart, author’s own image.
  2. Schools project, copyright Community Design Collaborative.
  3. Reimagining Philadelphia’s Schoolyards project, copyright Dominic Mercier.
  4. Community Design Collaborative measures of success, author’s own image.
  5. CoDesign Studio process flowchart, author’s own image.
  6. One Small Change Streetscape Activity, West Dandenong, copyright CoDesign Studio.
  7. Shape Your Carlton Project, copyright CoDesign Studio.
  8. CoDesign Studio measures of success, author’s own image.
  9. Architects Without Frontiers process flowchart, author’s own image.
  10. Architects Without Frontiers and RMIT collaboration for Gunbalunya Cultural Centre, copyright Architects Without Frontiers.
  11. Local and international volunteers working to build Gossing school, Nepal, copyright Architects Without Frontiers.
  12. Architects Without Frontiers measures of success, author’s own image.