Burnley Street traffic analysis

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Existing routes of the east and west halves of Burnley Street.
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Traffic along Madden Grove is double that of Burnley Street.
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Surveys of car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic per hour along East Burnley Street.
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Surveys of car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic per hour along West Burnley Street

Broad observations made include:

  • Both section of Burnley Street has higher car traffic than bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
  • Cars take on average 15 seconds to travel the length of the street.
  • Due to the lack of bicycles lanes and high car traffic, bicycle travel slowly and carefully through the street.
  • The industrial side of the street has many car visitors through weekdays and on Saturday mornings. Visitors spend on average 15 minutes on site.
  • At night, almost no bicycles and pedestrians pass through the industrial side of the street.

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Although there is less traffic on weekends, the types of activities taking place on the street are more fruitful than on weekdays.

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Car parking.

There are approximately 80 unmarked car park spaces available on site:

  • 38x all-day parking spaces along East Burnley Street.
  • 14x four hour parking under the bridge.
  • 27x four hour parking along West Burnley Street.

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  • An average of 5 cars consistently park on site during weekdays and the weekend, they most likely belong to the residents.
  • Around 43 cars park on the street all day on weekdays until late afternoon, they are likely local workers / people who drive to the station to take the train into the city.
  • The car parking spaces are relatively empty and flexible during weekend.
  • However, the car parking space are busy when there is an AFL or cricket match at night, likely used by people parking close to Burnley train station to then catch the train to the MCG.

Image sources

  1. Existing routes, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. Busyness of the streets.
  3. Traffic along East Burnley Street.
  4. Traffic along West Burnley Street.
  5. Actions on streets.
  6. Car parking.
  7. Use of car parking spaces.
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Burnley Street

I have picked Burnley Street, Richmond, as my Streets Without Cars project site, comprising the east and west lengths of the street running either side of the Burnley Street overpass.

East Burnley Street

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DT-street analysis

West Burnley Street

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DT-street analysis

Site location and surroundings

Burnley Street is interestingly sandwiched between a big parcel of industrial area to the west and a residential area to the east.

Model

The street comprises the southern section of Burnley Street either side of an overpass connecting at the sound end to Barkly Avenue and CityLink. The northern end of the street intersects with Madden Grove, which is heavily used by car traffic to skip busy Swan Street, and access Swan Street or the city more rapidly.

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Street Plan

Model

Quick facts about the site:

  • It is divided into two one-way routes: an industrial street heading north and residential street heading south.
  • Both sections have medium traffic flow, but intersect with busy main streets to the north and south.
  • There is substantial car parking on both sides, plus an additional area under the overpass bridge.
  • The streets operate as a social boundary between the adjacent residential and industrial areas.
  • Athol J. Brown Reserve in the northeast corner of the site is rarely used.

Details of site

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Image sources

  1. Panaroma of East Burnley Street, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. East Burnley Street.
  3. Photo of West Burnley Street.
  4. West Burnley Street.
  5. Site surroundings.
  6. Street location.
  7. Site plan.
  8. Photos of area under the bridge.
  9. Photos of site details.

Melba Ward analysis

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Looking at 46 major and minor streets (excluding unnamed lanes) within the southeast section of Melba Ward, a number of observations can be made:

  • The south end of this zone is split by the east-west train line, segregating it from the rest of the Richmond / Burnley area. Flyovers, bridges and subways have been built to restitch the two parts, but there is still a significantly lower level of social outdoor activities within the southern area.
  • A large portion of the southern area has been industrialised, with larger scale factories, warehouses and enterprises compared to the single / double storey houses of the north. Through the typologies mapping of the area, a variety of uses were observed.
  • CityLink is built along the south edge of the Melba Ward, between it and the river. This has caused many green areas e.g. the Main Yarra Trail to lose their direct connection to the local residential community. Many streets e.g. Barkly Avenue, Burnley Street and Loyale Grove, have been built specifically to connect Richmond with the toll road. These cause heavy traffic (especially commercial trucks ) to move through the area daily.

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You can download a .pdf of my Melba Ward analysis here (14Mb).


Image sources

  1. Key Plan of Melba Ward, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. Overall Impression of Melba Ward.

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day is an annual festival dedicated to car parking spaces… not the celebration of car parking, but to rethinking the possibilities of the parking space as a public space which can be meaningfully used for social activities. The festival began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco.[1] Images of the first guerrilla event were widely distributed online, and Rebar received many requests for the same parking space conversion in other cities.

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Instead of replicating the mini-park installation, Rebar decided to promote the idea as an open source urban project. Anyone with an interest is able to undertake a PARK(ing) Day project independently, without the direct involvement of Rebar.[2]

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The guidelines created by Rebar most importantly limit the commercial exploitation of the event, and keep participation focused on the principles of community service, creativity, experimentation, generosity and play. PARK(ing) Day is about making new experimental forms of public space for public activities, not for commercial uses or promotions.[3]

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People in different urban contexts have adapted and redefined the event to address relevant local issues. The photo collage above shows some of the many interesting ideas that have been employed so far.

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There are a range of ways in which PARK(ing) Day events are established. In some cities, individuals and artists independently curate their own installations each year. In others, not-for-profit organisations, local councils and universities undertake larger events.

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With the support of local councils, universities and private sponsorships, Brisbane and Adelaide have organised PARK(ing) Day events almost every year since 2008. Both cities have run the event as a student design competition and paired it with seminar and workshop programmes. In Sydney, PARK(ing) Day is advocated by a national not-for-profit organisation, Object. Object facilitates individual participation, and assist with submitting projects for design approval. In both Melbourne and Tasmania, the festival has only interested a few private enterprises and small groups of students. Less than 5 PARK(s) have been produced over the past two years… Do we already have enough public space?

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Since its humble beginning with one PARK in San Francisco in 2005, it expanded in 2011 to 975 parks in 162 cities around the world.[4] In some cities in South Africa, the festival runs each year for a whole week. PARK(ing) Day created the term parklet and inspired the United States’ Pavement to Park Programme which provides permanent benefits to local communities.

This case study shows the potential of a temporary / small art movement in challenging the way people think about urban space and encouraging the active participation of the public in civic processes. Its flexible structure allows many different ideas to be explored, and a strong sense of ownership by local organisations. It is also easy and affordable for anyone to participate, not only large organisations and design institutes. As we can see, it allows everyone to contribute to the social environment in a fun and easy way!


Footnotes

  1. Rebar Group; About page; PARK(ing) Day; accessed August 2014
  2. Ibid.
  3. Rebar Group; PARK(ing) Day Manifesto; PARK(ing) Day; p. 9
  4. Rebar Group; Home page; PARK(ing) Day; accessed August 2014

Image sources

  1. PARK(ing) Day origins; this and subsequent images copyright of author.
  2. The birth of PARK(ing) Day.
  3. Typologies of PARK(ing).
  4. Past installations.
  5. Approaches.
  6. Do we have it in Australia?
  7. Influences and values.